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Diligence and accuracy are the only merits which a historical writer may ascribe to himself; if any merit can be assumed from the performance of an indispensable duty. I may therefore be allowed to say that I have carefully examined all the original materials that could illustrate the subject which I had undertaken to treat.
At present I shall content myself with a single observation. The Biographers, who, under the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine, composed, or rather compiled, the Lives of the Emperors, from Hadrian to the sons of Carus, are usually mentioned under the names of ^Elius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, JSlius Lampridius, Vulcatius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio, and Flavius Vopiscus. But there is so much perplexity in the titles of the MSS., and so many disputes have arisen among the critics (see Fabricius, Biblioth. Latin. 1. iii. c. 6) concerning their number, their names and their respective property, that for the most part I have quoted them, without distinction, under the general and well-known title of the Augustan History.