Ammianus Marcellinus and his Roman audience.

Show simple item record Kearney, James Thomas en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Potter, David S. en_US 2014-02-24T16:27:32Z 2014-02-24T16:27:32Z 1991 en_US
dc.identifier.other (UMI)AAI9124032 en_US
dc.identifier.uri en_US
dc.description.abstract By the late fourth century the seat of imperial power had moved from Rome. Emperors, in fact, seldom visited the old capital. Ammianus, a self-described "soldier and Greek", made his way to Rome and there composed a universal history in Latin. His History, upon examination, is full of reference to the contemporary local scene. Not only does Ammianus chronicle events according to urban prefectures, he reflects in his work the physical surroundings and occupations of everyday life. More significantly, the manner of narrating events which do not transpire at Rome is shaped to appeal to, inform, and morally instruct the Roman audience to whom the History was delivered. The accumulation of evidence points to a Romano-centrism heretofore considered unlikely for a history written in this period. Chapter one sets forth the evidence for Ammianus' activity at Rome: the collection of material from documents and witnesses, the letter of Libanius, delivery at recitatio. The make-up of the audience is then considered. The objection might be raised that Ammianus' description of the Romans themselves is largely negative. He manages, however, by satire and indirection to remain palatable. As for matters farther afield, Ammianus had to overcome another obstacle, his audience's indifference. This he manages by featuring elements of universal appeal. Ammianus distinguishes the idea of Rome from the present day denizens. For Ammianus, the idea of Rome, embracing all virtue, was the impetus to write as well as the message to convey. Chapter two takes up specific examples of diction, development of theme, and manner of composition to show how Ammianus uses the familiar at Rome to describe and convey the meaning of events throughout the Empire. The Lateran obelisk is a key symbol in the on-going contention between Julian and Constantius II. In this way, Rome provides a vocabulary, a rhetoric for communicating about herself. Chapter three demonstrates how Ammianus relates extended portions of narrative to Roman interests. The Roman audience had a formative influence upon Ammianus in the final stage of his evolution as an historian. In Rome, he reflected upon the experience of his lifetime, and fashioned his History to convey his conclusions to his immediate audience. en_US
dc.format.extent 271 p. en_US
dc.subject Language, Ancient en_US
dc.subject Literature, Classical en_US
dc.title Ammianus Marcellinus and his Roman audience. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Classical Studies en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.description.filedescription Description of 9124032.pdf : Restricted to UM users only. en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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