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The Body Politic: Performing Character in Ammianus Marcellinus

Mark Humphries Orcid Logo

Canistrum ficis plenum: Hommages à Bertrand Lançon (Revue des Études Tardo-antiques supplement 5), edited by E. Amato, P. De Cicco, & T. Moreau, Pages: 187 - 205

Swansea University Author: Mark Humphries Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Recent scholarship has stressed the sophisticated artistry of the historian Ammianus Marcellinus. This article examines an often neglected, or misunderstood, aspect of his narrative: the physical descriptions of his protagonists. Reading these descriptions in the light of late-antique thinking about...

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Published in: Canistrum ficis plenum: Hommages à Bertrand Lançon (Revue des Études Tardo-antiques supplement 5), edited by E. Amato, P. De Cicco, & T. Moreau
ISBN: 978-2-9551237
ISSN: 2115-8266
Published: Association THAT – Textes pour l’Histoire de l’Antiquité Tardive 2018
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa36315
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Abstract: Recent scholarship has stressed the sophisticated artistry of the historian Ammianus Marcellinus. This article examines an often neglected, or misunderstood, aspect of his narrative: the physical descriptions of his protagonists. Reading these descriptions in the light of late-antique thinking about physiognomy, gesture, and deportment suggests that they offer a consistent form of characterisation, through which Ammianus underscores the moral judgments he offers on the individuals who populate his history.
Keywords: Ammianus Marcellinus; Julian; Valentinian I; gesture; deportment; physiognomy; narrative
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Start Page: 187
End Page: 205