Edizione di riferimento:
Iulii Exuperantii Opusculum, edidit N. Zorzetti, Leipzig 1982 (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana)
The short opusculum of Julius Exuperantius, probably to be dated to the 4th c. AD (Zorzetti), offers a very brief account of Rome’s history in the 1st c. BC; this focuses on the conflict between Marius and Sulla, with the final chapters (6-8) dedicated also to Lepidus and Sertorius. In the 19th c. the work was thought to be a compendium of Sallust’s Historiae, and attempts were consequently made to reconstruct the contents of the Historiae on the basis of the Opusculum. Even Galdi, at the start of the 20th c., deemed Exuperantius a “middling compiler” who “also drew here and there from Sallust’s other monographs” in summarizing the Historiae.
In fact, both the presence of many historical errors - among which the failure to note Marius’ death and the subsequent conflation of Marius senior and his son into a single person stand out - and linguistic analysis accompanied by precise textual comparisons have allowed Zorzetti to confirm that the chief sources of the opusculum cannot be identified in Sallust, but rather in epitomators of Livy. This is not meant to rule out the influence of Sallust on Exuperantius: the epitomator sometimes echoes his language and cites passages from his works, though this reveals in many cases that he has misunderstood their sense (Galdi). The language of the Opusculum, however, is not a simple attempt at imitating Sallust, but rather betrays the influence of later literature, in particular - as was mentioned - that of historians who condensed Livy’s work or were inspired by it. It employs a mixed style (Zorzetti) that ranges from elevated terms reminiscent of Sallust to lower tones that do not avoid expressions of later Latin. [S. Musso; tr. C. L. Caterine].