The identity of the author of the Epitoma de Tito Liuo and the correct form of his name are doubtful. The manuscript Palatinus 894 attributes the work to a Lucius Anneus Florus. Most editors (Rossbach 1896, Jal 1967, Giacone Deangeli 1969) consider this correct. The manuscript Bambergensis E III 22 gives his nomen gentile as Iulius, but does not give a praenomen; the editors mentioned above consider Iulius a corruption. Other scholars (including Forster 1929) argue that both these forms are incorrect, and that the author of the Epitoma is Publius Annius Florus, a personal friend of the emperor Hadrian, who also wrote works of poetry and a dialogue Vergilius orator an poeta. The dialogue itself is lost, but the introduction is extant, and contains a certain amount of information about its author. He was born in Africa, arrived in Rome a young boy, and left the city when Domitian did not award him with a prize at the Capitoline poetry contest. The poet Florus may have spent some time in Spain, working as a man of letters. He returned to Rome during the reign of Hadrian.
The Epitoma does not contain any piece of information that can help us to identify its author or to reconstruct his biography. The praefatio states that the work was written 'not much less than two hundred years' after the time of Caesar Augustus. The composition date varies significantly according to the chosen starting point, which can be either 27 BC (when Augustus' principate began) or 67 BC (his date of birth). In the first case, the Epitoma was composed under Marcus Aurelius (161-180); in the second case, the date would fall in the second part of Hadrian's reign (who was emperor in the period 117-138); this would work well if we identify the author of the Epitoma with Florus the poet, friend of Hadrian. [M. Naso; trad. L. Battezzato]