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Do'natus, Tibe'rius Clau'dius


Life of Virgil

We find prefixed to all the more complete editions of Virgil a life of the poet, in twenty-five chapters, bearing the title," Tiberii Claudii Donati ad Tiberium Claudianum Maximum Donatianum filium de P. Virgilii Maronis Vita." Nothing whatsoever is known with regard to this Donatus; but it has been conjectured that some grammarian, who flourished about the commencement of the fifth century, may have drawn up a biography which formed the groundwork of the piece we now possess, but which, in its actual shape, exhibits a worthless farrago of childish anecdotes and frivolous fables, compounded by ignorant and unskilful hands. Indeed, scarcely two MSS. can be found in which it does not wear a different aspect, and the earlier editors seem to have moulded it into its present form, by collecting and combining these various and often heterogeneous materials.


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