Ammianus Marcellinus was a Roman historian, born of Greek parents at Antioch in Syria, about 330. After serving in several campaigns in Gaul, Germany, and the East, he settled in Rome, devoted himself to literature, and was alive as late as 390. He wrote in Latin a history of the Roman Empire from 96 to 378 AD, in 31 books, of which only 18 books are extant, comprising the years 353 to 378. This part of the work, however, is the most valuable, as it treats of affairs with which the author was contemporary, and is one of the most important sources for the history of the Emperor Julian. The work may be regarded as a continuation of Tacitus, and though the portions remaining have many faults of style, they are valuable on account of the author's careful descriptions of countries and events from personal observation.