(Claudius Aelianus), born at Praeneste, was a Roman
author and teacher of rhetoric
who flourished under Septimius Severus
and probably outlived Elagabalus
(d. 222). He spoke Greek
so perfectly that he was called "honey-tongued" (meliglossos
); although he was a Roman, he preferred Greek authors, and wrote in Greek himself.
His chief works are:
- On the Nature of Animals, curious and interesting stories of animal life, frequently used to convey moral lessons (ed. Schneider, 1784; Jacobs, 1832);
- Various History—for the most part preserved only in an abridged form—consisting mainly of anecdotes of men and customs (ed. Lunemann, 1811).
Both works are valuable for the numerous excerpts from older writers.
Considerable fragments of two other works, On Providence
and Divine Manifestations
, are preserved in Suidas
; twenty Peasants' Letters, after the manner of Alciphron but inferior, are also attributed to him.
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please update as needed.