HERODIAN'S, eight book, ‘History of the Empire after Marcus’, written in Greek, covers the period 180–238:
“... the events which, after the death of Marcus [Aurelius], I saw and heard in my lifetime – things of which I had personal experience in my imperial or civil service – these I have recorded.”
Book I Chapter 2
The only source of information on Herodian's life is the ‘History’ itself. He is widely pronounced to have been Syrian, but this is only an inference. He seems to have been a minor Roman civil servant. The ‘History’ is regarded as an unreliable source – there are errors of fact and chronology, and serious omissions. Nevertheless, Herodian was a contemporary of the events he describes and cannot be ignored. The general impression, though, is that he was quite happy to bend the facts to produce a better tale – indeed, a common criticism is that he was more of a novelist than a historian.
Translation by Edward C. Echols