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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Quintus Fabius Pictor

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The father of Roman history, was born about 254 B.C. He was the grandson of Gaius Fabius, who received the surname Pictor for his painting of the temple of Salus (302). He took an active part in the subjugation of the Gauls in the north of Italy (225), and after the battle of Cannae (216) was employed by the Romans to proceed to Delphi in order to consult the oracle of Apollo. He was the earliest prose writer of Roman history. His materials consisted of the Annales Maximi, Commentarii Consulares, and similar records; the chronicles of the great Roman families; and his own experiences in the Second Punic War. He is also said to have made much use of the Greek historian Diodes of Peparethus. His work, which was written in Greek, began with the arrival of Aeneas in Italy, and ended with the Hannibalic war. Although Polybius and Dionysius of Halicarnassus frequently find fault with him, the first uses him as his chief authority for the Second Punic War. A Latin version of the work was in existence in the time of Cicero, but it is doubtful whether it was by Fabius Pictor or by a later writer with whom he was confused - Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus (consul 142); or there may have been two annalists of the name of Fabius Pictor.

Fragments in H. Peter, Historicorum Romanorum Fragmenta (1883); see also Annalists and L1vY, and Teuffel-Schwabe, History of Roman Literature, § 116.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Quintus Fabius Pictor'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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