- John F. Matthews
ExtractAmmianus Marcellinus (c. 330–95 ce), the last great Latin historian of the Roman empire, was born at Syrian *Antioch (1). His early entry, c.350, into the élite corps of protectores domestici may indicate family connections with the imperial service at Antioch, in which case an early acquaintance with the Latin language could be inferred, as well as the Greek which formed the base of his literary education. Assigned by *Constantius II to the personal staff of the general Ursicinus, Ammianus saw service in north Italy, Gaul, and Germany (the early campaigns of *Julian), Illyricum and Mesopotamia. It was here, in the siege and capture by the Persians of Amida (mod. Diarbekir) in 359, that the first phase of Ammianus' military career came to an end. He escaped from the city, but Ursicinus was dismissed from office in the aftermath of its fall. Ammianus seems to have returned to Antioch, but subsequently participated in the disastrous Persian campaign of *Julian (363).
- Late Antiquity