History, rhetoric and the fictionalization of History: The King Pap of Armenia Episode (AM, Res gestae 27.12.9-30.1) 

Abstract: What we analyse in the king Pap of Armenia episode is how Ammianus darkens a complex political and religious background, by using a good rhetorical approach and a very varied narrative and dramatic register: a fictional plot, full of adventures, theatrical and dramatic, varied in its staging and striking and impressive in its details. The fictionalization of the account and the use of the rhetoric, aided by many contrasts, ominous prolepses, defined characterizations, theatrical re-enactments, and details (rather than facts) which converge to make a banal historical reality but one that is attractive for the reader, will mask a historical truth, but they serve the ultimate aim of the historian: the decadence of Rome was not only due to Adrianopolis, but to the loss of the moral values that made it great. In sum, a good example of fictionalized history.

Key Words: History, Rhetoric, Fictionalization of history; Drama, Ammianus; Pap of Armenia.


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