William Smith.

A smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... online

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patrician houses at Rome, was of Sabine
origin, and their ancestor Yolesus or Yolusus
is said to have settled at Rome with Titu8
Tatius. One of the descendants of this Yole-
sus, P. Yalerius, afterwards sumamed Pub-
licola, plays a distinguished part in the story
of the expulsion of the kings, and was elected
consul in the first year of the republic, b.c.
509. From this time down to the latest
period of the empire, for nearly 1000
years, the name occurs more or less fre-
quently in the Fasti, and it was borne by
several of the emperors. The Valeria gens
enjoyed extraordinary honours and privileges
at Rome. In early times they were always
foremost in advocating the rights of the ple-
beians, and the laws which they proposed
were the great charters of the liberties of the
second order. (See Diet. o/Antiq., s. v. Leges
Valeriae.) The Valeria gens was divided
into various families imder the republic, the
most important of which bore the names of
CoKWs, Flaccus, Mkssaijl, and Publicola.

VALERliNUS (-i). (1) Roman emperor, a.d.
253 — 260. He was entrapped into a confer,
ence by the Persians, taken prisoner (260), and
passed the remainder of his life in captivity,
subjected to every insult which Oriental
cruelty could devise. — (2) Son of the preced-
ing, perished along with Gallienus at Milan
in 268. [Gallibnus.]

VALERIUS. [Valeria Gens.]

VALERIUS VOLUSUS MAXIMUS (-i), M.,
was a brother of P. Yalerius Publicola, and
was dictator in b.c. 494, when the dissensions
de Nexis between the burghers and common-
alty of Rome were at the highest. Valerius
was popular with the plebs, and induced them
to enlist for the Sabine and Aequian wars, by
promising that when the enemy was repulsed,
the condition of the debtors {nexi) should be
alleviated. He defeated and triumphed over
the Sabines ; but, unable to fulfil his promise
to the commons, resigned his dictatorship.

VALERIUS MAXIMUS (-i) is known to
us as the compiler of a large collection of his-
torical anecdotes, entitled De Factis Dictisqt(«
Memorabilibus lAbri IX. He lived in the
feign of the emperor Tiberius, to whom he
dedicated his work. In an historical point
of view the work is by no means without
value, since it preserves a record of many
curious events not to be found elsewhere ;
but its statements do not always deserve im-
plicit confidence.

VALERIUS FLACCUS. [Flaccus.]



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VARUS.



VAXGIUS RtJFUS (-1), C, a Roman poet,
and a contemporary of Virgil and Horace.

VANDALI, VANDALII, or VINDALII
(-orum), a confederacy of German peoples,
who dwelt originally on the N. coast of Ger-
many, but were afterwards settled N. of the
Marcomanni in the Riesengebirge, which are
hence called Vandalici Montes. They subse-
quently appear for a short time In Dacia and
Pannonia ; but at the beginning of the 5th
century {a.d. 409) they traversed Germany
and Gaul, and iuTaded Spain. In this coun.
try they subjugated the Alani, and founded a
powerful kingdom, the name of which is still
preserved in Andalusia (Vandalusia). In
A.I). 429 they crossed over into Africa, under
their king Genserio, and conquered all the
Roman dominions in that country. Oenseric
subsequently invaded Italy, and took and
plundered Rome in 455. The Vandals con-
tinued masters of Africa tiU 535, when their
kingdom was destroyed by Belisarius, and
annexed to the Byzantine empire.

VANGIONES (-um), a German people,
dwelling along the Rhine, in the neighbour-
hood of the modem Worms,

VARAGRI. [Vbragm.]

VARGUNTEIUS (4), a senatof, and one of
Catiline's conspirators, imdertook, in conjunc-
tion with C. Cornelius, to murder Cicero in
B.C. 63, but their plan was frustrated by in-
formation conveyed to Cicero through Fulvia.

VARIUS RCFUS (-i), L., one of the most
distinguished poets of the Augustan age, the
companion and friend of Virgil and Horace.
By the latter he is placed in the foremost rank
among the epic bards, and Quintilian has
pronounced that his tragedy of Thyestes might
stand a comparison with any production of
the Grecian stage.

