EUTROPIUS, Roman historian, flourished in the latter half of the 4th century A.D. He held the office of secretary (magister memoriae) at Constantinople, accompanied Julian on his expedition against the Persians (363), and was alive during the reign of Valens (364-378), to whom he dedicates his history. This work (Breviarium historiae Romanae) is a complete compendium, in ten books, of Roman history from the foundation of the city to the accession of Valens. It was compiled with considerable care from the best accessible authorities, and is written generally with impartiality, and in a clear and simple style. Although the Latin in some instances differs from that of the purest models, the work was for a long time a favourite elementary school-book. Its independent value is small, but it sometimes fills a gap left by the more authoritative records. The Breviarium was enlarged and continued down to the time of Justinian by Paulus Diaconus (q.v.); the work of the latter was in turn enlarged by Landolfus Sagax (c.1000), and taken down to the time of the emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820) in the Historia Miscella.
Of the Greek translations by Capito Lycius and Paeanius, the version of the latter is extant in an almost complete state. The best edition of Eutropius is by H. Droysen (1879), containing the Greek version and the enlarged editions of Paulus Diaconus and Landolfus; smaller critical editions, C. Wagener (1884), F. Rühl (1887). J. Sorn's Der Sprachgebrauch des Historikers Eutropius (1892) contains a systematic account of the grammar and style of the author. There are numerous English school editions and translations.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)