Preparing the Reader for War
DOI link for Preparing the Reader for War
Preparing the Reader for War book
In studies on Roman warfare Ammianus figures prominently. As a former army officer, he shows a lively interest in and a detailed knowledge of military matters. His digression about siege engines (23.4) serves to provide the necessary background information for the account of Julian’s Persian campaign. Military conflicts between Romans and Persians in Mesopotamia invariably took on the character of siege wars, in which siege engines played a crucial role. That explains why Ammianus places his digression in the overture to the Persian campaign, although in his accounts of the sieges of Amida (19.7), Bezabde (20.11) and Aquileia (21.12) they had been mentioned several times already. The immediate cause for the digression is the remark about the large number of siege engines that Julian had shipped along the Euphrates to Callinicum (23.3.9).