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Spartia'nus, Ae'lius

one of the six "Scriptores Historiae Augustae" (see Capitolinus).


Historiae Augustae

His name is prefixed to biographies of, Of these the first four are inscribed to Diocletian, the fifth to no one, the sixth to Constantine, and hence, the last two are believed by many to be from a different hand. He repeatedly informs us that he had composed the lives of all the emperors down to Hadrian, beginning, as we must infer from his words, with Julius Caesar, and that he intended to continue the work to his own time. The whole of the first portion of his labours has however perished, the collection which bears the title of the Augustan History commencing, as we have pointed out in a former article [Capitolinus], with Hadrianus, and it seems very doubtful if he ever completed his design, since Vopiscus (Aurelian. init.) expressly declares that he was acquainted with no work in the Latin language which contained an account of the career of Aurelian.

Problems of attribution and identity of Spartianus and Lampridius

We have already observed [Capitolinus] that there is much difficulty in assigning the pieces which form this series to their proper authors. Salmasius found in the Palatine MS. the whole from Hadrianus to Alexander Severus attributed to Spartianus, and those from the two Maximini to Balbinus under the name of Capitolinus, and hence was led to form the probable conjecture that Spartianus and Lampridius [LAMPRIDIUS] were one and the same person, whose name in full was Aelius Lampridius Spartianus.

Further Information

For the editions, translations, &c. of Spartianus see CAPITOLINUS.


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