Gaius Valerius Flaccus

Gaius Valerius Flaccus Setinus Balbus ( † before 90) was a Roman poet under the emperors Vespasian and Titus.


Appropriate grounds Valerius Flaccus was equated with a friend of Martial ( I. 61 76), who was a native of Padua, and lived in needy circumstances. Actually, however, he was a member of the Quindecimvirats, the charge of the Sibylline books (i. 5), will therefore have been more prosperous. A note in the Vatican manuscript, which gives him the nickname Setinus Balbus, suggests that it comes from Setia in Lazio. The only ancient writer who mentions him, Quintilian ( Instit. Orat. x. I. 90), who laments his recent death as a great loss, and since Quintilian text was completed by 90, thus a latest year of death for Flaccus had been given.

On his only known work, the dedicated Argonautica, Vespasian on the occasion of his departure to Britannia, he might have written during the siege or shortly after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70; the date of composition is controversial. Since the eruption of Vesuvius (79 ) is mentioned, the work must have him anyhow still busy at this time.


Valerius Flaccus wrote an epic entitled Argonautica, which is based on the eponymous work of Apollonius of Rhodes. It was left unfinished.

Editions and translations

  • Widu -Wolfgang Ehlers (ed.): Gai Valeri Flacci Setini Balbi Argonauticon libros octo, Stuttgart 1980.
  • C. Valerius Flaccus: Argonautica / The mission of the Argonauts. Latin / German, ed., Trans. and come. by Paul Dräger, Frankfurt (Main ) 2003.