Templum Mundi Totius
DOI link for Templum Mundi Totius
Templum Mundi Totius book
This is not the place in which to launch an all-out assault on the idea of the secular nature of classical historiography. (It is enough for now to state my personal conviction that such a vision is rooted as much in wishful thinking as in reality.) In the case of Ammianus, however, this picture of a resolute reluctance to contaminate a secular model of history does not tally with the evidence of his work. Ammianus never in the surviving books makes any programmatic statement of his exclusion of the divine. His reference to the ‘high places’ in which ‘true history was accustomed to run’, in Matthews’ elegant paraphrase, comes in the context of an attack against
those who would have him delve into trifling details, in his own words those who cry out as if wronged if one has failed to mention what an emperor has said at table, or left out the reason why the common soldiers were led before the standards for punishment, or because in an ample account of regions one ought not to have been silent about some insignificant facts.