Epitome (excerpt)

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An epitome (from ancient Greek ἐπιτομή epitomé , German 'demolition' , 'excerpt', 'section'; Latinized epitoma ) is an excerpt from a more extensive work. In antiquity, among other things, the extensive historical works of Titus Livius and Pompeius Trogus were epitomized ( Livy epitome or Oxyrhynchos epitome , which is quite incomplete). In Trogus it is controversial to what extent the epitomes of Marcus Junianus Iustinus differ from the original that has not survived and were changed by Justinus. Recently, Iustinus has increasingly been viewed as an independent writer.

However, the content of a summarizing epitome should not simply be viewed as a correct reproduction of the original work, since the author of an epitome himself made a selection of text and thus rearranged the content. It is therefore only suitable to a very limited extent to draw precise conclusions about the views of the original author in the original work. Summarizing implies loss of information .

The epitome as a text summary is to be distinguished from brief historical works, which are also sometimes referred to as epitomes , such as the late antique Epitome de Caesaribus (see Breviarium ).



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Wiktionary: Epitome  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Cicero: ad Atticum 12.5.3
  2. See S. Müller: The image of the Parthians in Trogus-Justin. In: Josef Wiesehöfer , Sabine Müller (Ed.): Parthika. Greek and Roman Authors' Views of the Arsacid Empire. Wiesbaden 2017, p. 243.
  3. See Robert Suski: The Epitome - Passive Copying or a Creative Reinterpretation of the Abridged Text. In: Res Gestae 5, 2017, p. 33.