The Image of Julian the Apostate in the Historiography of Ammianus Marcellinus
Keywords:Roman historiography, Christianity, pagan religion, Julian the Apostate, Ammianus Marcellinus
In the 4th century AD, when Christianity had already been firmly established under Constantine, the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate sought to turn history back to the pagan period. His rule was brief and unexpected, characterised by religious reforms and a march on Persia. While his portrayal by Christian writers is a negative one, he is considered by Ammianus Marcellinus, a pagan historiographer, as a model ruler. Ammianus’ history, Res gestae, presents Julian as one chosen by the gods. Despite his admiration, he does not hesitate to criticise the Emperor, but he deliberately downplays the significance of religious issues and of other matters which might tarnish Julian’s image. To improve his standing, Ammianus compares him to many famous personages from the Greek and Roman past, while the preceding Emperor Constantius and Julian’s brother Gallus are drawn in strikingly negative colours. Despite the favour of the gods, however, Julian rejected all warning signs on his march on Persia, which cost him his life. Comparing his death to the death of Socrates, Ammianus portrays him as a philosopher-ruler, which corresponds to Julian’s own ideal.
Izdaja Amijanovih del
Seyfarth, Wolfgang, ur. Ammianus Marcellinus: Römische Geschichte. 3 zvezki. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1968–1978.
Athanassiadi-Fowden, Polymnia. Julian and Hellenism: an Intellectual Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
Barnes, Timothy David. Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality. Cornell studies in classical philology 56. Ithaca in London: Cornell University Press, 1998.
----------. »New Year 363 in Ammianus Marcellinus«. V: Cognitio Gestorum: The Historiographic Art of Ammianus Marcellinus, ur. J. den Boeft, D. den Hengst in H. C. Teitler, 1–8. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1992.
Bidez, Joseph. La vie de l’empereur Julien. Collection d'études anciennes. Paris: Société d'édition ‘Les Belles Lettres’, 1930.
Blockley, R. C. Ammianus Marcellinus: a Study of his Historiography and Political Thought. Collection Latomus 141. Bruxelles: Latomus, 1975.
Bowersock, Glen Warren. Julian the Apostate. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1978.
Browning, Robert. The Emperor Julian. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976.
Cedilnik, Alenka. »Filostorgijev prikaz bitke pri Mursi«. Keria: Studia Latina et Graeca 16.1 (2014): 67–82.
Drijvers, Jan Willem. »Ammianus Marcellinus 23.1.2–3: The Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem«. V: Cognitio Gestorum: The Historiographic Art of Ammianus Marcellinus, ur. J. den Boeft, D. den Hengst in H. C. Teitler, 19–26. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1992.
Elm, Susanna. »Pagan Challenge, Christian Response: Emperor Julian and Gregory of Nazianzus as Paradigms of Interreligions Discourse«. V: Faithful Narratives. Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity, ur. Andrea Sterk in Nina Caputo, 15–31. New York: Cornell University Press, 2014.
Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Zv. 2. London: Strahan & Cadell, 1788.
Matthews, John F. »Ammianus Marcellinus«. V: Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome. 2. zv. 2, ur. T. J. Luce, 1117–1138. New York: Charles Scibner’s Sons, 1982.
Neri, Valerio. Ammiano e il cristianesimo: religione e politica nelle Res gestae di Ammiano Marcellino. Studi di storia antica 11. Bologna: Clueb, 1985.
Rosen, Klaus. Studien zur Darstellungskunst und Glaubwürdigkeit des Ammianus Marcellinus. Doktorska disertacija. Univerza v Heidelbergu, 1968.
Ross, Alan J. Ammianus’ Julian: Narrative and Genre in the Res Gestae. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Smith, Rowland. »Telling Tales: Ammianus’ narrative of the Persian Expedition of Julian«. V: The Late Roman World and its Historian: Interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus, ur. Jan Willem Drijvers in David Hunt, 79–92. Routledge Classical Monographs. London: Routledge, 1999.
Teitler, H. C. The Last Pagan Emperor: Julian the Apostate and the War against Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Thompson, Edward Arthur. The Historical Work of Ammianus Marcellinus. Groningen: Bouma’s Boekhius, 1947.
Tougher, Shaun. »Ammianus and the Eunuchs«. V: The Late Roman World and its Historian: Interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus, ur. Jan Willem Drijvers in David Hunt, 57–67. Routledge Classical Monographs. London: Routledge, 1999.
Warmington, Brian. »Some Constantinian References in Ammianus«. V: The Late Roman World and its Historian: Interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus, ur. Jan Willem Drijvers in David Hunt, 147–157. Routledge Classical Monographs. London: Routledge, 1999.
Weber, Gregor. Kaiser, Träume und Visionen in Prinzipat und Spätantike. Historia 143. Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 2000.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Ana Bembič
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in Keria by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.