Tag Archives: Ammianus Marcellus


“When the historians of the yet-unknown future ask of the end of the Empire, broad-ranging and all-powerful, that was Rome, they will uncover many theories and reasons, each put forward by writers sure of their inventions. 

Yet the most compelling narrative of disintegration must take into account the Roman beaters of hides, the precious keepers of Time, the heart of the body politic.  In the glorious past, the beaters of hides were prized for their regular rhythms, sure and unalterable, that they kept with their wooden beaters upon their hides.

Later generations, driven by an insatiable need for novelty, began to invent irregular rhythms, beaten on metal discs, the sacred hides used only for abrupt unpredictable percussive commentary, thus was the Empire lost to discord, internal strife, chaos, and the triumph of barbaric tribes.”

Ammianus Marcellinus trans. A.G. Godley, Oxon.

May your happiness increase.