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On this page: Vergilianus – Vergilius – Verginius – Verina – Vermina – Verres


generals of the latter in the war against Caesar in b. c. 52. He was defeated and taken prisoner in the great battle which was fought to relieve the siege of Alesia. (Caes. B. G. vii. 76,83, 88.)

VERGILIANUS. [virgilianus.]

VERGILIUS. [virgilius.]


VERINA, AE'LIA, the wife of Leo I, by whom she had a daughter Ariadne, married to Zeno. Leo left the kingdom to his grandson Leo II., the son of Ariadne and Zeno, who only lived a few months, and was succeeded by his father Zeno. The subsequent history of Verina is given under zeno.

VERMINA, the son of Syphax, king of the Massaesylians, the westernmost tribe of the Nu-midians, is first mentioned in B. c. 204, when he took the field with his father against their rival Masinissa, whom they defeated. After the defeat and capture of his father in the following year [syphax], Vermina continued faithful to the Carthaginians. He joined Hannibal soon after he landed in Africa, but he was not present at the battle of Zama, as he was probably engaged in collecting forces in his own dominions. He arrived very soon after the battle at the head of a con­siderable army, but was attacked by the Romans and defeated with great loss. Fifteen thousand of his men were slain and twelve hundred taken prisoners ; Vermina himself escaped with difficulty accompanied by only a few horsemen. He had now no alternative but submission. In B. c. 200 he sent an embassy to Rome, praying for forgive­ness, and begging that the senate would call him a king, an ally, and a friend. The senate replied that he must first sue for peace, and that they would send commissioners into his kingdom to dictate the terms on which it would be granted. When the commissioners arrived in Africa, they were received by Vermina with the greatest respect. A peace was concluded with him, the terms of which are not mentioned, but we know that the greater part of his hereditary dominions was be­stowed upon Masinissa. (Liv. xxix. 33 ; Appian, Pun. 33 ; Liv. xxx. 36, 40, xxxi. 11,19.) [ma­sinissa.]

VERRES, C. [CORNELIUS ?] 1. Was a Ro­man senator, who appears to have been connected by birth, adoption, or emancipation with the Cornelia gens. Cicero, whose anger Verres had incurred by interfering in his election for the aedileship b. c. 70, calls him a veteran briber and manager of votes. Verres took alarm at his son's reckless proceedings in Sicily, b. c. 73—71 ; and although he supplicated the senate in his behalf, despatched special messengers to Syracuse with » warnings to be more circumspect in future. The elder Verres had a share in his son's pillage of the Sicilians. (Verrin. i. 8, 9, ii. 1. 23, 39, 40 ; Pseud. Ascon. in Verrin.; in Q. Caecil. proem.)

2. Son of the preceding, was born about b. c. 112. It is remarkable that the gentile name of the Verres family is nowhere mentioned. In more than one passage of the Verrine orations, Cicero seems on the point of giving their full appellation to the Verres, but always withholds it apparently as notorious. It was probably Cornelius, although there seems to have been some connection also with the Caecilii Metelli. (Verrin. ii. 2. 26, 56.) Sulla, on his return from Greece b. c. 83, created a numerous body of Cornelii by emancipating



slaves and filling up vacancies in the senate with aliens and freedmen (Appian, B.C. i. 100) ; and at the time of the younger Verres's praetorship Cornelius was the most ordinary surname at Rome. (Cic. Corn. p. 450, Orelli.) Now we know of no extraordinary increase of the Gens Caecilia at this period, while the augmentation of the Gens Cornelia is certain. (Comp. Appian, I. c. with Cic. Verrin. iii.-28, 49.) The connection of the Caecilii Metelli with Verres, if not assumed for a temporary purpose (ii. 2. 26, 56), may perhaps be thus ex­plained. If the elder Verres were originally a freedman or a kinsman of Sulla, and raised l>y him to senatorian rank, he would take in the one case or he would bear in the other the gentile name of Cornelius. That he was Sulla's kinsman is not al­together improbable, since that branch of the Gens Cornelia had fallen into decay (Plut. Sull. 1), and may have contained more than one cognomen. But Sulla's fourth wife was Caecilia Metella, daughter of L. Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus [No. 13], and through her Verres, when it suited him, may have claimed affinity with the Metelli. Verres may even have derived his relationship to this house or to the Cornelii from his mother's family, whom Cicero mentions with respect (ii. 1. 49). On the other hand, among Cicero's innumerable taunts, none directly reproaches Verres with a servile or even an obscure origin, although he men­tions many ignoble Cornelii, e. g. Artemidorus Cornelius, a physician and others ".jampridem im-probi, repente Cornelii" (ii. 1. 26, 27. 3. 28, 49, iv. 13. § 30). The elder Verres and his kinsman Q. Verres are described as veteran bribers and corrupters (i. 8. 9), but without allusion to servile or libertine birth. Verres itself too is a genuine Italian name, like Capra, Taurus, Ovinius, Suil-lius, and seems to have had its proper correlate in Scrofa (Varr. R. R. ii. 1). The question probably admits of no positive solution, and it is even pos­sible that as in the cases of Marius, Mummius, and Sertorius, who bore no family-name, the family of Verres may have borne no gentile name, (See Muretus, Var. Lect. iii. 8.)

The impeachment of Verres derives its import­ance from the cause rather than the criminal. We have no evidence to his character beyond the charges of his great antagonist, and even the de­fence of him which Hortensius published and Quintilian read (Inst. x. 1. § 23), referred to some other prosecution. To depict Verres in Cicero's colours would be to draw an anomalous monster, and to transcribe the greater portion of the im­peachment. It will be more consistent, therefore, with our purpose and our limits to refer generally to the Verrine orations for the catalogue of his crimes and the delineation of his character, espe­cially since the notorious licence of ancient invec­tive, and the circumstances under which Cicero spoke, render exaggeration certain, while we have no means of sifting or softening it. Individually Verres was a very ordinary person, with brutal in­stincts, manners, and associates, conspicuous in a demoralized age, and in an incurably corrupt class of men, — the provincial governors under the com­monwealth,—for his licentiousness, rapacity, and cruelty. Generically as the representative of that class Verres became an important personage, since upon the issue of his trial depended the senate's tenure of the judicia, the prevalence of the oligarchy, and the very existence of the provincial and colonial

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