There is no modern commentary on the whole of Valerius Maximus’ Facta et dicta memorabilia, though commentaries on books 1 and 2 have been published by, respectively, David Wardle (1998) and Andrea Themann-Steinke. Progress is likely to be made by further commentaries on individual books and John Briscoe contributes to this with a commentary on Book 8, of particular interest because of the variegated nature of its subject matter.
The commentary, like those of Briscoe’s commentaries on Livy Books 31-45 (OUP, 1973-2012), deals with matters of content, textual issues, language and style, and literary aspects. An ample introduction discusses what is known about the author, the time of writing, the structure both of the work as a whole and of Book 8 itself, Valerius’ sources, language and style, the transmission of the text, editions of Valerius, and the methods of citation used in the commentary. The commentary is preceded by a text of Book 8, a slightly revised version of that in Briscoe’s edition in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana (1998), with an apparatus limited to passages where the commentary discusses a textual problem.
The book will give readers an understanding of an author once very popular, then long neglected and now enjoying a revival.