Diocletiano Augusto Aelius Spartianus suus sal.
I. In animo mihi est, Diocletiane Auguste, tot principum maxime, non solum eos qui principum locum in hac statione quam temperas retentarunt, ut usque ad divum Hadrianum feci, sed illos etiam qui vel Caesarum nomine appellati sunt nec principes aut Augusti fuerunt vel quolibet alio genere aut in famam aut in spem principatus venerunt, cognitioni numinis 2tui sternere. quorum praecipue de Helio Vero dicendum est, qui primus tantum Caesaris nomen accepit, adoptione Hadriani familiae principum adscitus.3et quoniam nimis pauca dicenda sunt, nec debet prologus inormior1 esse quam fabula, de ipso iam loquar.
II. Ceionius Commodus, qui et Helius Verus appellatus
To Diocletian Augustus, his devoted servant, Aelius Spartianus, greeting:
I. It is my purpose, Diocletian Augustus, greatest of a long line of rulers, to present to the knowledge of your Divine Majesty, not only those who have held as ruling emperors the high post which you maintain—I have done this as far as the Deified Hadrian—but also those who either have borne the name of Caesar, though never hailed emperors or Augusti, or have attained in some other fashion to the fame of the imperial power or the hope of gaining it. Among these I must tell first and foremost of Aelius Verus, who through his adoption by Hadrian became a member of the imperial family, and was the first to receive only the name of Caesar.1 Since I can tell but little of him, and the prologue should not be more extensive than the play, I shall now proceed to tell of the man himself.
II. The life of Ceionius Commodus, also called Aelius