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Sextus Rufus


The name prefixed to an abridgment of Roman History, entitled Sexti Rufi Breviarium de Victoriis el Provinciis Populi Romani, executed by command of the emperor Valens, to whom it is dedicated. The prince had instructed the author to be brief (brevem fieri Clementia tua praecepit), and the injunction was most scrupulously obeyed, for the events of more than eleven hundred years, from the foundation of the city until the death of Jovianus, are compressed within the limits of twenty-eight short chapters, couched in plain and unpretending language. A more lofty exposition, however, of contemporary achievements is promised in the concluding sentence, " Quam magno deinceps ore tua, O princeps invicte, facta inclita sunt personanda ? quibus me, licet imparem dicendi nisu, et aevo gravior, praeparabo ;" but whether this project was ever carried into effect we have no means of discovering, since nothing is known with regard to the personal history of the writer.


The Breviarium was first printed by Sixtus Ruesinger at Rome, about 1470, and many editions appeared before the close of the fifteenth century. The text was established upon a satisfactory basis by Cuspinianus, who collated many MSS. and published it with annotations in his Commentaria de cousulibus Romanis, fol. Francf. 1601. Since that time it has generally been included in the larger editions of Eutropius, and of the minor Roman historians. A new recension, by Raffaello Mecenate. from the Vatican and other MSS., was published at Rome, 8vo. 1819.


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