VARRO (-onis), TERENTIUS. (1) C, con-
sul B.C. 216 with L. Aemilius Paulus. Of low
origin and ultra-democratic opinions, Varro,
notwithstanding the strong opposition of the
aristocracy, was raised to the consulship by
the people, to bring the war against Hannibal
to a close. His colleague was L. Aemilius
Paulus, one of the leaders of the aristocratical
party. The 2 consuls were defeated by Han-
nibal at the memorable battle of Cannae
[Haknibal], which was fought by Varro
against the advice of Paulus. The Roman
army was all but annihilated. Paulus and
almost all the officers perished. Varro was
one of the few who escaped and reached
Venusia in safety, with about 70 horsemen.
His conduct after the battle seems to have
been deserving of high praise. He proceeded
to Canusium, where the renmant of the Roman
army had taken refuge, and there adopted
every precaution which the exigencies of the



ease required. His conduct was appreciated
by the senate and the people, and his defeat
was forgotten in the services he had lately ren-
dered. — (2) M., the celebrated, writer, whose
vast and varied erudition in almost every de-
partment of literature earned for him the
title of the " most learned of the Romans,'*
was bom b.c. 116. Varro held a high naval
command in the wars against the pirates and
Mithridutes, and afterwards served as the
Icgatus of Pompeius in Spain in the civil war,
but was compelled to surrender his forces to
Caesar. 5e then passed over into Greece,
and shared the fortunes of the Pompeian party
till after the battle of Pharsalia, when he sued
for and obtained the forgiveness of Caesar,
who employed him in superintending the col-
lection and arrangement of the great library
designed for public use. His death took
place B.C. 28, when he was in his 89th year.
Varro composed no fewer than 490 books ;
but of these only 2 works have come down to
us, and one of them in a mutilated form, viz.,
the treatises De Be Rustica^ and De Lingvu
Latina. — (3) P., a Latin poet of considerable
celebrity, sumamed Atacixxjs, from the Ataa-^
a river of Gallia Narbonensis, his native pro-
vince, was bom b.c 82. Of his personal his-
tory nothing further is known.

VARUS, a cognomen in many Roman
gentes, signified a person who had his legs
bent inwards.

VARUS (-i) ALFENUS. (1) A Roman
jurist, the "Alfenusvafer'* of Horace, was
a native of Cremona, where he carried on
the trade of a barber or a cobbler. Having
come to Rome, he became a pupil of Servius
Sulpicius, attained the dignity of the consul-
ship, and was honoured with a public funeral.
— (2) A general of Vitellius, in the civil war
in A.D. 69.

VARUS (-i) QUINTILIUS, was consul b.c.
13, and was subsequently appointed to the
government of Syria, where he acquired
enormous wealth. Shortly after his return
from Syria he was made governor of Germany
(probably about A.n. 7), and was Instractedby
Aug^tus to introduce the Roman jurisdic-
tion into that newly conquered country.
The Germans, however, were not prepared
to submit thus tamely to the Roman yoke,
and foimd a leader in Arminius, a noble chief
of the Cherusci, who organised a general
revolt of all the German tribes between the
Visurgis and the Weser. When he had fully
matured his plans, he suddenly attacked
Varus, at the head of a countless host of
barbarians, as the Roman general was march-
ing with his 3 legions through a pass of the
Saltu* TeutoburgiensiSf a range of hills co-
vered with wood, which extends N. of the



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VELIA.



Llppe from Osnabrdck to Paderbom, and is
known in the present day by the name of the
Teutoburgerwald or Lippiacfae Wald. The
battle lasted S days, and ended with the
entire destruction of the Roman army. Varus
put an end to his own life. His defeat was
followed by the loss of all the Roman pos-
sessions between the Weser and the Rhine,
and the latter river again became the boun.
dary of the Roman dominions. When the
news of this defeat reached Rome, the whole
city was thrown into consternation; and
Augustus, who was both weak and aged,
gave way to the most violent grief, tearing
his garments and calling upon Varus to give
him back his legions.

