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Censorīnus


1.

One of the ephemeral Roman emperors who appeared in so great numbers under the reign of Gallienus, and are known in later Roman history as “the Thirty Tyrants” (q.v.). Censorinus had been distinguished in camps and in the Senate: he had been twice consul, twice praetorian prefect, three times prefect of Rome, and four times proconsul. After having passed through this honourable career, he retired to the country, being now advanced in years, and lame from a wound he had received in the war against the Persians during the reign of Valerian. It was under these circumstances that he was proclaimed emperor at Bologna, A.D. 270, in spite, as it would appear, of his own wishes; and by a species of pleasantry he was nicknamed Claudius, in allusion to his lameness (claudus, “lame”). The strict discipline, however, which he wished to introduce gave offence, and he was slain by the very soldiers who had raised him to the throne.


2.

A grammarian and philosopher, who flourished under Maximus and Gordianus, about A.D. 238. He wrote a small work entitled De Die Natali, which was so called because composed on occasion of the birthday of his wealthy friend Q. Cerellius (A.D. 238), and largely taken from the Pratum of Suetonius. It treats of the time of birth; of the influence of one's genius, as well as that of the stars, upon the birth-period of an individual; and embraces many other topics of a chronological, mathematical, and cosmographical character. The style of Censorinus is good, though not free from the blemishes natural to his time. We have also a fragment, De Metris, ascribed to the same writer. He composed also a work on accents, and another on geometry, but these last two have not reached us. The principal MSS. are the Codex Coloniensis (formerly Darmstadtiensis) of the seventh century, and one in the Vatican of the tenth ceutury. The first critical edition of Censorinus was that of Jahn (Berlin, 1845). A later one is that of Hultsch (Leipzig, 1867).


3.

C. Marcius. A Roman distinguished as having been the only one to be twice chosen censor (in B.C. 294 and again in 265).

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