A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. Q.ValeriusAntias, the Roman historian, was either a descendant of the preceding, or derived the surname of Antias from his being a native of Antium, as Pliny states. (H. N. Praef.) He was a contemporary of Quadrigarius, Sisenna, and Rutilius (Vell. 2.9), and lived in the former half of the first century before Christ. Krause, without mentioning his authority, states that Antias was praetor in A. U. C. 676. (B. C. 68.) He wrote the history of Rome from the earliest period, relating the stories of Amulius, Rhea Silvia and the like, down to the time of Sulla. The latter period must have been treated at much greater length than the earlier, since he spoke of the quaestorship of Ti. Gracchus (B. C. 137) as early as in the twelfth book (or according to some readings in the twenty-second), and the work extended to seventy-five books at least. (Gel. 7.9.)

Valerius Antias is frequently referred to by Livy, who speaks of him as the most lying of all the annalists, and seldom mentions his name without terms of reproach. (Comp. 3.5, 26.49, 36.38.) Gellius (6.8, 7.19) too mentions cases in which the statements of Antias are opposed to those of all other writers, and there can be little doubt that Livy's judgment is correct. Antias was in no difficulty about any of the particulars of the early history: he fabricated the most circumstantial narratives, and was particularly distinguished by his exaggerations in numbers. Plutarch seems to have drawn much of his early history from him, and Livy too appears to have derived many of his statements from the same source, though he was aware of the untrustworthiness of his authority. It is rather curious that Cicero never refers to Valerius Antias. (Comp. Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, i. pp. 237, 501, 525, &c., ii. p. 9, n. 570, iii. pp. 124, 358; Krause, Vitae et Fragm. vet. Historic. Latin. p. 266, &c.)