Sextus Aurelius Victor seems to have written his Liber de Caesaribus (Book on the Emperors), a brief history of the Roman Empire, in 360–361. Victor mentions (§20) that he had humble beginnings: “born in the country, of a poor and uneducated father”. There are several clues in the work that indicate he was from North Africa. A contemporary of his, Ammianus Marcellinus, reports that, in 361, the emperor Julian:
… returned to Naissus [Niš, in Serbia] … There he made Victor, the writer of history, whom he had seen at Sirmium and had bidden to come from there, consular governor of Pannonia Secunda, and honoured him with a statue in bronze, a man who was a model of temperance, and long afterwards prefect of the City [i.e. Rome].Ammianus Marcellinus Res Gestae XXI, 10 (translation by John C. Rolfe)
The so-called Epitome de Caesaribus declares itself, in most extant manuscripts, to have been “abbreviated from the books of Sextus Aurelius Victor” (see above). The Epitome, however, includes material not found in the Liber de Caesaribus. It also extends some thirty-five years beyond Victor’s book – the final sentence mentions the burial of Theodosius I, which occurred on 8th November 395.[*] In the past, the Epitome has been attributed to Aurelius Victor himself, but it is now well established that it was composed by another, unknown, author (sometimes referred to as Pseudo-Aurelius Victor).