Gavin A.J. Kelly F'13

Gavin A.J. Kelly
Associate Professor
Classics
University of Edinburgh

ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships 2013
Associate Professor
Classics
University of Edinburgh
A Landmark Ammianus Marcellinus
(with Michael Kulikowski, Pennsylvania State University)

The Landmark Ammianus project is the first faithful modern translation of the neglected fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus. Ammianus, a native Greek speaker who wrote in Latin, remains painfully inaccessible because his Latinity is difficult and his manuscript transmission is both tenuous and corrupt. Based on the standard critical edition of the text by Wolfgang Seyfarth, the translation is corrected from new textual research by the translator, Gavin Kelly, preparatory to his future work on a revised critical edition. With an author as complex as Ammianus, however, a good translation is not in itself sufficient to render the text usable: the historical content is so varied, the technicalities of late Roman administration so numerous, and the geography so often obscure. The project, using the well-known Landmark format, includes full annotations, with short explanatory notes in the generous margins of the text and an array of explanatory appendices. A full introduction, to be prepared by Michael Kulikowski as editor-in-chief, sketches the history of the later Roman empire and then considers Ammianus as both man and author, while also treating the ways modern historians use Ammianus as a source, checking his evidence against that of other sources. The project also includes the development of an array of lavish maps, produced to the highest standard of modern cartography and located exactly where they illustrate a point in the text. The project is a true collaboration: each collaborator has considerable experience of Ammianus, Kelly in his first book and many articles, Kulikowski in a variety of publications on the fourth century. Kelly is an active translator, while Kulikowski has wide experience organizing collaborative grants and collective volumes, and, as an academic administrator, is able to supervise the recruitment of authors for many of the explanatory appendices that the project requires. More importantly, this collaboration between a philologist and a historian, each with considerable interdisciplinary experience, helps advance the individual research agendas of each collaborator, while simultaneously producing a scholarly and pedagogical tool of lasting value. Award period: September 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016