See also:historical anecdotes, flourished in the reign of Tiberius . Nothing is known of his
See also:history except that his
See also:family was poor and undistinguished, and that he owed everything to Sextus Pompeius (
See also:consul A.D . 14), proconsul of
See also:Asia, whom he accompanied to the East in 27 . This Pompeius was a kind of minor
See also:Maecenas, and the centre of a
See also:literary circle to which Ovid belonged; he was also the intimate of the most literary
See also:prince of the imperial family, Germanicus . The
See also:style of
See also:Valerius's writings seems to indicate that he was a professional rhetorician . In his preface he intimates that his
See also:work is in-tended as a
See also:book of historical anecdotes for use in the
See also:schools of rhetoric, where the pupils were trained in the
See also:art of embellishing speeches by references to history . According to the
See also:MSS., its title is . Nine Books of Memorable Deeds and Sayings . The stories are loosely and irregularly arranged, each book being divided into sections, and each section bearing as its title the topic, most commonly some virtue or
See also:vice, or some merit or demerit, which the stories in the section are intended to illustrate . Most of the tales are from
See also:Roman history, but each section has an appendix consisting of extracts from the
See also:annals of other peoples, principally the Greeks . The exposition exhibits strongly the two currents of feeling which are intermingled by almost every Roman writer of the empire—the feeling that the Romans of the writer's own
See also:day are degenerate creatures when confronted with their own republican predecessors, and the feeling that, however degenerate, the latter-day Romans still tower above the other peoples of the
See also:world, and in particular are morally
See also:superior to the Greeks . The author's chief
See also:sources are
See also:Livy, Sallust and Pompeius
See also:Trogus, especially the first two .
Valerius's treatment of his material is careless and unintelligent in the extreme; but in spite of his confusions, contradictions and anachronisms, the excerpts are
See also:apt illustrations, from the rhetorician's point of view, of the circumstance or quality they were intended to illustrate . And even on the historical sides we owe something to Valerius . He often used sources now lost, and where he touches on his own
See also:time he affords us some glimpses of the much debated and very imperfectly recorded reign of Tiberius . His attitude towards the imperial
See also:household has often been misunderstood, and he has been represented as a mean flatterer of the same type with
See also:Martial . But, if the references to the imperial administration be carefully scanned, they will be seen to he extravagant neither in kind nor in number . Few will now grudge Tiberius, when his whole
See also:action as a ruler is taken into account, such a title as salutaris princeps, which seemed to a former generation a specimen of shameless adulation . The few allusions to Caesar's murderers and to
See also:Augustus hardly pass beyond the conventional style of the writer's day . The only passage which can fairly be called fulsome is the violently rhetorical tirade against
See also:Sejanus . But it is as a
See also:chapter in the history of the Latin language that the work of Valerius chiefly deserves study . Without it our view of the transition from classical to
See also:silver Latin would be much more imperfect than it is . In Valerius are presented to us, in a
See also:rude and palpable
See also:form, all the rhetorical tendencies of the age, unsobered by the sanity of Quintilian and unrefined by the taste and subtlety of Tacitus .
See also:Direct and
See also:simple statement is eschewed and novelty pursued at any price .
The barrier between the diction of
See also:poetry and that of
See also:prose is broken down; the uses of words are strained; monstrous metaphors are invented; there are startling contrasts, dark innuendoes and highly coloured epithets; the most unnatural variations are played upon the artificial scale of grammatical and rhetorical figures of speech . It is an instructive lesson in the history of Latin to compare minutely a passage of Valerius with its counterpart in Cicero or Livy . In the MSS. of Valerius a tenth book is given, which consists of the so-called
See also:Liber de Praenominibus, the work of some grammarian of a much later date . The collection of Valerius was much used for school purposes, and its popularity in the
See also:middle ages is attested by the large number of MSS. in which it has been preserved . Like other schoolbooks it was epitomated . One
See also:complete epitome, probably of the 4th or 5th century, bearing the name of
See also:Paris, has come down to us; also a portion of another by
See also:Januarius Nepotianus .
See also:Editions by C .
See also:Halm (1865), C . Kempf (1888), contain the epitomes of Paris and Nepotianus .
VALERIC ACID, or VALERIANIC ACID
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