Relationes 10-12 of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus as an Elogium to Commemorate Vettius Agorius Praetextatus


  • Anna Mleczek Jagiellonian University, Kraków



Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, Roman political prose of the 4th century AD, relationes


Relationes 10−12 stand out from Q.A. Symmachus’ reports written to give an account of his activities at the position of the prefect of Rome (praefectus urbis Romae). These three relationes were written and sent by Symmachus to Roman emperors to inform them of the death of V.A. Praetextatus, who was a famous and influential Roman dignitary as well as Symmachus’ close friend. Rel. 10−12 are not only thematically related, but also – unlike the rest of the reports − clearly marked with personal and laudatory accents and thus their nature significantly differs from the formal documents sent to emperors from the chancellery of an imperial administrative dignitary. In this paper, we aim at presenting Rel. 10−12 as an elogium, in which in three separate reports Symmachus included a coherent eulogy of Praetextatus and presented his idealized portrait tinged with his own personal feelings, underpinned by the aspects of conservative ideology cultivated then within the circles of the Roman senatorial aristocracy.


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How to Cite

Mleczek, A. “Relationes 10-12 of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus As an Elogium to Commemorate Vettius Agorius Praetextatus”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 25, Dec. 2022, pp. 73-96, doi:10.12797/CC.25.2022.25.04.