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Florus


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Name of three Latin authors, usually, but not unanimously, identified as the same man.(1) Lucius Annaeus (Iulius in Cod. Bamberg) Florus, Roman historian, author of the Epitome bellorum omnium annorum DCC (‘Abridgement of all the Wars over 1200 Years’); wrote no earlier than Antoninus Pius to judge from pref. 8 and 1. 5. 5–8. His work is an outline of Roman history with special reference to the wars waged up to the reign of Augustus, with the suggestion that the latter had brought peace to the world. Some manuscripts describe it as an epitome of Livy; but it is sometimes at variance with Livy. The author also made use of Sallust, Julius Caesar, and in one passage (pref. 4–8) probably Seneca the Elder; and there are reminiscences of Virgil and Lucan. It is planned as a panegyric of the Roman people. ‘The tone is pious and ecstatic, condensed Livy’ (Syme, Tacitus 2. 503).(2) Publius Annius Florus, poet and rhetorician, author of the imperfectly preserved dialogue Vergilius orator an poeta (‘Was Virgil an Orator or Poet?’); born in Africa, he took part as a youth in the Capitoline Games under Domitian, afterwards residing at Tarraco. Of the dialogue only a fragment of the introduction remains. It was probably written about ad 122; its diction closely resembles that of the Epitome.(3) Annius Florus, poet-friend of Hadrian, whose risky lines on the emperor beginning ‘Ego nolo Caesar esse’ (‘I don't want to be a Caesar’) had the honour of a retort from him (SHA Hadr. 16. 3). Other fragments are preserved (Riese, Anth. Lat. 1. 1, nos. 87–9 and 245–52). They are not sufficient to enable judgement to be passed on the author's poetry and hardly justify the theory that the famous Pervigilium Veneris is his work.

(1) Lucius Annaeus (Iulius in Cod. Bamberg) Florus, Roman historian, author of the Epitome bellorum omnium annorum DCC (‘Abridgement of all the Wars over 1200 Years’); wrote no earlier than Antoninus Pius to judge from pref. 8 and 1. 5. 5–8. His work is an outline of Roman history with special reference to the wars waged up to the reign of Augustus, with the suggestion that the latter had brought peace to the world. Some manuscripts describe it as an epitome of Livy; but it is sometimes at variance with Livy. The author also made use of Sallust, Julius Caesar, and in one passage (pref. 4–8) probably Seneca the Elder; and there are reminiscences of Virgil and Lucan. It is planned as a panegyric of the Roman people. ‘The tone is pious and ecstatic, condensed Livy’ (Syme, Tacitus 2. 503).

(2) Publius Annius Florus, poet and rhetorician, author of the imperfectly preserved dialogue Vergilius orator an poeta (‘Was Virgil an Orator or Poet?’); born in Africa, he took part as a youth in the Capitoline Games under Domitian, afterwards residing at Tarraco. Of the dialogue only a fragment of the introduction remains. It was probably written about ad 122; its diction closely resembles that of the Epitome.

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Subjects: Classical Studies.


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