a Roman virgin, who was one of the hostages given to Porsena with other maidens and boys, is said to have escaped from the Etruscan camp, and to have swum across the Tiber to Rome.
She was sent back by the Romans to Porsena, who was so struck with her gallant deed, that he not only set her at liberty, but allowed her to take with her a part of the hostages: she chose those who were under age, as they were most exposed to ill-treatment. Porsena also rewarded her with a horse adorned with splendid trappings, and the Roman people with the statue of a female on horseback, which was erected in the Sacred Way. Another tradition, of far less celebrity, related, that all the hostages were massacred by Tarquinius with the exception of Valeria, who swum over the Tiber and escaped to Rome, and that the equestrian statue was erected to her, and not to Cloelia. (Liv. 2.13
; Dionys. A. R. 5.33
; Plut. Poplic.
19, Illustr. Fem. s. vv. Valeria et Cloelia; Flor. 1.10
; V. Max. 3.2.2
; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. III.
13; Dio Cass. in Bekker's Anecd.
i. p. 133. 8; Plin. Nat. 34.6. s. 13
; Verg. A. 8.651
; Juv. 8.265