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Flavus, A'lfius

a rhetorician who flourished in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius. His reputation attracted to his school the elder Seneca [SENECA], then recently come to Rome from Corduba. Flavus himself was a pupil of Cestius Pius [CESTIUS], whom he eclipsed both in practice and fame as a teacher of rhetoric. He was regarded at Rome as a youthful prodigy, and lectured before he had assumed the dress of manhood. His master, Cestius, said that his talents were too precocious to be permanent; and Seneca (Controv. i. p. 79. Bip.) remarks that Flavus always owed his renown in part to something beside his eloquence. At first his youth attracted wonder; afterwards his ease and carelessness. Yet he long retained a numerous school of hearers, although his talents were latterly spoiled by self-indulgence. Flavus united poetry and history or natural philosophy (Plin. Nat. 9.8.25, and Elench. ix. xii. xiv. xv.) to rhetoric. (Senec. Controv. i. vii. x. xiv; Schott, de Clar. ap. Senec. Rhet. i. p. 374.)

[W.B.D]

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