Ammianus Marcellinus' future signs: A historiographical study
Hanaghan, M P. (2019). Ammianus Marcellinus' future signs: A historiographical study. Historia: Zeitschrift fuer Alte Geschichte,68(2), 233-255. Erfurt, Germany: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.25162/historia-2019-0014
Predicting the future is contentious. In the fourth century competing claimants tried to define who could consult the signs and interpret them. Ammianus' use of future signs in his history, especially in the Julianic books, responds to this contemporary debate. His Julian interprets them correctly in his struggles with Constantius II but then fails to do so during his disastrous Persian campaign. Future signs continue to feature in the narrative after Julian's death. This article argues that Ammianus' abundant use of future signs is a distinct feature of his work that should be read in a late fourth century context.
Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry