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Article

Edward Courtney

An Augustan poet, friend of *Virgil (Catal. 7, Ecl. 9. 35) and member with him, P. *Quinctilius Varus, and *Plotius Tucca of an Epicurean group (Probus, Vit. Verg.) referred to by *Philodemus. He was also a friend of *Maecenas, to whom he and Virgil introduced *Horace (Sat. 1. 5. 40, 6. 55, 10. 81). He wrote a hexameter poem De morte, probably intended on Epicurean lines (cf. epicurus) to free men from the fear of death. It was apparently written c.43 bce and contained uncomplimentary allusions to M. *Antonius(2); these and other passages were imitated by Virgil. Horace speaks of him as pre-eminent in *epic (Sat. 1. 10. 43) and suggests him as a panegyrist of M. *Vipsanius Agrippa (Carm. 1. 6), but no work of this type by him is known. His tragedy Thyestes, which was greatly admired, was commissioned by Augustus for his games of 29 bce in celebration of Actium and lavishly rewarded by him.

Article

vates  

Peta G. Fowler and Don P. Fowler

Vates, ‘prophet’, ‘seer’, used by *Ennius as an insulting term for his predecessors (Ann. fr. 207 Skutsch) became by the Augustan period a central term for the inspired poet with an assumed social role as ‘master of truth’ (first in Verg. Ecl. 7. 28, and esp. 9. 34) and generated a constant interplay between the roles of poet and prophet.

Article

Michael B. Charles

Vegetius Renatus was a Latin author writing in the Late Empire. He wrote the Epitoma rei militaris, which deals with ways to improve Rome’s flagging military prowess—including revival of the antiqua legio (“old-fashioned legion”) and reduction of reliance on barbarian mercenaries—and the Digesta artis mulomedicinae, which deals with animal husbandry and the care of horses in particular. Vegetius appears to have been a Christian and likely occupied a senior post in the Roman imperial bureaucracy. It is uncertain when Vegetius was active. Vegetius dedicated the Epitoma to an unnamed emperor. Traditionally, this has been assumed to have been Theodosius I (reign, 379–395 ce) because of presumably later manuscript dedications, but the context of the text arguably suits a fifth-century date better (especially one after 425 ce). Valentinian III (425–455 ce) or Theodosius II (408–450 ce) have emerged as the most likely candidates. Given that a certain Eutropius amended the manuscript of the Epitoma in 450 ce, it is clear that Vegetius must have written before that year.

Article

Velius Longus wrote a treatise on the language of republican authors, a commentary on the Aeneid, and an extant handbook on orthography (H. Keil, Gramm. Lat. 7. 48–81, cf. 154 f.). He cites *Varro and *Verrius Flaccus and is cited by (e.g.) *Gellius, *Iulius Romanus, and the scholiasts (see scholia) of *Virgil.

Article

Velleius Paterculus, Roman historical writer, provides details of himself in his work. Among his maternal ancestors were Minatus Magius of Aeclanum and Decius Magius of Capua (2. 16. 2–3); his paternal grandfather was C. Velleius, praefectus fabrum (see praefectus) to *Pompey, *Brutus, and Ti. *Claudius Nero, father of the emperor *Tiberius (2. 76. 1); the senator Capito, who helped to prosecute the Caesaricide *Cassius in 43 bce, was a paternal uncle (2. 69. 5). Velleius himself was born in (probably) 20 or 19 bce. Having begun his career as military tribune around the turn of the millennium (2. 101. 3), he joined the staff of C. *Iulius Caesar (3) in the east (2. 101–102. 1); later he became praefectus equitum (see praefectus), as his father had been, and spent ce 4–12 serving under the future emperor Tiberius in Germany (twice; see germania), *Pannonia, and *Dalmatia (2.

Article

An early Roman author, now lost, whose history *Cicero greatly regrets not to have at hand (Att. 12. 3. 1; cf. Leg 1. 6). He is cited by *Dionysius(7) of Halicarnassus, 4. 15.

Article

Stephen J. Harrison

Vergiliomastix, ‘the scourge of *Virgil’, a work or critic attacking Virgil cited twice by *Servius' commentary (on Ecl. 2. 23 and Aen. 5. 521), and therefore pre-dating it (before late 4th cent. ce). Such detractors of Virgil were common (Donatus, Vit. Verg.43–6); the name ‘Vergiliomastix’ may be linked with the similar ‘Aeneidomastix’ of one of these, Curvilius Pictor (Vit.

Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Vergilius Romanus, Latin author, contemporary with the younger *Pliny(2), who devotes Ep. 6. 21 to praise of him (otherwise unknown); he wrote mimiambi (for mimiambicf. iambic poetry, greek), palliatae (rated by Pliny the equal of those of *Plautus and *Terence), and—most unusually—a comedy modelled on (Greek) Old Comedy (see comedy (greek), old).

Article

M. Winterbottom

Rhetor and teacher of *Persius Flaccus. He wrote an ars rhetorica valued by *Quintilian (7. 4. 40). His popularity led to his exile by *Nero in ce 65 (Tac.Ann. 15. 71).