VARUS (-1 : VoTf or Vara), a river in
Gallia Narbonensis, forming the boimdary
betjreen that province and Italy, rises in
Mt. Cema in the Alps, and falls into the Me-
diterranean Sea, between AntipoUs and
Nicaea.

VASCONES (-um), a powerful people on
the N. coast of Hispania Tarraconensis, be-
tween the Iberus and the Pyrenees, in the
modem Havai^e and Ouipttzco, Their chief
towns were Pompklon and Calagukkis.

vItINIUS (-i). (1) P., a poUtical adven-
turer in the last days of the republic, who is
described by Cicero as one of the greatest
ifcamps and villains that ever lived. Vati-
nius was quaestor b.g. 63, and tribune of
the plebs 59, when he sold his services to
Caesar, who was then consul along with
Bibulus. In 56 he appeared as a witness
against Milo and Sestius, two of Cicero's
friends, in consequence of which the orator
made a vehement attack upon the character
of Vatinius, in the speech which has come
down to us. Vatinius was praetor in 55, and
in the following year (54) he was accused by
C. Licinius Calvus of having gained the
praetorship by bribery. He was defended on
this occasion by Cicero, in order to please
Caesar, whom Cicero had offended by his
former attack upon Vatinius. During the
civil war Vatinius attached himself to the
fortunes of Caesar. — (2) Of Beneventum, one
of the vilest and most hateful creatures of
Nero's court, equally deformed in body and
in mind, and who, after being a shoemaker's
apprentice and a buffooQ, ended by becoming
a delator, or public informer.

VECTIS or VECTA {Isle of Wight), an
island off the S. coast of Britain.

VEDtUS POLLIO. [PoLLio.]

VEGETIUS (-i), FLAVIUS RENITUS,
the author of a treatise, Ret Militaris Insti-
ttitOy or Epitome £ei MilUmHs, dedicated to
the emperor Valentinian II.

Vfin (-orum : laola Famese), one of the



most ancient and powerful cities of Etruria,
situated on the river Crem^ra, about 12
miles from Rome. It was one of the 12
cities of the Etruscan Confederation, and
apparently the largest of all. As far as wo
can judge from its present remains, it was
about 7 miles in circumference, which agrees
with the statement of Dionyslus, that it was
equal in size to Athens. Its territory {Affer
Veiens) was extensive, and appears originally
to have extended on the S. and £. to the
Tiber ; on the 8. W. to the sea, embracing the
salinae or salt-works, at the mouth of the
river; and on the "W. to the territory o!
Caere. The Cimiuian forest appears to have
been its N.W. boundary ; on the E. it must
have embraced all the district S. of Soractc
and E.-ward to the Tiber. The cities ol
Capena and Fidenae were colonies of Veii.
The Veicntes were engaged in almost un-
ceasing hostilities with Rome for more than
3 centuries and a half, and we have records
of 14 distinct wars between the 2 peoples.
Veii was at length taken by the dictator
Camillus, after a siege which is said to have
lasted 10 years. From this time Veii was
abandoned ; but after the l^se of ages it was
colonised afresh by Augustus, and made a
Roman municipium. The new colony, how-
ever, occupied scarcely a 3rd of the ancient
city, and had again sunk into decay in the
reign of Hadrian.

VEIOVIS (-is), a Roman deity, whose
name is explained by some to mean " little
Jupiter;" while others interpret it "the
destructive Jupiter," and identify him with
Pluto. Originally Veiovis was probably an
Etruscan divinity, whose fearful lightnings
produced deafness, even before they were
actually hurled. His temple at Rome stood
between the Capitol and the Tarpeian rock.
He was represented as a youthful god armed
with arrows.

VElABRUM (-i), a district in Rome,
originally a morass, on the W. slope of the
Palatine, between the Vicus Tuscus and the
Forum Boarium.

VELAUNI, or VELLAVI (-orum), a
people in Gallia Aquitanica, in the modem
Felay, who were originally subject to the
Arvemi, but subsequently appear as an
independent people.

VELEDA (-ae), a prophetic virgin, who
by birth belonged to the Bructeri, and in the
reign of Vespasian was regarded as a divine
being by most of the nations in central
Germany.

