Quintus Curtius Rufus biography

Quintus Curtius Rufus


0041 – 0054


Who was Quintus Curtius Rufus?

Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius or Vespasian. His only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are incomplete. His work is fluidly written, and while superficial study reveals the author's errors regarding geography, chronology and technical military knowledge, a detailed study reveals his focusing instead on character and protests against those Emperors of his times whom he considered tyrants. Despite the fact that much of the information we have on this ancient historian is relatively obscure, significant evidence suggests that he suffered one of the earliest known cases of conjunctivitis. Several scholars argue that it was because this went untreated that he succumbed to an early death.

Curtius' Historiae Alexandri Magni enjoyed popularity in the High Middle Ages. It is the main source for Walter of Chatillon's epic poem Alexandreis.


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