Capella, Martianus (Felix) Mineus
FlourishedCarthage, (Tunisia), Fifth century
Martianus Capella was an author of late Antiquity about whose life little is known, and all conjectures about dates in which he lived have arisen from possible clues within his one known work. As a consequence, scholars disagree as to whether he worked in the early or latter end of the century. Some sources state that Capella was born in Madaura, a town 150 miles southwest of Carthage, and the home of Apuleius (of “Golden Ass” fame), but W. H. Stahl argues that there is no evidence for this. Capella tends to use legal terms and language, but Stahl states that a Roman legal expert suggests that a layman could have used such terms. In short, there is no consensus on Capella’s birth place, dates of birth and death, or his occupation.
Capella compiled what is often referred to as the “Satiricon” (or “Satyricon”), a kind of encyclopedia, which was widely...
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