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PROBUS.

and Tiberian libraries, the public acts, the journals of the senate, together with the private diary of a certain Turdulus Gallicanus, he was enabled to compile a loose and ill-connected narrative. We mav refer also, but with much less confidence, to

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Zosimus, i. 64, &c., the concluding portion of the reign being lost; to Zonaras, xii. 29 ; Aurel. Vict. de Caes. xxxvii, Epit. xxxvii; Eutrop. ix. 11. [W. R.]

COIN OF PROBUS.

PROBUS, a name borne by several celebrated Roman grammarians, whom it is difficult to dis­tinguish from each other.

1. M. valerius probus, of Berytus, who having served in the army, and having long ap­plied without success for promotion, at length be­took himself, in disgust, to literary pursuits. He belonas to the age of Nero, since he stands last in order in the catalogue of Suetonius, immediately after Q. Remmius Palaemon, who flourished in the reigns of Tiberius, Caius, and Claudius; this is fully confirmed by the notice of Jerome in the Eusebian chronicle under Olympiad ccix. I. (a. d. 56—7): " Probus Berytius eruditissimus gramma-ticorurn Romae agrioscitur." Chance led him to study the more ancient writers, and he occupied himself in illustrating (emendare ac distinguere et adnotare curavit] their works. He published a few trifling remarks on some matters of minute controversy (nimis pauca et eodgua de quibusdam minutis quaestiunculis edidit), and left behind him a considerable body of observations (silvain) on the earlier forms of the language. Although not in the habit of giving regular instructions to pupils, he had some admirers (sectatores), of whom he would occasionally admit three or four to benefit by his lore. To this Probus we ma}-, with con­siderable probability, assign those annotations on Terence, from which fragments are quoted in the Scholia on the dramatist. (Sueton. de illus. Gramm. 24 ; Schopfen, de Terentio et Donato eius intcrprete^ 8vo. Bonn, 1821, p. 31.)

2. valerius probus, termed by Macrobius " Vir perfect!ssirnus," flourished some years before A. Gellius, and therefore about the beginning of the second century. He was the author of com­mentaries on Virgil, and possessed a copy of a portion at least of the Georgics, which had been corrected by the hand of the poet himself. These are the commentaries so frequently cited by Ser-vius ; but the Scholia in Bucolica et Georgica, now extant, under the name of Probus, belong to a much later period. (Gell. i. 15. § 18, iii. 1. § 5, ix. 9. § 12, 15, xiii. 20. § 1, xv. 30. § 5 ; Ma-crob. Sat. v. 22 ; Heyne, de antiq. Virgil, interpret. subjoined to his notices " De Virgilii editionibus.")

It must not be concealed, that many plausible reasons, founded upon the notices contained in the Noctes Atticae, may be adduced for believing that

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PROBUS.

the Valerius Probus of Gellius is one and the same person with the Probus Berytius of Suetonius and Hieronymus, for although Gellius. who speaks of having conversed with the pupils and friends of Valerius Probus, did not die before A. d. 180, it is by no means impossible, as far as we know to the contrary, that Probus Berytius might have lived on to the beginning of the second century, although the words of Martial (Ep. iii. 2, 12) cannot be admitted as evidence of the fact. This view has been adopted and ably supported by Jahn in the Prolegomena to his edition of Persius, 8vo. Lips. 1843 (p. cccxxxvi. &c.). The chief difficulty, how­ever, after all, arises from the chronology. Probus of Berytus is represented by Suetonius as having long sought the post of a centurion, and as having not applied himself to literature until he had lost all hopes of success ; hence he must have been well advanced in life before he commenced his studies,, and consequently, in all probability, must have been an old man in a. d. 57, when he was recog­nised at Rome as the most learned of grammarians. Moreover, a scholar who in the age of Nero under­took to illustrate Virgil, could scarcely with pro­priety have been represented as devoting himself to the ancient writers, who had fallen into neglect and almost into oblivion, for such is the meaning we should naturally attach to the words of Sueto­nius.

3. The life of Persius, commonly ascribed to Suetonius, is found in many of the best MSS. of the Satirist with the title Vita A, Persii Flacci de Commentario Probi Valerii sublata. Now since this biography bears evident marks of having been composed by some one who lived at a period not very distant from the events which he relates, we may fairly ascribe it to the commentator on Virgil.

4. The name of the ancient scholiast on Juvenal was, according to Valla, lay whom he was first pub­lished, Probus Grammaticus. (See In D. Junii Juv. Satt. Comment, vetusti post Pothoei Curas, ed. D. A. G. Cramer, 8vo. Hamb. 1823, p. 5.)

5. In the " Grammaticae Latinae auctores anti-qui," 4to. Hannov. 1605, p. 1386—1494, we find a work upon grammar, in two books, entitled M. Va­lerii Probi Grammaticae Institutions, with a preface in verse, addressed to a certain Coelestinus. The first book treats briefly of letters, syllables, the parts of speech and the principles of prosody. The second book, termed Catholica, comprises general rules for the declension of nouns and verbs, with a few remarks on the arrangement of words and ex­amples of the different species of metrical feet, cor­responding throughout so closely with the treatise of M. Claudius Sacerdos [see plotius marius], that it is evident that one of these writers must have copied from the other, or that both must have derived their materials from a common source. The text of this Probus has lately received important improvements from a collation of the Codex Bo-biensis, now at Vienna, and appears under its best form in the "Corpus Grammaticorum Latinoruni" of Lindemann, 4to. Lips. 1831, vol. i. pp. 39—148. The lines to Coelestinus are included in the AnthoL Lat. of Burmann, vol. i. addend, p. 739, or No. 205, ed. Meyer.

6. In the same collection by Putschius, p. 1496. —1541, is contained M. Valerii. Probi Grammatid de Notis JKomanorum Interpretandis Libellus, an explanation of the abbreviations employed in in­scriptions and writings of various kinds.

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