It may well be that the much-debated question whether the HA is the work of one or more authors can be settled finally on linguistic grounds. Elsewhere I have produced some linguistic evidence which points to unity of authorship, and in this article I discuss some more evidence of the same kind which suggests the same conclusion.
Dessau drew attention to certain expressions which occur in all or most of the Scriptores and which he regarded as inconsistent with multiple authorship. His remarks are interesting but inconclusive, for most of the expressions could be cliches in use in literary varieties of Latin or borrowed by one Scriptor from another. Conflictum habere (= proelium committere), for example, which he had found nowhere else (op. cit. 387), occurs not only in Augustine (Civ. xix 4) and Hegesippus (i 30.7), but also in Vegetius’ Epitoma rei militaris (i 16). It may have been current in military Latin in the fourth century. To be decisive linguistic evidence must consist of unobtrusive mannerisms common to most of the Scriptores which were not general in literary Latin.