The closing of Ammianus' Roman History (circa 378 AD), announces the end of an epoch, not in Roman history of course, but in the approach literary men espoused to celebrate the glories of the Eternal City. History would no longer be written according to the model set first by Herodotus and perfected in Thucydides; for their students Livy, Tacitus and Sallust--that golden-penned progeny of writers in whom historiography became distinctly Latin--passed the last laurel branch to Ammianus, who would be the final Roman historian to don the crown. In lieu of the artful traditional models, colorless chronicles immerged that were centered principally on ecclesiastical affairs, while paying minimal lip-service to the secular dimension of Roman life. The epistle and panegyric also became standard, not for the sake of history per se, but to celebrate the deeds of emperors, consuls and generals, or to discuss theological issues; the interest here was in current events, not in history. Authors like Gregory of Tours and the Venerable Bede in the West and Evagrius Scholasticus and Procopius in the East, would set the tone for histories for many centuries to come. With that said, this volume covers the years 365-378 AD, during the reigns of Valentinian, Valens, Gratian and Valentinian II. Volume three is particularly fascinating; in it Ammianus, as one might expect, delivers the regular detailed sketches of Romans engaged in warfare with Persians, Moors and Germanic hordes (as a general himself and eyewitness of the events he describes, Ammianus captures the scene of the battles and vividly memorializes them in his writings). But what makes this volume unique is the attention Ammianus pays to corruption and vice in the upper-stratum of the imperial administration. Ammianus commits many pages to expose the epidemic of immorality within the senatorial families of Rome; and he also divulges the lamentable deeds of Valentinian and Valens, whose witch-hunts and murders spawned universal fear and outrage. Also, the dreaded Huns appear on the stage of history for the first time in this volume; and finally, the genesis of the Gothic wars are treated here; and with the disastrous battle of Hadrianople, Ammianus' Roman History comes to an abrupt end. [For more, see the reviews that are posted for all the editions of Ammianus' History available.] As an appendix to this volume, two epitomes of Roman history are present, entitled the Anonymous Valesius. The first is a compendium on Constantine the Great and it catalogues his lineage and summarizes his exploits as Augustus; therefore it fits comfortably before the first volume of Ammianus' work which begins with the reign of Caesar Gallus (353 AD). The second epitome is a brief history on the reign of Theoderic the Ostrogoth, which picks up on Ammianus' work about one-hundred years later (474-526 AD). Readers may find an abridged edition (Penguin Press) which is very good: it is a fresh translation and the wealth of annotations will be very helpful. Yet the Loeb edition is recommended: the bi-lingual text, comprehensive introductory essay, copious footnotes and comments, all together make this complete three-volume edition the best available.