is the third in order of the four great Roman satirists, being younger than Lucilius and Horace, older than Juvenal. The Eusebian chronicle supplies the date of his birth and of his death, but, with this exception, the whole of the knowledge we possess regarding his origin and personal history is derived exclusively from an ancient biography which in the greater number of the codices now extant is prefixed to his works.
By several modern scholars it has been ascribed, without a shadow of evidence or probability, to Suetonius, merely, it would seem, because he is the reputed author of the lives of Terence, Horace, Lucan, and Juvenal; in MSS. of a recent date it frequently bears the name of Annaeus Cornutus, but in the oldest and most valuable it is uniformly entitled Vita Auli Persii Flacci de Commentario Probi Valerii sublata.
Who this Probus may have been, whether M. Valerius Probus of Berytus, who flourished under Nero, or some other individual among the various Latin grammarians who bore that appellation [PROBUS, it is impossible to determine; but the information contained in the memoir is of such a minute and precise description, that we can scarcely doubt that the materials were derived front some pure source, and collected at a period not very remote front that to which thev refer.
The wvdeils de Commentaio Probi Viilerii sublaht
indicated, apparently, that it must be regarded as an extract from some longer piece, but what that piece may have been, and how or by whom the extract was made, are questions which do not now admit of solution.
A slight degree of confusion is perceptible in the arrangement of some of the details, which must, doubtless, be ascribed to the carelessness or interpolations of transcribers, and the concluding portion especially, from the words "Sed mox a schola" to the end. is evidently out of its proper place, or, rather, ought to be regarded as an addition by a latter liantd. Following, therefore, this sketch as our guide, we learn that