Aelian (ē`lēən), fl. 2d cent. A.D., Greek rhetorician, b. Praenesta; his original name was Claudius Aelianus. He taught rhetoric in Rome c.220. His works, all in Greek, include Historical Miscellanies, stories of supernatural occurrences throughout history; and On the Characteristics of Animals. Both of these are largely extant. He also wrote Peasant Letters, 20 fictitious letters from farmers from Attica.