L. Annaeus (in one MS. called Iulius),
a Latin historian, who was born, according to the common opinion, in Spain, but, as others
maintain, in Gaul, and who wrote in the reign of Trajan. He was still living in the time of
Hadrian, and is perhaps the same individual to whom, according to Spartianus, this emperor
addressed some sportive verses. Florus has left an abridgment of Roman History, entitled
Epitome de Gestis Romanorum
, divided into two (in some MSS. four) books. It
commences with the origin of Rome, and extends to a.u.c. 725, when
Augustus closed the Temple of Ianus, a ceremony which had not taken place for 206 years
previous. This work is based not merely upon Livy , but upon many earlier historians, no part
of whose works any longer remains. It is less a history than a eulogy of the Roman people,
written with elegance, but at the same time, in an oratorical style, and not without
affectation. Oftentimes facts are merely hinted at, and events are passed over with a
flourish of rhetoric; while the declamatory tone which everywhere prevails, and the concise
and sententious phrases in which Florus is fond of indulging, impart an air of formality to
his writings, and render them monotonous, and sometimes obscure. Florus likewise commits many
errors of a geographical nature, and on many occasions is defective in point of chronology.
His text has reached us in a very corrupt state, and abounds with interpolations. The epitome
was very popular in the Middle Ages. The best edition of Florus is that of Jahn
, revised by Halm (Leipzig, 1854)
. See Heyn, De
Floro Historico (Bonn, 1866)
; Bizos, Flori Hist.
etc. de Vero Nomine, Aetate, Scriptis (Paris,
; and on the style, Egen, De Floro Hist. Elocutionis Tacit.
Imitatore (Münster, 1882)
, and Thomé, De
Flori Elocutione (Frankenstein, 1881)
. Florus is possibly identical with the
author of a school theme on Vergil, of which the introduction has been preserved, and is
printed in Halm's edition of the epitome, and with the poet on whom Hadrian cracked the joke
preserved by Spartianus (Hadr.
16). This Florus, however, is called Publius in one MS. See E. Müller, De P. Annio
Floro Poeta (Berlin, 1855)
, and Eyssenhardt, Hadrian und
Florus (Berlin, 1882)
Iulius, a poet of the time of Horace (Epist.
Gessius or Cestius, a procurator of
Iudaea, A.D. 64-65, whose oppression was the chief cause of the Jewish revolt in 66 (Tacit.
Hist. v. 10