VELIA or ELEA (-ae), also called
HYELE (-Ss : Castell* a Mare della Brucca),
a Greek town of Lucania, on the W. coast
between Paestum and Buxentum, was



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founded by the Phooaeans, who had aban-
doned their native city to escape from the
Persian sovereignty, about b.c. 548. It was
situated about 3 miles E. of the river Hales,
and possessed a good harbour. It is cele-
brated as thei)irthplace of the philosophers
Parmenides and Zeno, who founded a school
of philosophy usually known under the name
of the Eleatic.

VELlNUS (-i: Velino), a river in the
territory of the Sabines, rising in the central
Apennines, and falling into the Nar. This
riyer in the neighbourhood of Reate over-
flowed its banks, and formed several small
lakes, the largest of which was called Lacus
V'elinus {Pie di Lago^ also Logo delle Mar-
more). _

VELITRAE (-orum : Velletri), an ancient
town of the Volscians, in Latium, but subse-
quently belonging to the Latin League. It is
chiefly celebrated as the birthplace of the
emperor Augustus.

VELLAUNODtJNUM (-i : Beaune), a town
of the Senones, in Gallia Lugdunensis.

VELLAVI. [Velaun^.J

VELLEIUS PATERCtjLUS. [Pateecu-

LUS.]

VELL0CASSE8, a people in Gallia Lugdu-
nensis, N.W. of the Parisii, extending along
ihe Sequana as far as the ocean ; their chief
town was Ratomaotjs.

VENAFRUM (-i : VenafH), a town in the
N. of Samnixmi, near the river Vultumus,
and on the confines of Latium, celebrated for
the excellence of its olives.

VENEDI (-orum) or VENEDAE (-firum),
a people in European Sarmatia, dwelling on
the Baltic, E. of the Vistula. The Sinus
Venbdicus {Oulf of Biga)f and the Vknedici
MoNTES, a range of mountains between
Poland and East Prussia, were called after
this people.

VENETIA (-ae). (1) A district in the N.
of Italy, was originally included under the
general name of Gallia Cisalpina, but was
made by Augustus, the 10th Regio of Italy.
It was bounded on the W. by the river Athe-
sis, which separated it from Gallia Cisalpina ;
on the N. by the Camic Alps ; on the E. by
the river Timavus, which separated it from
I stria ; and on the S. by the Adriatic Gulf.
1 ts inhabitants, the Veneti, frequently called
IIkxkti by the Greeks, were not an Ita-
lian race, but their real origin is doubtful.
In consequence of their hostility to the
Celtic tribes in their neighbourhood, they
formed at an early period an alliance with
Rome ; and their country was defended
by the Romans against their dangerous
enemies. On the conquest of the Cisalpine
Caub. the Yeneti likewise became included



under the Roman dominions. The Veneti
continued to enjoy great prosperity down to
the time of the Marcomannic wars, in the
reign of the emperor Aurelius ; but from this
time their country was frequently devastated
by the barbarians who invaded Italy ; and at
length, in the 6th century, many of its in-
habitants, to escape the ravages of the Huns
under Attila, took refuge in the islands off
their coast, on which now stands the city of
Venice. The chief towns of Venetia in
ancient times were, Patavium, Altutdm, and
AaviLEiA. — (2) A district in the N.W. of
Gallia Lugdunensis, inhabited by the Veneti.
Off their coast was a group of islands called
Insxjlae Veneticae.

VENETUS LACUS. [Brioaktinus Lacus.]

VSnILIA (-ae), a nymph, daughter of
Pilunmus, sister of Amata, 'wife of king
Latinus, and mother of Tumus and Jutuma
by Daunus.

VENNONES (-um), a people of Rhaetia,
and according to Strabo the most savage of
the Rhaetian tribes, inhabiting the Alps near
the sources of the Athesis {Adige).

VENTA (-ae). (l) Beloabum ( Winchuter)^
the chief town of the Belgae in Britain. The
modern city still contains several Roman re-
mains. (2) ICENORUM. [ICENl.] (3) SlLXJ-

EUM {Caerwent)^ a town of the Silures in
Britain, in Monmouthshire.

