Anonymus Valesianus

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Anonym[o]us Valesianus is the conventional title of a compilation of two fragmentary vulgar Latin chronicles, named for its 17th-century editor, Henri Valois, or Henricus Valesius (1603–76), who published the text for the first time in 1636, together with his first printed edition of the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus. The texts exist only in a single ninth-century manuscript in Berlin.[1] They are sometimes referred to as the Excerpta Valesiani.

Anonymus Valesianus I, sometimes given the separate conventional title Origo Constantini Imperatoris ("The Lineage of the Emperor Constantine") possibly dates from around 390, and is generally regarded as providing a reliable source.[2]

Anonymus Valesianus II, written after 526 and probably between 540 and 550,[3] bears the heading item ex libris Chronicorum inter cetera. The text, which mostly deals with the reign of the Gothic king in Italy, Theodoric the Great, "while poorly written is based on a no longer extant chronicle by the bishop of Ravenna, Maximianus, a highly erudite and knowledgable scholar".[4]

The work was used by Edward Gibbon as a major source for the Roman perspective on the Ostrogothic period in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.[5]


  1. ^ Codex Berolinensis 1885.
  2. ^ Samuel N. C. Lieu and Dominic Montserrat, eds. From Constantine to Julian: Pagan and Byzantine Views; a Source History (Routledge) 1996.
  3. ^ "The Anonymous Valesianus covered the period 474-526 essentially from a Catholic-exarchate point of view and was probably written near Ravenna ca. 540-550" (Thomas S. Burns, The Ostrogoths: kingship and society, 1980:66).
  4. ^ Geoffrey Nathan, "The fate of Romulus Augustulus", Classica et Mediaevalia: Revue Danoise de Philologie et d'Histoire 1993:268 note 23; the connection to Maximianus was made by Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders: The Ostrogothic invasion, 476-535. 1896:261.
  5. ^ T.S.Brown, "Gibbon, Hodgkin and the invaders of Italy", Edward Gibbon and Empire 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • James Noel Adams, The Text and Language of a Vulgar Latin Chronicle (Anonymus Valesianus II) (University of London), 1976;
  • Ingemar König, Aus der Zeit Theodorichs des Großen: Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar einer anonymen Quelle, Darmstadt 1997.
  • S.J.B. Barnish, "The Anonymus Valesianus II as a source for the last years of Theoderic", Latomus, 42 (1983:572-596).
  • Ingemar König (ed.), Anonymus Valesianus, Origo Constantini. Part I : Text und Kommentar, (Trierer Historische Förschungen) Trier 1987.
  • Ingemar König, Aus der Zeit Theodorics der grossen: Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar einer anonymen Quelle, Darmstadt, 1997.
  • Isabel Lasala Navarro, Pilar López Hernando, "Chronica Theodericiana, comentario, notas y traduccion", Habis, 40' (2009:251-275).