Festus (historian)

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Not to be confused with Postumius Rufius Festus Avienius.

Sextus Festus (/ˈfɛstəs/; also Festus, Rufus Festus, Ruffus Festus, Ruffus Sextus, Sextus; fl. 4th century AD) was a Late Roman historian (and proconsul of Africa) whose breviary (Breviarium rerum gestarum populi Romani "Summary of the history of Rome"; one source was the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte) was commissioned by the emperor Valens in preparation for war against Persia.

Festus is the author of the historical work known as Breviarium rerum gestarum populi Romani. It was completed about 379 AD.

The Breviarium covers the entire history of the Roman state from the foundation of the City until 369 AD. The book consists of 30 small parts, which is why events of Roman history are described very briefly. Festus is mainly focused on the political and (especially) military history of Rome.

Festus' Breviarium is estimated as a work of very low quality.[1]


  1. ^ Baldwin, B. (1991), "Festus", The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium 2, Oxford, p. 784 


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