Article

R. A. Kaster

Marcus Verrius Flaccus, (c.55 bce?–c.ce 20?), a *freedman and innovative teacher who became tutor of *Augustus' grandsons (see iulius caesar (3), c. and iulius caesar (4), l.). He was, after *Varro, the most distinguished scholar of Rome, cultivating the joint study of language and antiquities characteristic of Latin scholarship since L. *Aelius. His (lost) minor works ranged from orthography and the language of M. *Porcius Cato(1) (De obscuris Catonis), to res Etruscae (Etruscan matters) and the Saturnalia (Saturnus; see saturnus, saturnalia), to ‘things worth remembering’ (res memoria dignae, a miscellany much used by the elder *Pliny(1)); he also compiled the Fasti Praenestini (Inscr. Ital. 13. 2: 107 ff.). The breadth of learning that marked such writings made his major work, De verborum significatu, the richest and most influential achievement of ancient Latin lexicography. Arranged alphabetically, with several books for each letter, the work treated rare and obsolete words, incorporating extracts from early authors and much other antiquarian material; it is known from the partially preserved epitome of Sex.

Article

Poem in 99 hexameters by Vespa, an itinerant rhetorician, in which baker and cook argue their respective merits before Vulcan. Metrical and other considerations suggest a late 3rd- or 4th-cent. date. Full of mythological learning, the poem, which parodies bucolic competition, is most notable for its humour, particularly its puns.

Article

R. A. Kaster

A friend of *Lucilius(1) and probably a *freedman, with whom the poet and grammarian *Valerius Cato read Lucilius' satires (Suet.Gram. 2).

Article

M. Winterbottom

Declaimer (perhaps C. Vibius Rufus Rufinus, *suffect consul 16 ce). L. *Annaeus Seneca(1), who quotes him frequently, records that he spoke ‘in the old way’ (Controv. 9. 2. 25).

Article

David Paniagua

Vibius Sequester is the author of the De fluminibus, fontibus, lacubus, nemoribus, paludibus, montibus, gentibus per litteras, a short repertoire of geographical names mentioned by Virgil, Silius, Lucan and Ovid. The text, written at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century ce for the author’s son, Vergilianus, was likely intended to be used at school as an instrument providing basic information about the collected toponyms and ethnonyms. Despite the occasional mistakes in the text, Sequester’s repertoire represent a fine instance of school culture in Western Late Antiquity. The work was much appreciated by Italian humanists, which explains that it was copied in nearly 50 recentiores manuscripts; all of them, however, descend from a second-half of the 9th century manuscript (Vat. Lat. 4929).Vibius Sequester was the author of a short alphabetic repertoire of geographical names mentioned in Latin poetry, probably compiled at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century .

Article

M. Winterbottom

Lucius Vinicius (*suffect consul 5 bce), a relation of P. *Vinicius and M. *Vinicius (see next two entries). *Augustus commented on his extempore pleading (Seneca. Controv. 2. 5. 20) and his association with *Iulia(2) at *Baiae (Suetonius. Aug. 64).

Article

M. Winterbottom

Publius Vinicius (consul ce 2), declaimer and orator, son of M. *Vinicius (above). An admirer of *Ovid, he was praised for his preciseness (Sen.Controv. 7. 5. 11, 10. 4. 25). He was proconsul (see pro consule) of Asia, and emerges under *Tiberius (Tac.

Article

Don P. Fowler and Peta G. Fowler

Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro (70–19 bce), Roman poet. The contemporary spelling of Virgil's name was with an e: the first occurrence with an i is on an honorific inscription to *Claudian in Greek (CIL 6. 1710 = ILS 1. 2949). Virgil is traditional in English, but the slightly historicizing Vergil is preferred by some modern critics. Virgil and his friends in any case punned on virgo, a virgin (G. 4. 564, perhaps 1. 430, *Donatus (1) 's ‘Life’ of Virgil 11). *Varius Rufus is said to have written on Virgil (Quint. 10. 3. 8) and there were other accounts by friends and acquaintances (cf. Gell. GelliusNA 17. 10. 2): the extant lives go back in part to *Suetonius , De poetis Much (but not all) of the information in them derives from interpretation of the poems (including the spurious ones in the *Appendix Vergiliana ), and few details, however circumstantial, can be regarded as certain.

Article

M. Winterbottom

Marcus Vitorius Marcellus, *suffect consul 105 ce, from Teate Marrucinorum (mod. Chieti), dedicatee both of *Quintilian'sInstitutio (intended as a manual for his son Geta and a son of Quintilian's own) and of *Statius' Silvae book 4 (see esp. the fourth poem, which reveals that he was a practising orator and alludes to his post as curator viae Latinae, official in charge of the *via Latina; see cura(tio), curator).

Article

Spanish literary friend and correspondent of the Younger *Pliny(2), who said his letters read as if the Muses were speaking in Latin (Ep. 2. 13), and tried to advance his career. His family came from *Saguntum, and he rose to high office in his province. (PIR2 L210.

Article

Christian James Fordyce and M. Winterbottom

Declaimer from *Pergamum and pupil of *Apollodorus (5). L. *Annaeus Seneca(1), who criticizes him for excessive use of figures (Controv.10 pref. 10), records (ibid. 2. 5. 13) that, after being convicted for poisoning in Rome, he taught at *Massalia (Marseille). He left his money in gratitude to that city (Tac. Ann.