The Romans' devotion to their past pervades almost every aspect of their culture. But the clearest image of how the Romans wished to interpret their past is found in their historical writings. This book examines in detail the major Roman historians:
* Ammianus as well as the biographies written by:
* the Augustan History
* the autobiographies of Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus.
Ronald Mellor demonstrates that Roman historical writing was regarded by its authors as a literary not a scholarly exercise, and how it must be evaluated in that context. He shows that history writing reflected the political structures of ancient Rome under the different regimes.
A companion to T. J Luce's analogous treatment of Greek historians, offers the background to allow modern readers make the necessary adjustments and enjoy<-->or at least comprehend and appreciate<-- >accounts of the past written in what is now the long past. Discusses the origins of Roman historiography, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman biography and autobiography, and historical writing at Rome. All quotations are in English. The text itself is unencumbered by scholastic paraphernalia, but the back matter identifies the translations quoted and recommends further reading. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)