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M. Valerius Probus

1. M. Valerius Probus, of Berytus, who having served in the army, and having long applied without success for promotion, at length betook himself, in disgust, to literary pursuits. He belongs to the age of Nero, since he stands last in order in the catalogue of Suetonius, immediately after Q. Remmius Palaemon, who flourished in the reigns of Tiberius, Caius, and Claudius; this is fully confirmed by the notice of Jerome in the Eusebian chronicle under Olympiad CCIX, I. (A. D. 56-7): "Probus Berytius eruditissimus grammaticorumn Romae agnoscitur."


Chance led him to study the more ancient writers, and he occupied himself in illustrating (“emendare ac distinguere et adnotare curavit”) their works. He published a few trifling remarks on some matters of minute controversy (“nimis pauca et exigua de quibusdam minutis quaestiunculis edidit”), and left behind him a considerable body of observations (“silvam”) on the earlier forms of the language. Although not in the habit of giving regular instructions to pupils, he had some admirers (“sectatores”), of whom he would occasionally admit three or four to benefit by his lore. To this Probus we may, with considerable probability, assign those annotations on Terence, from which fragments are quoted in the Scholia on the dramatist.

Further Information

Sueton. de illus. Gramm. 24; Schopfen, de Terentio et Donato eius interprete, 8vo. Bonn, 1821, p. 31.)

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