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Durham e-Theses
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Beyond the Foreigner: representations of non-roman individuals and communities in latin historiography, from Sallust to Ammianus Marcellinus

Chlup, James Thomas (2004) Beyond the Foreigner: representations of non-roman individuals and communities in latin historiography, from Sallust to Ammianus Marcellinus. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



From the foundation of the city of Rome in 753 BCE to the capture of the same in 476 CE, the ancient Romans came into contact with a diverse range of peoples. The Romans did not want only to conquer these peoples and incorporate them into the empire, but also they displayed a genuine interest in learning about foreigners. Roman historical narrative demonstrates clearly this prevailing curiosity. This thesis examines the representations of foreign individuals and communities in five works: SaUust, helium lugurthinum; Livy, Ab Vrhe Condita 21-30; Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, Historiae Philippicae 11-12; Tacitus, Germania; Ammianus MarcelHnus, Res Gestae 23.6. These authors represent a broad range of types of history writing (monograph, AUG history, universal history), and they span most of die history of Rome as an empire (40s BCE to the late 300s CE). Moreover, these works represent a diverse range of geographic locations in that they include the three major parts of the world as understood by the Romans: Africa, Europe and Asia. Finally, they cover—or they exist within the context of—the full range of the Roman-Foreign experience: victory (Numidia, Carthage), defeat (Persia), and non- result (Germani).This thesis demonstrates that Roman historians employ a diverse range of presentations of non-Roman individuals and communities. Roman historians appear not to have been constrained by a narrow set of rules when it comes to writing non- Romans; rather, each author can be seen to be engaging in a wider Roman discourse on the foreigner. And this discourse extends beyond the Roman world and Roman historical writing: the historians of Rome can be seen as building upon, and responding to, the so-called father of history, Herodotus, whose own narrative established firmly that exploration of the foreigner is an important part of historical inquiry. Close analysis clearly demonstrates each presentation of a non-Roman character or community to be an intricate and fascinating construction, and understanding how the foreigner is conceptualised in the work is of critical importance. On the one hand, the presentation of foreigners fits into the historian’s overarching aims and objectives in his work; on the other hand, the representation of foreigners can dictate the ways in which the Roman history is narrated. Non-Romans both fit into and they provide direction for, Roman historical narrative. By studying the complexities of the presentation of non-Romans, therefore, this thesis enhances our understanding of the sophistication of Roman historical writing. Despite the continuing acknowledgement of the important role ethnography plays in writings of Herodotus and his Greek and Roman successors and imitators, there has not so far been a genre-wide detailed study of the ethnography in Greek or Roman historiography. This thesis, therefore, seeks to rectify partially this omission on the part of scholarship, and establish a foundation for future study of the non-Roman in Latin literature and Roman culture.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Jun 2012 15:20

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