Eutropius in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

A Latin historian of the fourth century. He bore arms under Julian in his expedition against the Parthians, as he himself informs us (x. 16), and is thought to have risen to senatorial rank. Suidas makes him of Italian origin, while some modern writers, on the other hand, advance the hypothesis that he was a native of Gaul, and was perhaps identical with the Eutropius to whom some of the letters of Symmachus are addressed. The manuscripts give him the title of Vir Cl., which may stand for either Vir Clarissimus or Vir Consularis, but which in either sense indicates an advancement to some of the highest offices in the State. He wrote several works, of which the only one remaining is an abridgment of Roman history (Breviarium ab Urbe Condita), in ten books. It is a brief and dry outline, without either elegance or ornament, yet containing certain facts which are nowhere else mentioned. The work commences with the foundation of the city, and is carried on to the death of Jovian, A.D. 364. At the close of this work Eutropius announces his intention of continuing the narrative in a more elevated style, inasmuch as he will have to treat of great personages still living. It does not appear that he ever carried this plan into execution. The best editions are those of Grosse (Halle, 1813), Hartel (Berlin, 1872), and of Droysen (Berlin, 1878). There is a lexicon to Eutropius by Eichert (Breslau, 1850). On his style see Sorn, Die Sprachgebrauch des Eutropius, pt. i. (Halle in Austria, 1888), pt. ii. (Laibach, 1889). The Breviarium was translated into Greek by one Paeanius, whose version is still in great part extant, and is edited in Droysen's edition of Eutropius. See Duncker, De Paeanio Eutropii Interprete (Greiffenberg, 1880).

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