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Valeria Gens

One of the most ancient patrician houses at Rome. It was of Sabine origin, and the founder, Volesus or Volusus, is said to have settled at Rome with Titus Tatius. One of the descendants of this Volesus, P. Valerius, afterwards surnamed Publicola, 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 frequently 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 plebeians, and the laws which they proposed were the great charters of the liberties of the second order. (See Lex.) The Valeria gens was divided into various families under the Republic, the most important of which bore the name of Corvus, Flaccus, Messala, and Publicola.

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