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5 XI (4.45 Warsaw time) Aleksander Paradziński (UW), Magnus of Carrhae, Ammianus Marcellinus and Sulpicius Alexander - the phenomenon of 'soldier historians' of the Later Roman Empire


The final separation of military and civil elites of the empire ushered in the Later Roman Empire created a societal landscape from which a new group of Late Antique literary audience and authors arose. They were professional military men, who were educated well enough to participate in and appreciate the literary culture of the traditional Roman elite, yet constituted now a clearly separate group within the widely defined imperial elite. In order to illustrate and discuss this phenomenon I am going to consider resemblances between Ammianus Marcellinus' work and the fragmentary preserved historical narrative of Sulpicius Alexander, known only through Gregory of Tours. Both Latin authors display interest in similar kinds of information. I intend to argue this fact stems from an affinity of perspectives, shaped by similar professional experiences and social background, as well as expected audiences. I am also going to explore the potential similarities between these two authors and another historian of a military background: Magnus of Carrhae, who composed his work in Greek.