Florus

Florus, Roman historian, lived in the time of Trajan and Hadrian. He was born in Africa.

He compiled, chiefly from Livy, a brief sketch of the history of Rome from the foundation of the city to the closing of the temple of Janus by Augustus (25 BC). The work, which is called Epitome de T. Livio Bellorum omnium annorum DCC Libri duo, is written in a bombastic and rhetorical style — a panegyric of the greatness of Rome, the life of which is divided into the periods of infancy, youth and manhood. It is often wrong in geographical and chronological details. In spite of its faults, however, the book was much used as a handy epitome of Roman history, in the Middle Ages and survived as a textbook into the nineteenth century. In the manuscripts the writer is variously named as Julius Florus, Lucius Anneus Florus, or simply Annaeus Florus. From certain similarities of style, he has been identified as Publius Annius Florus, poet, rhetorician and friend of Hadrian, author of a dialogue on the question of whether Virgil was an orator or poet, of which the introduction has been preserved.

The most accessible modern text and translation are in the Loeb Classical Library (no. 231, published 1984, ISBN 0-674-99254-7).

Christopher Plantin, Antwerp, in 1567, published two Lucius Florus texts (two title pages) in one volume. The titles were roughly as follows: 1) L.IVLII Flori de Gestis Romanorum, Historiarum; 2) Commentarius I STADII L.IVLII Flori de Gestis Romanorum, Historiarum. The first title has 149 pages, the 2nd has 222 pages plus an index in a 12mo-size book.

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