1. L. Valerius
Potitus, consul B. C. 483 and 470, the founder of the family, was a relation of the celebrated P. Valerius Publicola; but it is a matter of dispute whether he was his brother or his nephew. Dionysius, it is true, calls him (8.77) his brother; 1
but it has been conjectured by Glareanus, Gelenius, and Sylburg, that we ought to read ἀδελφιδοῦς
instead of ἀδελφός ;
and this conjecture is confirmed by the fact that Dionysius elsewhere (8.87) speaks of him as the son of Marcus, whereas we know that the father of Publicola was Volusus. If Potitus was the son of Marcus, he was probably the son of the M. Valerius who was consul B. C. 505, four years after the kings were expelled, and who is described in the Fasti as M. Valerius Vol. f. Volusus. Moreover, seeing that Potitus was consul a second time B. C. 470, that is, thirty-nine years after the expulsion of the kings, it is much more likely that he should have been a nephew than a brother of the man who took such a prominent part in the events of that time. We may, therefore, conclude with tolerable certainty that he was the nephew of Publicola.
Potitus is first mentioned in B. C. 485, in which year he was one of the qwaestores parricidii,
and, in conjunction with his colleague, K. Fabius, impeached Sp. Cassius Viscellinus before the people. [VISCELLINUS.] (Liv. 2.41
; Dionys. A. R. 8.77
He was consul in B. C. 483, with M. Fabius Vibulanus (Liv. 2.42
; Dionys. A. R. 8.87
), and again in 470 with Ti. Aemilius Mamercus.
In the latter year he marched against the Aequi; and as the enemy would not meet him in the open field, he proceeded to attack their camp, but was prevented from doing so by the indications of the divine will. (Liv. 2.61
; Dionys. A. R. 9.51