Abridgement of Roman History/Dedication

To the Emperor Valens, Maximus Perpetuus, Augustus.[1]

According to the pleasure of your Clemency,[2] I have arranged in a brief narrative, in the order of time, such particulars in the history of Rome as seemed most worthy of notice, in transactions either of war or peace, from the foundation of the city to our own days; adding concisely, also, such matters as were remarkable in the lives of the emperors; that your Serenity's divine mind may rejoice to learn that it has followed the actions of illustrious men in governing the empire, before it became acquainted with them by reading.[3]


  1. The title stands thus: DOMINO VALENTI MAXIMO PERPETUO AUGUSTO. On the last two words Tzschucke has this note: "For Perpetuo Augusto Sextus Rufus" (who wrote a Breviarum de Victoriis et Provinciis Populi Romani, dedicated to Valens), "has in his dedication Semper Augusto. The Germans would say Allzeit Mehrer des Reichs. See Pütman De Titulo Semper Augustus, p. 60." Tzschucke, apparently, took perpetua as an adverb, equivalent to semper. But Cellarius and others consider it as an adjective. Cellarius cites, in comparison with it, from Gruter, Inscript. p. 285, n. 8, D. N. Valentiniano Perpetuo ac Felici Semper Augusto, and p 279, n. 4, Aeterno Imperatori Nostro Maxima Optimoque Principi Aurelio Valeriano Diocletiano; adding, also, that Theodosius is called perennis princeps in Reines. Class. Inscr. iii. 62. I have accordingly given Perpetua as an adjective. Sextus Rufus's dedication, too, as edited by Cellarius, Verheyk, and others, has Perpetuo Semper Augusto.
  2. Mansuetudinis tuae. Similarly, a few lines below, he says Tranquillitatis tuae mens divina, "your Serenity's divine mind." The use of such titles gradually became common in the lower age of Roman literature, commencing soon after the reign of Tiberius. They were the parents of our highness, majesty, excellency, &c.
  3. However Eutropius meant to flatter Valens, he could not assuredly have shown him better, than by addressing him thus, to be such as he is described by Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxix., subrusticus homo, and xxxi. 41, Subagrestis ingenu, nec liberalibus studiis eruditus.---- Vinetus. Some have doubted the genuineness of this dedication to Valens, because the Greek translator has not included it in his version; but the authority of manuscripts, and the resemblance of its style to that of Eutropius, have induced Cellarius, Verheyk, Tzschucke, and most other commentators, to believe it genuine.