Ammianus Marcellinus, History, Volume III

LCL 331: vi-vii

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Preface

In taking leave of Ammianus the translator does so with increased respect for the man and for his work. He is inclined, all things considered, to accept the opinion of E. Stein (Geschichte des Spätrömischen Reichs, i, p. 331) that he is the greatest literary genius that the world has seen between Tacitus and Dante. Stein adds that Ammianus is superior to Tacitus in his greater objectivity, and in a far wider historical horizon in the attention which he gives to the provinces; the latter feature is, of course, due to changed conditions in the time of the later historian. Those who challenge this high estimate must admit that Ammianus had lofty ideals of personal conduct and of historiography, and that he used every effort to prepare himself for his great task.

In this volume the deviations from Clark’s punctuation are somewhat more numerous than in its two predecessors; these, as well as the changes in orthography, are in great part due to the suggestions of the General Editors, rather than to any doubt of the importance of the punctuation by clausulae. It is natural to suppose that Clark’s punctuation would sometimes trouble, and perhaps mislead, the general reader, although it is noteworthy

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