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Ammianus' JulianNarrative and Genre in the Res Gestae$
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Alan J. Ross

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198784951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784951.001.0001

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Legitimizing Julian

(p.126) 4 Strasbourg
Ammianus' Julian

Alan J. Ross

Oxford University Press

Ammianus devotes an extensive section of his narrative in Book 16 to Julian’s victorious battle against the Alamanni at Strasbourg in 357. This chapter studies the way in which Ammianus positions his version of the battle amongst other contemporary accounts, notably by Julian himself and Libanius, and against traditions of military narrative in historiography. It argues that Ammianus’ depiction of Julian’s role in the battle is very unlike that found in openly panegyrical accounts. Nonetheless, the victory at Strasbourg is designed to be another step towards justifying Julian’s right to rule: just as at the elevation scene in Book 15, the army note Julian’s divine favour. Their reaction at the end of the episode foreshadows and helps justify Julian’s acclamation by his troops as Augustus in 360.

Keywords:   Battle of Strasbourg, Julian, Libanius, military narrative, panegyric

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