Alan Cameron, "The Imperial Pontifex,"
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology
103 (2007) 341-384 (at 351-352):
Here we have a classic dilemma. When faced with an anecdote that cannot be true in the form in which we
have it, how far are we entitled to modify details to bring it into line
with the historical record, and when should we just dismiss it as historically worthless? For example, if a historical character attracts improbable anecdotes illustrating his extravagance, we may feel that we can
at any rate accept that he was extravagant; if an otherwise plausible
anecdote places him in the wrong place at the wrong time, we may feel
entitled to substitute a more appropriate time and place.