Note 040
From Chapter 20 of the Decline & Fall

Caecilius, de M. P. c. 44. It is certain that this historical declamation was composed and published while Licinius, sovereign of the East, still preserved the friendship of Constantine and of the Christians. Every reader of taste must perceive that the style is of a very different and inferior character to that of Lactantius; and such indeed is the judgment of Le Clerc and Lardner (Bibliotheque Ancienne et Moderne, tom. iii. p. 438; Credibility of the Gospel, etc., part ii. vol. vii. p. 94) Three arguments from the title of the book, and from the names of Donatus and Caecilius, are produced by the advocates for Lactantius (see the P. Lestocq, tom. ii. p. 46-60). Each of these proofs is singly weak and defective; but their concurrence has great weight. I have often fluctuated, and shall tamely follow the Colbert MS. in calling the author (whoever he was) Caecilius.

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