Rufus Festus: Breviarium rerum gestarum populi Romani

(488 words)
  • Constance Sleeth (University of Otago)

The Breviarium Rerum Gestarum Populi Romani, or more simply the Breviarium, is a very brief history of the Roman world from the foundation of Rome to the events of the mid-fourth century A.D. This breviary was written by a certain Festus, a bureaucrat working in the employ of the Emperor Valens. There remains controversy over the identification of Festus, although most scholars are now inclined to identify him with one Festus of Tridentum, a proconsul of Asia who appears in the work of Ammianus Marcellinus (the most recent synopsis and discussion of Festus’ identity is Kelly 2010). Festus dedicated his Breviarium to both Valens and Valentinian I, but the work was written primarily with the Emperor Valens in mind, f…

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Sleeth, Constance. "Breviarium rerum gestarum populi Romani". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 September 2012
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]