VENTI (-6rum), the winds. They appear
personified, even in the Homeric poems, but
at the same time they are conceived as ordi-
nary phenomena of nature. The master and
ruler of all the winds is Aeolus, who re-
sides in the island Aeolia [Aeolus] ; but the
other gods also, especially Zeus (Jupiter),
exfercise a power over them. Homer men-
tions by name Boreas (N. wind), Eurus (E.
wind), Notus (8. wind), and Zephyrus (W.
wind). According to Hesiod, the beneficial
winds, Notus, Boreas, Argestes, and Zephyrus,
were the sons of Astraeus and Eos ; and the
destructive ones, such as Typhon, are said
to be the sons of Typhoeus. Later, especially
philosophical, writers endeavoured to define
the winds more accurately, according to their
places on the compass. Thus Aristotle, be.
sides the 4 principsd winds (Boreas or Aparc-
tias, Eurus, Notus, and Zephyrus), mentions
3, the Meses, Caicias, and Apeliotes, between
Boreas and Eurus ; between Eurus and Notus
he places the Phoenicias ; between Notus and
Zephyrus he has only the Lips ; and between
Zephyrus and Boreas he places the Argestes
(Olympias or Sciron) and the Thrascias. It
must further be observed that, according to
Aristotle, the Eurus is not due E. but S.E.
In the Museum Pio-Clementinum there exists
I a marble moi^ument upon which the winds

O Q



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VENUS.



are described "with their Greek and Latin
names, viz. Septentrio (Aparctias), Eurus
(Euros or S.E.)> and between these 2 Aquilo
(Boreas), Yulturnus (Caicias) and Solanus
(Apeliotes). Between Eurus and Notus
(Notos) there is only one, the Euro-Auster
(Euro-Notus) ; between Notus and Favonius



(Zephyrus) are marked Austro-Africus (Libo-
notus), and Africus (Lips) ; and between
Favonius and Septentrio we find Chms
(lapyx) and Circius (Thracius). The winds
were represented by poets and artists in va-
rious ways; the latter usually represented
them as beings with wings at their heads



VcDti, the Windi. (Bartoli, Vatican Virgil, p. 29.)



and shoulders. Black lambs were offered as
sacrifices to the destructive winds, and white
ones to favourable or good winds.

VENTIDIUS BASSUS (-i). P., a celebrated
Roman general, at first gained a poor living
by jobbing mules and carriages. Caesar,
however, saw his abilities, and employed him
in Gaul, and in the civil war. After Caesar's
death Ventidius sided with M. Antony, and
in 43 was made consul suffectus. In 89
Antony sent Ventidius into Asia, where he
defeated the Farthians and Labienus ; and in
the 2nd campaign gained a still more bril-
liant victory over the Parthians, who had
again invaded Syria. For these services he
obtained a triumph in 38.

VENUS (-6ris), the goddess of love among
the Romans. Before she was identified with
the Gveek Aphrodite, she was one of the least
important divinities in the religion of the
Romans ; but still her worship seems to
have been established at Rome at an early
time. Here she bore the surnames of Murtea,



or Mureia, from her fondness for the myrtle
tree {myrtus)^ and of Cloacitia and Qilva.
The etymology of the last two epithets is
variously given. That of Calva probably
refers to the fact that on her wedding day
the bride, either actually or symbolically,
cut off a lock of hair to sacrifice it to Venus.
In later times the worship of Venus became
much more extended, and her identification
with the Greek Aphrodite introduced various
■new attributes. . At the beginning of the
second Punic war, the worship of Venus
Erycina was introduced from Sicily. In the
year b.c. 114, on account of the general cor-
ruption, and especially among the Vestals, a
temple was built to Venus Verticordia (the
goddess who turns the human heart). After
the close of the Samnite war, Fabius Gurges
founded the worship of Venus Obsequens and
Postvorta ; Scipio Africanus the younger, that
of Venus Genitrix, in which he was after-
wards followed by Caesar, who added that of
Venus Victrix. The worship of Venus was



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VERTUMNUS.



promoted by Caesar, who traced his descent
from Aeneas, supposed to be the son of Mars
and Venus. The month of April, as the
beginning of spring, was thought to be pecu-
liarlj sacred to the goddess of love. Respect-
ing the Greek goddess see Aphrodite.

