The Ammianus Marcellinus Electronic Project
Please note this e-document consists of 3 pages:   1 - 2 - 3

Constantius was a very suspicious man, who was always aware of possible attacks on his position, and his life. We have seen the hunt for political opponents, but he went as far as teaching his daughters to shave him and cut his hair, because he didn’t want anyone else to come near his throat with a knife (16.8.10).

Further, Ammianus blamed the people, who resided in the imperial household, and coveted and appropriated the property of condemned persons (16.8.11). In this same perspective one could see the allegations made by Ammianus on the eunuchs in Constantius’ household. Constantius was supposed to be heavily influenced by these eunuchs and his wives. Ammianus, for example, blamed the dismissal of Ursicinus on the eunuch Eusebius (14.6.17).

The Christian Constantius, like his father, Constantine, also was prominently present at synods. One of the few times the pagan Ammianus mentions Constantius in direct relationship with Christianity, is in the obituary: “The plain and simple religion of the Christians he [Constantius] obscured by a dotard’s (‘anili’, ‘of an old wife’) superstition, and by subtle and involved discussions about dogma, rather than by seriously trying to make them agree, he aroused many controversies…And since throngs of bishops hastened hither and thither on the public posthorses to the various synods, as they call them, while he sought to make the whole ritual conform to his will, he cut the sinews of the courier-service” (21.16.18). According to Ammianus, Christianity on the whole, and in particular of Constantius, was thus a threat to the wellbeing of the empire. It is mentioned last in the obituary, and it stimulates the impression that Ammianus saw Christianity as an important cause of Constantius’ incentives.

Bibliography

- Barnes, T.D, Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality, Ithaca 1998
- Blockley, R.C., Ammianus Marcellinus. A Study of his Historiography and Political Thought, Brussels 1975
- Cameron, Av., The Later Roman Empire AD 284-430, London 1993
- Crump, Gary A., Ammianus Marcellinus as a military historian, Historia Einzelschriften 27, Wiesbaden 1975
- Matthews, John, The Roman Empire of Ammianus, London 1989
- Rosen, K., Ammianus Marcellinus, Darmstadt 1982
- Teitler, H.C., Image and Reality, in: J. den Boeft, D. den Hengst, H.C. Teitler (eds.), Cognitio Gestorum. The historiographic art of Ammianus Marcellinus , Amsterdam 1992, pp
- Thompson, E.A., The Historical Work of Ammianus Marcellinus, Cambridge 1947 (repr. Groningen 1969)
- Whitby, Michael, “Images of Constantius,” in: Jan Willem Drijvers & David Hunt (eds.), The Late Roman World and its Historian. Interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus, London/New York 1999, 77-88

Please note this e-document consists of 3 pages:   1 - 2 - 3