Opowieść o koniu, który ani piękny, ani duży, ale wytrzymały był (HA., Prob., 8)
A tale of a horse which, though not handsome or especially large, was reputed to be able to run one hundred miles in a day
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The present paper discusses a peculiar fragment in ”Historia Augusta” (v. Probi 8) concerning the gift of a horse to Probus from his soldiers. According to former scholars, it represents nothing else than a literary topos. Consequently, the passage has not been the object of much interest to contemporary historians. However, the author argues that, irrespectful of its authenticity, this anecdote may constitute a key to proper understanding of Probus’s image created in “Historia Augusta”. Thus, on one level of analysis, the story serves as a means of presenting an idealised image of the emperor. On the other hand, it may also be considered as an omen imperii.
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