The Ancient Library

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On this page: Aurelius – Aurelius Arcadius Char – Aurelius Augustinus – Aurelius Opilius – Aurelius Symmachus


poisoned L. Verus never seems to have obtained or deserved the slightest credit, we may perhaps by a close scrutiny detect a few weaknesses. The deep sorrow expressed upon the death of Faustina, and the eagerness with which he sought to heap ho­nours on the memory of a wicked woman and a faithless wife, who rivalled Messalina, in shameless and promiscuous profligacy, if sincere, betoken a degree of carelessness and blindness almost incre­dible ; if feigned, a strange combination of apathy and dissimulation. Nor can we altogether forgive his want of discernment or of resolution in not dis­covering or restraining the evil propensities of his son, whose education he is said to have conducted with the most zealous care. Making every allow­ance for the innate depravity of the youth, we can scarcely conceive that if he had-been trained with iudicious firmness, and his evil passions combated and controlled before they became fully developed, he would ever have proved such a prodigy of heart­less cruelty and brutal sensuality.

Our chief authorities for this period of history are the life of M. Aurelius by Capitolinus, a mass of ill-selected and badly arranged materials, and the 71st book of Dion Cassius, a collection of awk­wardly patched fragments. Some facts may be ex­tracted from the minor Roman historians, and from Aristeides (Orat. ix.), Herodian, Joannes Antio-chenus, and Zonaras.

The editio princeps of the Meditations was pub­lished by Xylander (Tigur. 1558, 8vo.), and re-published with improvements by the same scholar ten years afterwards. (Basil. 1568, 8vo,) The next in order was superintended by Merick Casau-bon (Lond. 1643, 8vo.), followed by the edition of Gataker (Cantab. 1652, 4to.), reprinted at London (1697) with additional notes from the French of And. Dacier, and his life of M. Aurelius translated into Latin by Stanhope. This last edition must, upon the whole, be still considered as the most useful and ample. A new recension of the text, accompanied by a commentary, was commenced by Schulz, at the beginning of the present century (Slesvic. 1802, 8vo.), but the work is still imper­fect, one volume only having appeared.


AURELIUS, a physician who must have lived in or before the second century after Christ, as one of his prescriptions is quoted by Galen, (De Com­pos. Mcdicam. sec. Loc. v. 5. vol. xii. p. 892.) He

There are numerous translations into most of the European languages. In English, the best, though indifferent, is that published at Glasgow in 1749 and 1764; in French9 that of Madame Dacier (Paris, 1691); in German, that of Schulz. (Sles- wick, 1799.) For further information with regard to the instructors of this emperor and his various literary compositions, see Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. v. p. 500. [W. R.J



is probably the same person who is mentioned in Cramer's Anecd. Gr. Paris, vol. i. p. 394. [W.A.G.J









AURELIUS SYMMACHUS.[SYMMACHus.] AURE'LIUS VICTOR. [victor.] AURE'OLUS. After the defeat and captivity of Valerian, the legions in the different provinces, while they agreed in scorning the feeble rule of Gallienus, could by no means unite their suffrages in favour of any one aspirant to the purple ; but each army hastened to bestow the title of Augustus up­on its favourite general. Hence arose within the short space of eight years (a. i>. 260—267) no less than nineteen usurpers in the various dependencies of Rome, whose contests threatened speedily to produce the complete dissolution of the empire. The biographies of these adventurers, most of whom were of very humble origin, have been compiled by Trebellius Pollio, who has collected the whole un­der the fanciful designation of the Thirty Tyrants,

But the analogy thus indicated will not bear exa­mination. No parallel can be established between those pretenders who sprung up suddenly in diverse quarters of the world, without concert or sympathy, each struggling to obtain supreme dominion for himself, and that cabal which united under Critias and Theramenes with the common purpose of crushing the liberties of Athens. Nor does even the number correspond, for the Augustan historian is obliged to press in women and children and many doubtful names, in order to complete his tale. Of the whole nineteen, one only, Odenathus the Palmyrene, in gratitude for his successful valour against Sapor, was recognised by Gallienus as a colleague. It has been remarked, that not one lived in peace or died a natural death.

Among the last of the number was Aureolus, a Dacian by birth, by occupation originally a shepherd. His merits as a soldier were discovered by Valerian, who gave him high military rank; and he subse­quently did good service in the wars waged against Ingenuus, Macrianus, and Postumus. He was at length induced to revolt, was proclaimed emperor by the legions of Illyria in the year 267, and made him­self master of Northern Italy. Gallienus, having been recalled by this alarm from a campaign against the Goths, encountered and defeated his rebellious general, and shut him up in Milan; but, while prosecuting the siege with vigour, was assassinated. This catastrophe, however, did not long delay the fate of the usurper, who was the nearest enemy and consequently the first object of attack to his rival, the new emperor Claudius. Their preten­sions were decided by a battle fought between Milan and Bergamo, in which Aureolus was slain; and the modern town of Pontirolo is said to repre­sent under a corrupt form the name of the bridge (Pons Aureoh') thrown over the Adda at the spot where the victory was won. The records preserved of this period are full of confusion and contradic-

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