The Historia Augusta: Its Date and Purpose

Classical Quarterly 22 (3-4):166- (1928)
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My suggestion that the H.A. was written during the reign of the Emperor Julian and in his interest has had, on the whole, ‘a bad press.’ Reviewers who have not thought it necessary to support with argument their doubts or their rejection of the theory are in a strong position: they remain practically unassailable. ‘The theory seems on a priori grounds improbable:’ a historical student can only reply that so is human nature—distressingly improbable, as he knows to his cost. ‘After reading this book one puts it down “met een zekere onvoldaanheid:”’ what can an author do save express his regret for having caused Dr. Van de Weerd this discomfort? But two stalwart defenders of the conservative position—De Sanctis and Lécrivain’—have sustained with detailed argument their unqualified rejection of my theory; in their cases it is possible to attempt a rejoinder



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