VENtJSLA (-ae : Fenosa)^ an ancient town
of Apulia, S. of the river Aufidus, and near
Mt. Vultur, situated in a romantic country,
and memorable as the birthplace of the poet
Horace.

VER5.GRI or VARAGRI (-orum), a people
in Gallia Belgica, on the Pennine Alps, near
the confluence of the Dranse and the Rhone.

VERB An US LACUS {Logo Maggiore), a
lake in Gallia Cisalpina, and the largest in
all Italy, being about 40 miles in length from
N. to S.: its greatest breadth is 8 miles.

VERCELLAE (-arum : VereelH)^ the chief
town of the Libici in Gallia Cisalpina.

VERCINGETORIX (-Igis), the celebrated
chieftain of the Arvemi, who carried on war
with great ability against Caesar in b.c. 62.
He was taken to Rome after the capture of
Alesia, where he adorned the triunlph of his
conqueror in 45, and was afterwards put to
death.

VERETUM (-1 : Alessano)^ more anciently
called Baris, a town in Calabria, on the road
from Leuca to Tarentum, and 600 stadia S.E.
of the latter city.

VERGELLUS (-i), a rivulet in Apulia, said
to have been choked by the dead bodies of the
Romans slain in the battle of Cannae.

VEROLAMIUM or VERULAMIUM (-i:
Old VenUamy near St. Albans), the chief
town of the Catuellani in Britain, probably
the residence of the king Cassivellaunus,
which was conquered by Caesar.

VEROMANDUI (-6rum), a people in Gallia
Belgica, between the Nervii and Suessiones,
in the modem Vermandois. Their chief town
was Augusta Veromanduorum {St. Quentin).

VErONA (-ae: Verona)^ an important
town in Gallia Cisalpina, on the river Athesis,
was originally the capital of the Euganei, but
subsequently belonged to the Cenomani. At
a still later time it was made a Roman colony,
with the surname Augusta; and under the
empire it was one of the largest and most
flourishing towns in the N. of Italy. It was
the birthplace of Catullus; and, according
to some accounts, of the elder Pliny. There
are still many Roman remains at Verona,
and among others an amphitheatre in a good
state of preservation.

VERRES (-is), C, was quaestor b.c. 82, to
Cn. Papirius Carbo, and therefore at that
period belonged to the Marian party ; but he
afterwards went over to Sulla. After being
legate and proquaestor of Dolabella in Cilicia,



Verres became praetor urbanus in 74, and
afterwards propraetor in Sicily, where he
remained nearly 3 years (73 — 71). The ex-
tortions and exactions of Verres in the island
have become notorious through the celebrated
orations of Cicero. His three years* rule
desolated the island more effectually than the
two recent Servile wars, or the old struggle
between Carthage and Rome for the posses-
sion of the island. As soon as he left Sicily,
the inhabitants resolved to bring him to
trial. They committed the prosecution to
Cicero, who had been Lilybaean quaestor in
Sicily in 75, and had promised his good
offices to the Sicilians whenever they might
demand them. Cicero heartily entered into
the cause of the Sicilians, and spared no
pains to secure a conviction of the great
criminal. Verres was defended by Horten-
sius, and was supported by the whole power
of the aristocracy. Hortensius endeavoured
to substitute Q. Caecilius Niger as prosecutor
instead of Cicero ; but the judges decided in
favour of the latter. The oration which
Cicero delivered on this occasion, was the
Jjwinatio in Q. Caecilium. Cicero was allowed
110 days to collect evidence, but, assisted by
his cousin Lucius, completed his researches
in 50. Hortensius now grasped at his last
chance of an acquittal — that of prolonging
the trial till the following year, Vhen he
himself would bo consul. Cicero therefore
abandoned all thought of eloquence or dis-
play, and merely introducing his case in the
flrst of the Verrine orations, rested all his
hopes of success on the weight of testimony
alone. Hortensius was quite imprepared
with counter-evidence, and after the first
day abandoned the cause of Verres. Before



Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 87 of 90)