Eutropius (AD 363–387)

Eutropius was a Roman historian who wrote his Breviarium Ab Urbe Condita (Brief History of Rome from its Foundation) at the behest of Valens (emperor of the East, 364–378). The work was probably written between 364-378. The Breviarium is a ten-chapter compendium of Roman history from its foundation to the short reign of Jovian.

Life of Eutropius

Of Eutropius himself precious little is certainly known. He might have been born in Burdigala (Bordeaux) and was a man of medicine although other sources Eutropius refer to him as being ‘Italian’ and supposedly held estates in Asia. His name was Greek, which also makes it unlikely he came from Gaul.

He served under the emperor Julian (who, because of his rejection of Christianity, is known as Julian the Apostate) on his Persian campaign of 363 (where Julian was killed). He dedicated his Summary of Roman History to the Emperor Valens (364–378).