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Victor, Sex: Aurelius

A Latin author who flourished in the middle of the fourth century under the emperor Constantius and his successors. He was born of humble parents, but rose to distinction by his zeal in the cultivation of literature. Having attracted the attention of Julian when at Sirmium, he was appointed by him governor of one division of Pannonia (Amm. Marc. xxi. 10, 6). At a subsequent period he was made city prefect by Theodosius, and is perhaps the same as the Sex. Aurelius Victor who was consul with Valentinian in A.D. 373. The following works, which present in a condensed form a continuous record of Roman affairs from the fabulous ages down to the death of the emperor Theodosius, have all been ascribed to this writer; but evidence upon which the determination of authorship depends is slender, and in all probability the third alone belongs to the Sex. Aurelius Victor whom we have noticed above. (a) Origo Gentis Romanae, in twenty-three chapters, containing the annals of the Roman race, from Ianus and Saturnus down to the era of Romulus. It is probably a production of some of the later grammarians who were desirous of prefixing a suitable introduction to the series. (b) De Viris Illustribus Urbis Romae, in eighty-six chapters, commencing with the birth of Romulus and Remus, and concluding with the death of Cleopatra , a work of merit, though of unknown authorship. (c) De Caesaribus, in forty-two chapters, exhibiting short biographies of the emperors, from Augustus to Constantius. There is no reason to doubt that this was a genuine work of Aurelius Victor. He uses Suetonius to a great extent in the earlier Lives. (d) Epitome de Caesaribus, in forty-eight chapters, beginning with Augustus and concluding with Theodosius. There are editions of these four works by Arntzen (1733) and by Schröter (1831). The Origo is edited separately by Sepp (Munich, 1879), and the De Vir. Illustr. by Keil (Breslau, 1872).

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