The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

Ammianus and some tribuni scholarum palatinarum c. A.D. 53–364

David Woodsa1

a1 St Patrick′s College (NUI), Maynooth

The Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus is a major source of our knowledge of the late Roman army. However, although himself a former army officer, it was not the intention of Ammianus to explain the institutions and organization of the late Roman army to his readers. We learn about these only from the incidental pieces of information which are scattered throughout his text. It was not his intention either to present us with the regimental histories of any individual units, yet repeated references to the more prominent and prestigious units were inevitable in a history such as his. This was particularly true in the case of the scholae palatinae because of their role as the bodyguard units of the emperors. It is my intention here to draw together such information as Ammianus provides about the scholae in order to demonstrate how, in a number of cases in particular, it is possible to reconstruct an almost complete list of their commanders for the period c. 353–364