As this short survey shows, interpretation of texts is a difficult exercise. We have seen Ammianus and his Res Gestae interpreted as a Hymn to concord between pagans and Christians (Rike, Neri) under the umbrella of paganism. Ammianus has been considered as an apostate Christian (Barnes) or seen as just an author with a more flexible attitude towards Christianity then most pagan writers of his day and as somebody not too worried about whether or not Christian words or ideas could be used (Matthews). Hunt introduced the most convincing argument in pointing out that Ammianus had certain literary conventions to obey to, if he wanted to be seen as a serious historian. The other arguments are still most certainly open to discussion.
- Barnes, T.D., Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical
Reality, Ithaca/London 1998