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Encyclopedia > Valerius Maximus

Valerius Maximus was a Latin writer and author of a collection of historical anecdotes. He flourished in the reign of Tiberius. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... For the city in Israel, see Tiberias. ...


Nothing is known of his personal history except that his family was poor and undistinguished, and that he owed everything to Sextus Pompeius (consul AD 14), proconsul of Asia, whom he accompanied to the East in 27. This Pompeius was a kind of minor Maecenas, and the centre of a literary circle to which Ovid belonged; he was also the intimate of the most literary prince of the imperial family, Germanicus. Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey, was a Roman general from the late Republic (1st century BC). ... For modern, semi-diplomatic or colonial consuls, see Consul (representative). ... Events First year of tianfeng era of the Chinese Xin Dynasty. ... Events The Emperor Tiberius retires to Capri, leaving the praetorian prefect Sejanus in charge of both Rome and the Empire. ... Gaius or Cilnius Maecenas (70 - 8 BC) was a confidant and political advisor to Augustus Caesar, as well as an important sponsor of young poets. ... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC â€“ Tomis, now Constanta AD 17) Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women, and mythological transformations. ... Bust of Germanicus in the Louvre Germanicus Julius Caesar Claudianus, possibly Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus before adoption (15 BC–AD October 10, 19) was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire. ...


The style of Valerius's writings seems to indicate that he was a professional rhetorician. In his preface he intimates that his work is intended as a commonplace book of historical anecdotes for use in the schools of rhetoric, where the pupils were trained in the art of embellishing speeches by references to history. According to the manuscripts, 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 vice, or some merit or demerit, which the stories in the section are intended to illustrate. Rhetoric (from Greek ρήτωρ, rhêtôr, orator) is the art or technique of persuasion, usually through the use of language. ...


Most of the tales are from Roman history, but each section has an appendix consisting of extracts from the 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 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 world, and in particular are morally superior to the Greeks.


The author's chief sources are Cicero, Livy, Sallust and Pompeius Trogus, especially the first two. Valerius's treatment ot his material is careless and unintelligent in the extreme; but in spite of his contusions, contradictions and anachronisms, the excerpts are apt illustrations, from the rhetorician's point of view, of the circumstance or quality they were intended to illustrate. And even on the historical side we owe something to Valerius. He often used sources now lost, and where he touches on his own time he affords us some glimpses of the much debated and very imperfectly recorded reign of Tiberius. Marcus Tullius Cicero (standard English pronunciation ; Classical Latin pronunciation ) (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was an orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin orator and prose stylist. ... A portrait of Titus Livius made long after his death. ... Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus) (86-34 BC), Roman historian, belonging to a well-known plebeian family, was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines. ... Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus, 1st century BC Roman historian, of the Celtic tribe of the Vocontii in Gallia Narbonensis, flourished during the age of Augustus, nearly contemporary with Livy. ...


His attitude towards the imperial household has often been misunderstood, and he has been represented as a mean flatterer of the same type with Martial. But, if the references to the imperial administration be carefully scanned, they will be seen to be extravagant neither in kind nor in number. Few will now grudge Tiberius, when his whole 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 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 Sejanus. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A bust of Julius Caesar. ... Caesar Augustus (Latin:Imperator Caesari Divi Filius Augustus) ¹ (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), known to modern historians as Octavian for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and one of the most important Roman Emperors, though he downplayed his own position by... Lucius Aelius Seianus (or Sejanus) (20 BC – October 18, 31 AD) was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of Tiberius, and for a time the most influential and feared citizen of Rome. ...


But it is as a 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 silver Latin would be much more imperfect than it is. In Valerius are presented to us, in a rude and palpable form, all the rhetorical tendencies of the age, unsobered by the sanity of Quintilian and unrefined by the taste and subtlety of Tacitus. Direct and simple statement is eschewed and novelty pursued at any price. The barrier between the diction of poetry and that of 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. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. ... Gaius Cornelius Tacitus Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (c. ...


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 manuscripts of Valerius a tenth book is given, which consists of the so-called 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 middle ages is attested by the large number of manuscripts in which it has been preserved. Like other schoolbooks it was epitomated. One complete epitome, probably of the 4th or 5th century, bearing the name of Julius Paris, has come down to us; also a portion of another by Januarius Nepotianus. Editions by C Halm (1865), C Kempf (1888), contain the epitomes of Paris and Nepotianus.


External link

This article incorporates text from the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication in the public domain. The Latin Library is a website that collects public domain Latin texts. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Valerius Maximus - LoveToKnow 1911 (704 words)
VALERIUS MAXIMUS, Latin writer, author of a collection of historical anecdotes, flourished in the reign of Tiberius.
The barrier between the diction of poetry and that of 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.
The collection of Valerius was much used for school purposes, and its popularity in the middle ages is attested by the large number of MSS.
Valerius (134 words)
Valerius was a Roman nomen of the gens Valerii, one of the oldest families of the city.
Decimus Valerius Asiaticus[?], consul in 35 and 46
Gaius Calpetanus Rantius Quirinalis Valerius Festus[?], suffect consul 71
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