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Marcus Valerius Probus

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Title: Marcus Valerius Probus  
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Subject: Editio princeps, Appendix Probi, Probus, 105 deaths, Poggio Bracciolini
Collection: 105 Deaths, 1St-Century Births, Grammarians of Latin, Silver Age Latin Writers
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Marcus Valerius Probus

Marcus Valerius Probus (c. 20/30 – 105 AD) of Berytus, was a Roman grammarian and critic, who flourished during Nero's reign.[1]

He was a student rather than a teacher, and devoted himself to the criticism and elucidation of the texts of classical authors (especially the most important Roman poets) by means of marginal notes or by signs, after the manner of the Georgics which goes under his name. We possess by him part of a treatise De notis, probably an excerpt from a larger work. It contains a list of abbreviations used in official and historical writings (especially proper names), in laws, legal pleadings and edicts.

The following works have been wrongly attributed to him.

  1. Catholica Probi, on the declension of nouns, the conjugation of verbs, and the rhythmic endings of sentences. This is now generally regarded as the work of the grammarian Marius Plotius Sacerdos (3rd century).
  2. Instituta artium, on the eight parts of speech, also called Ars vaticana from its having been found in a Vatican manuscript. As mention is made in it of the baths of Diocletian, it cannot be earlier than the 4th century. It is possibly by a later Probus, whose existence is, however, problematical.
  3. Appendix Probi, treating of the noun, the use of cases, rules of orthography (valuable in reference to the pronunciation of Latin at the time), and a table of Differentiae. As the author has evidently used the Institute, it also must be assigned to a late date.
  4. De nomine excerpta, a compilation from various grammatical works.

See J Steup, De Probis grammaticis (1871); W.S. Teuffel & Ludwig von Schwabe, A History of Roman Literature (Wilhelm Wagner trans., G.C.W. Warr ed., rev. ed. 1891) (1873), Vol. 2, p. 73, par. 295, available at [1].


  1. ^ "Probus, Marcus Aurelius". The Encyclopaedia Britannica 22. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1911. p. 408. 



External links

  • Corpus Grammaticorum Latinorum: complete texts and full bibliography
  • In Vergilii bucolica et georgica commentarius, accedunt scholiorum veronensium et aspri quaestionum vergilianarum fragmenta, Henricus Keil (ed.), Halis sumptibus Eduardi Anton, 1848.
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