Ammianus Marcellinus was a fourth-century Roman historian, and the last pagan to write a history of Rome in Latin. Little is known of his life, except that he was probably born to a Greek-speaking family in Antioch, between 325 and 330 AD, and that he served as a soldier in the army of Constantius II in Gaul and Persia until he retired to Rome, where he wrote his history. His original work consisted of thirty-one books, covering the years 96 to 378 AD, however only the last eighteen books, from 353 to 378 AD, have survived. This glimpse of the Roman Empire, immediately before its collapse, has become extremely valuable as a clear, comprehensive, and generally impartial account of events of the Fourth Century. Marcellinus was extremely skilled in rhetoric, which is evident in his writing, and like most ancient historians, he displays a strong political and religious agenda at times.