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Valerius was the gentile name of the Roman gens Valeria , one of the oldest families in the city ( gentes maiores ). The name was in use throughout Roman history.


The ancient patrician family is said to have immigrated under King Titus Tatius . The name, derived from the old individual name Valesus / Valerus (variant created by Rhotazism ), was originally Valesios ; 312 BC The censor Appius Claudius introduced the new spelling Valerius . Since the name in antiquity (etymologically correct) was derived from valere ( Latin to be strong ), it was considered a good omen, especially in the military field. The literary tradition about the history of the family, which was probably heavily embellished by the annalist Valerius Antias , paints the picture of a - in contrast to the proverbial arrogance of the Claudians - "people-friendly" attitude of the first Valerians, for which the speaking epithet Poblicola and the introduction or Renewal of the laws on provocatio by Valerier here.

The palace of the Valerians lay on the Caelius until the late imperial period . The honorary right of a sella curulis in the Circus Maximus is attested , as well as a house and a burial place that was not used later on the Velia in Rome, which a family monument decorated with honorary inscriptions.

Branches of the gens

The family divided as early as the 5th century BC. In the Maximi and the Poplicolae . In the 3rd century BC The nickname Poplicola was replaced by Flaccus and Laevinus , Maximus by Messala . Since then, the most important branch has been the Flacci , which has provided six generations of consuls since C. Valerius Flaccus . The line of the messalae continued well into the 1st century.

Another consul, Lucius Aradius Valerius Proculus (340), was considered a descendant of the Republican Valerians.

The plebeian branches of the family were the Tappones and the Triarii .


Volusi and Potiti







The family also includes Valeria Messalina , the third wife of Emperor Claudius .

Web links

Commons : Valerier  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. For the complete list of Valerians in office during the Roman Republic, see T. Robert S. Broughton : The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic. Vol. 2: 99 BC-31 BC Case Western Reserve University Press, Cleveland 1952; Unchanged reprint 1968 (Philological Monographs. Ed. by the American Philological Association. Vol. 15, Part 2), pp. 628-632