The author was probably a native of Alexandria (1.27); and it has been conjectured, from some peculiarities in the language, that Valerius was an African.
The work, as the title imports, is taken from the Greek of Aesopus, and the original must have been composed before the middle of the fourth century, and probably before the division of the empire, since the temple of Serapis which was destroyed in A. D. 389 by an edict of Theodosius, and the tomb of Alexander
which had been removed in the age of Chrysostom, are both spoken of as if standing in their original state (1.30, 3.57), while in describing the dimensions of the most famous cities (1.20) no notice is taken of Constantinople. We cannot determine with the same certainty a limit for the period when the translation was executed, but judging from the general tone of the Latinity it could not have been later than the beginning of the fifth century.
Angelo Mai printed in the seventh volume of his Classici Auctores e Vaticanis codicibus editi (8vo. Rom. 1835) from one Ambrosian and two Vatican MSS. an historical tract inscribed Julii Valerii viri clarissimi Res Gestae Alexandri Macedonis translatae ex Aesopo, Graeco,
and in his Spicilegium Romanum (8vo. Rom. 1842) he added some new matter obtained from a Turin MS
This piece, although published for the first time by Mai, was known to Vincent of Beauvais, to Saumaise, to Chittlet, and to many other critics.
It is by no means undeserving of attention; the style is lively and attractive, and, although many of the statements are evidently fabulous, much curious information may be gleaned from it with regard to the affairs of Egypt and especially of Alexandria.
See the prefatory remarks of Mai in his " Classici Auctores."