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Symmăchus, Q. Aurelius

A distinguished scholar, statesman, and orator in the latter half of the fourth century of the Christian era, remarkable for his zeal in upholding the ancient pagan religion of Rome. He was educated in Gaul, and was proconsul of Africa in 373; and in 391 Theodosius raised him to the consulship. He died about 402. Of his works there are still extant ten books of epistles, three panegyrics on Valentinian I. and Gratian, a number of relationes or official reports of Symmachus as praefectus urbi to the emperor (A.D. 384-385), and fragments of six senatorial orations. These last were discovered in a palimpsest, part of which was in the Vatican Library and part at Milan (1815-1825). The complete works of Symmachus are edited by Seeck (Berlin, 1884). See the Étude by Morin (Paris, 1847).

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