He was known as a writer of elegies and epigrams, and his contemporaries believed him capable of great things in epic. The author of the panegyric on Messalla declares Rufus to be the only poet fitted to be the great man's Homer.
Rufus did not, however, confine himself to poetry. He discussed grammatical questions by correspondence, translated the rhetorical manual of his teacher Apollodorus of Pergamon, and began a treatise on medicinal plants, dedicated to Augustus. Horace addressed to him the ninth ode of the second book.
- R. Weichert, Poetarum Latinorum Vitae et Carminum Reliquiae (1830)
- Robert Unger, De Valgii Rufi poematis (1848)
- Otto Ribbeck, Geschichte der romischen Dichtung (1889), ii.
- Martin Schanz, Geschichte der romischen Litteratur (1899), ii.
- Wilhelm Siegmund Teuffel, History of Roman Literature (Eng. trans., 1900), 241
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.