the compiler of a treatise entitled de Die Natali
, which treats of the generation of man, of his natal hour, of the influence of the stars and genii upon his career, and discusses the various methods employed for the division and calculation of time, together with sundry topics connected with astronomy, mathematics, geography, and music.
It affords much valuable information with regard to the various systems of ancient chronology, and is constantly referred to by those who have investigated these topics.
The book is dedicated to a certain Q. Cerellius, whom the writer addresses as his patron and benefactor (100.1), and was composed in the year A. D. 238, in the consulship of Ulpius and Pontianus (100.21). Censorinus terms Rome the "communis patria" of himself and Cerellius (100.16); and this fact, along with those detailed above, comprise the whole knowledge we possess with regard to the work and its author.
A fragment de Metris
and lost tracts de Accentibus
and de Geometria
are ascribed, but upon no sure evidence, to this same Censorinus. Carrio, in his edition published at Paris in 1583, divided the twenty-fourth chapter of the de Die Natali
into two parts, considering the latter half to be from a different hand, and to belong to an essay de Naturali Institutione.
The editio princeps of Censorinus is in 4to., without date, place, or printer's name, and contains also the Tabula of Cebes, Plutarch De Invidia et Odio, an oration of Basil upon the same subject and his epistle to Gregory of Nazianzus "de Vita Solitaria," all translated into Latin.
The second edition, printed at Bologna, fol. 1497, is combined with the Tabula
of Cebes, a dialogue of Lucian, the Enchiridion
of Epictetus, Plutarch and Basil De Invidia et Odio.
The first critical edition is that by Vinetus, Pictav. 4to. 1568, followed by those of Aldus Manutius, Venet. 8vo. 1581, and Carrio, Lutet. 8vo. 1583.
The most complete and valuable is that by Havercamp, Lug. Bat. 8vo. 1743.
The most recent edition is that of Gruber, Noremb. 8vo. 1805.