Herodian

, a Greek historian, flourished at Rome from the reign of Commodus to the beginning of the reign of Gordian III. We know little of his life, except that he was engaged in many public employments. He is supposed to have died at Rome about the year 240. The history, which he has left us, is comprized in eight books;, at the beginning of the first of which he declares, that he will only write of the affairs of his own time, such as he had either known himself, or received information of from creditable persons. Like many historians who have related the events of their own times, Herodian forgets sometimes that he is writing for posterity, and omits the necessary dates j nor is he very correct as to matters of fact, and points of geography. His impartiality has been called in question by some critics, as far as respects his characters of Alexander Severus and Maximinian, but others seem inclined to defend him. His style is neat, perspicuous, and pleasing, and occasionally eloquent, particularly in the speeches he inserts. Herodian was translated into Latin by Angelus Politianus, and may therefore be read, according to professor Whear, either in Greek or Latin “for,” says he, “I don’t know which of the two deserves the greater praise Herodian, for writing so well in his own language, or Politian, for translating him so happily, as to make him appear like an original in a foreign one.” This, however, has more of compliment than of sober criticism, although it may be allowed that Politian has been uncommonly successful. Though we have considered Herodian hitherto as an historian only, yet Suidas informs us, that he wrote many other books, which have not been preserved from the ruins of time. The first edition of Herodian is among the “Res Gestae” of Xenophun, published by Aldus, 1503, folio; but the translation by Politian appeared first at Home in June 1493. folio, and again in September of that year at Bologna, a magnificent book, printed by Plato de Benedictis, and accurately described in the <c Bibliotheca Spenceriana." There was a third edition of Politian’s translation, at the same place and in the same year, in 4to, printed by Bazalerius de Bazaleriis. The best editions of Herodian in Greek are those of Louvaine, | 1525, 4to; Stephens, Paris, 1581, 4to Boeder, Strasburgh, 1644—62—72, 8vo; Ox-ford, 1678—99, 1704—8, 8vo; Ruddiman, Edinburgh, 1724, 8vo; Irsmich, Leipsic, 1789, 5 vols. 8vo, by far the most erudite and elaborate. All these have Politian’s translation. 1

1

Vossius de Hist. Grac. Fabric. Bibl. Grwc Blouut’s Caesura.