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On this page: Falconia Proba – Falcula – Falgo – Faliscus



what year is unknown. (Schol. Gronov. pro Leg. Man. 19. ed. Ocelli). [W. B. D.]

FALGO, Q. SO'SIUS, a Roman of high birth and great wealth, consul for the year a. d. 193, one of those whom Commodus had resolved to put to death that very night on which he himself was slain. When the Praetorians became disgusted with the reforms of Pertinax, they endeavoured to force the acceptance of the throne upon Falco, and actually proclaimed him emperor. The plot, how­ever, failed, and many of the ringleaders were put to death ; but Falco, whose guilt was by no means proved, and who was even believed by many to be entirely innocent, was spared, and, retiring to his property, died a natural death. (Dion Cass. Ixxii. 22, Ixxiii. 8 ; Capitolin. Pertin. 8.) [W. R.J

FALCONIA PROBA, a poetess, greatly ad­mired in the middle ages, but whose real name, and the place of whose nativity, are uncertain. We find her called Flatonia Veccia, Faltonia Anicia, Valeria Faltonia Proba, and Proba Valeria; while Rome, Orta, and sundry other cities, claim the honour of her birth. Most historians of Roman literature maintain that she was the noble Anicia Faltonia Proba, the wife of Olybrius Probijs, otherwise called Hermogenianus Olybrius, whose name appears in the Fasti as the colleague of Ausonius, a. d. 379 ; the mother of Olybrius and Probinus, whose joint consulate has been celebrated by Claudian ; and, according to Procopius, the traitress by whom the gates of Rome were thrown open to Alaric and his Goths. But there seems to be no evidence for this identification ; and we must fall back upon the testimony of Isidorus, with whose words, " Proba uxor Adelfii Proconsulis," our knowledge begins and ends, unless we attach weight to a notice found at the end of one of the MS. copies written in the tenth century, quoted by Montfaucon in his Diarium Italicum (p. 36), "Proba uxor Adolphi mater Olibrii et Aliepii cum Constantii bellum adversus Magnentium conscrip-sisset, conscripsit et hunc librum."

The only production of Falconia now extant is a Cento Virgilianus, inscribed to the Emperor Ho-norius, in terms which prove that the dedication must have been written after A. d. 393, containing narratives in hexameter verse of striking events in the Old and New Testament, expressed in lines, half lines, or shorter portions of lines derived ex­clusively from the poems of Virgil, which are com­pletely exhausted in the process. Of course no praise, except what is merited by idle industry and clever dulness, is due to this patch-work ; and.we cannot but marvel at the gentle terms employed by Boccacio and Henry Stephens in reference to such trash. We learn from the prooemium that she had published other pieces, of which one upon the civil wars is particularly specified, but of these no trace remains. The Homerocentones, by some ascribed to Falconia, belong in reality to Eu-doxia.

The Cento Virgilianus was first printed at Ve­nice, fol. 1472, in a volume containing also the Epigrams of Ausonius, the Consolatio ad Liviam, the pastorals of Calpurnius, together with some hymns and other poems ; this was followed, in the same century, by the editions published at Rome, 4 to. 1481 ; at Antwerp, 4to. 1489, and at Brixia, 8vo. 1496. The most elaborate are those of Mei-boinius, Helmst. 4to. 1597, and of Kromayer, Hal. Magd. 8vo. 1719. (See also the Eibliotheca Max.


Patrum, Lugdun. 1677, vol. v. p. 1218 ; Isidor. Grig. i. 38, 25, de Script. Eccles. 5.) [W. R.J

FALCULA, C. FIDICULA'NIUS, a Roman senator, was one of the judices at the trial of Sta-tius Albius Oppianicus, who in b. c. 74 was accused of attempting to poison his step-son, A. Cluentius. The history of this remarkable trial is given else­where [cl cjentius], Falcula was involved in the general indignation that attended the conviction of Oppianicus. The majority of judices who con­demned Oppianicus was very small. Falcula was accused by the tribune, L. Quintius, of having been illegally balloted into the concilium by C. Verres, at that time city praetor, for the express purpose of convicting Oppianicus, of voting out of his proper decuria, of giving sentence without hearing the evidence, of omitting to apply for an adjournment of the proceedings, and of receiving 40,000 sesterces as a bribe from the prosecutor, A. Cluentius.

He was, however, acquitted, since his trial did not take place until after the excitement that fol­ lowed the Judicium Aibianum had in some measure subsided. But eight years later, b. c. 66, Falcula was again brought to public notice by Cicero, in his defence of Cluentius. After recapitulating the circumstances of the Judicium Albianum, Cicero asks, if Falcula were innocent, who in the con­ cilium at Oppianicus's trial could be guilty? an equivocal plea that inferred without asserting the guilt of Falcula, in b. c. 74. In his defence of A. Caecina, in b. c. 69, Cicero ushers in the name of Falcula, a witness against the accused, with ironical pomp, and proceeds to point out gross inconsistencies in Falcula's evidence. Great un­ certainty is thrown over the history of Falcula by the circumstance that it suited Cicero, from whose speeches alone we know any thing of him, to re­ present at different times, in different lights, the Judicium Albianum. When Cicero was pleading against C. Verres, Oppianicus was unjustly con­ demned, and Falcula was an illegal corrupt judge; when he defended Cluentius, it was necessary to soften the details of the Albianum Judicium ; when he spoke for Caecina, it was his interest to direct public feeling against Falcula. (Cic. pro Cluent. 37, 41, pro Caecin. 10 ; Pseudo-Ascon. in Act. I. Verr. p. 146 ; Schol. Gronov. in Act. I. in Verr. p. 396. ed. Orelli.) [W. B. D.]

FALISCUS, GRA'TIUS, the author of a poem upon the chase, of whom only one undoubted notice is to be found in ancient writers. This is contained in the Epistles from Pontus (iv. 16, 33), where Ovid speaks of him as a contemporary in the same couplet with Virgil:—

" Tityrus antiquas et erat qui pasceret herbas, Aptaque venanti Gratius anna daret."

(Comp. Cyneget. 23.) Some lines in Manilius have been supposed to allude to Gratius, but the terms in which they are expressed (Astron. ii. 43) are too vague to warrant such a conclusion. Wernsdorf, arguing from the name, has endea­voured, not without some shadow of reason, to prove that he must have been a slave or a freed-man, but the rest of his conjectures are mere fan­tasies. The cognomen, or epithet, Faliscus, was first introduced by Barth, on the authority of a MS. which no one else ever saw, and probably originated in a forced and false interpretation of one of the lines in the poem, " At contra nostris

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