of Proper Names mentioned in the Introduction, Text and Note.,
Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, AD 471–489. He was probably the author of the Emperor Zeno’s Henoticon, a theological formula intended to bring about union between the orthodox and the Monophysites. The formula was not accepted in Rome and led to a temporary schism (482-519) between East and West known as the Acacian schism.
Achelous, name of a river in Greece and of its god; see note p. 115.
Aemilius Paulus, see Paulus.
Agamemnon, mythological son of Atreus and in Homer commander-m-chief of the Greek expedition to Troy. See note p. 113.
Agrippina, known as Agnppma Minor; mother of the Emperor Nero whom she persuaded her third husband, the Emperor Claudius, to adopt. She was murdered on Nero’s instructions in AD 59. See Tacitus, Annals, 12-14.
Albinus, a Roman of consular rank accused by Cyprian of treason. His defence by Boethius led Cyprian to extend the charge to him as well.
Alcibiades, Athenian general (c., 450–404 BC). He was a pupil and friend of Socrates, and famous for his brilliant but disastrous career and for his physical beauty. See note p. 61.
Ammonius, mystical philosopher (third century AD). Through his influence on his pupil Plotmus he is regarded as one of the founders of Neoplatomsm.
Anastasius, Emperor of the East, AD 491–518.
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, one of the earliest philosophers to settle in Athens (c. 500–c. 428 BC). He was brought to trial on charges of impiety and treachery but escaped with the aid of friends.
Anaxarchus of Abdera, sceptic philosopher (fourth century BC). He was cruelly put to death by Nicocreon of Cyprus. See note p. 38.
Antaeus, a mythological giant who forced everyone he met to wrestle with him, and then killed them. Eventually he was himself defeated and killed by Hercules. See note p. 115.
Arcadian, God, see Hermes.
Arianism, a Christian heresy which taught the divinity of the Father but not of the Son. The Goths were Arians.
Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384–322 BC) and founder of the peripatetic school. See Introduction, pp. xvi-xvii.
Atreus, mythological father of Agamemnon.
Augustine, saint, philosopher, theologian, bishop of Hippo (AD 354–430). He was born and educated in North Africa, came to Rome in 383 and became professor of rhetoric at Milan in 384 where he came under the influence of St Ambrose and was baptized in 386. He was greatly influenced by Neoplatonism and through his writings (which include The Confessions, and The City of God), exercised the greatest influence on Christian thought of any of the Latin fathers.
Basilius, a Roman of doubtful reputation who was one of Boethius’ accusers. He may be the same as the Basilius who was accused along with Praetextatus of magical practices (Cassiodorus, Variae, 4, 22 and 23), but the identification is uncertain.
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus, Roman senator, philosopher and minister of Theodoric (c. 480–524 or 5 AD). See Introduction, pp. viii ff.
Britannicus, Tiberius Claudius Caesar, son of the Emperor Claudius (AD 41-55). His stepmother Agrippina contrived that her own son Nero should succeed Claudius and according to general belief Britannicus was poisoned on Nero’s orders. See note p. 40.
Brutus, Marcus Junius, the tyrannicide who took part in the murder of Julius Caesar 44 BC. Like Cato and Fabricius he was famous for his moral uprightness and virtue.
Burgundians, a once powerful East Germanic people which had settled in the Rhône valley.
Busiris, a mythological king of Egypt reputed to sacrifice to Zeus all foreigners who entered Egypt. He was defeated and killed by Hercules.
Cacus, in mythology a savage fire-breathing monster who lived on the site of Rome and ravaged the neighbourhood. He was overcome and killed by Hercules when he stole the cattle of Geryon from him. See note p. 115, and Virgil Aen. 8, 190 ff.
Caesar, Gaius Julius, Roman general and dictator murdered by Brutus and others (102–44 BC).
Caligula, nickname by which the Emperor Gaius (AD 12–41) was known. He was the most autocratic of the early emperors.
Campania, a province of Italy extending from Rome to Salerno; roughly the modern Campagna.
Canius, probably the Stoic philosopher Julius Canus condemned to death by Caligula and cited by Seneca as an example of philosophic tranquillity (De Tranquilitate, 14, 4 ff).
Caracalla, usual name of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (AD 188–217). He had his brother and many distinguished men of state put to death.
Carthaginians, inhabitants of the North African city of Carthage, one of the great rivals of Rome in the Republican period. The Punic wars of the third and second centuries BC saw Rome gradually supersede Carthage as the chief Mediterranean power.
Cassiodorus, Flavius Magnus Aurelius, Roman statesman, historian, encyclopedist, theologian and monk (c. AD 480– c.575). He served Theodoric and his successors in the highest offices of state in a position equivalent to that of Prime Minister, and his collected letters (the Variae), are a chief source for the history of the time. When Ravenna was captured for Justinian by Belisarius in 540 and Gothic rule in Italy came to an end, Cassiodorus retired to a monastery he founded near his native Squillace in Calabria, where he was able to realize his educational interests. The programme of manuscript copying he instituted preserved for the world the pagan classical authors whose work was in danger of perishing. He was the most important sixth-century writer after Boethius. See Hodgkin’s edition of the Letters, and E. K. Rand, Founders of the Middle Ages, pp. 240 ff.
Cato Uticensis, Marcus Porcius, Roman aristocrat, politician and Stoic, famous for his stern traditional morality (95–46 BC). His character in Lucan is a personification of virtue.
Catullus, Gaius Valerius, Roman poet, writer mainly of short lyric, erotic, abusive and epigrammatic poems (c84– c.54 BC). See note p. 54.
Caucasus, a chain of mountains stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian, regarded as the extremity of the world.
Centaurs, a race of mythical monsters half man and half horse. See note p. 115.
Cerberus, mythological monstrous dog guarding the entrance to Hades. The usual representation showed him with three heads and a mane or tail of snakes.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius, Roman orator, philosopher and writer of letters (106–43 BC). Boethius is greatly indebted to Cicero, quoting from philosophical works of his like the Dream of Scipio, and the lost Hortensius:, it was this latter work which first fired St Augustine’s passionate interest in philosophy. Boethius was following Cicero’s example in planning the translation of Greek philosophical works into Latin.
Circe, a mythological goddess encountered by Odysseus on his return journey from Troy. See note p. 95, and Homer Odyssey, 10, 210 ff.
Claudian, (Claudius Claudianus), one of the last great Latin classic poets (d. c. AD 408).
Clovis, (Chlodovechus), king of the Franks (c. AD 466–511). He was nominated consul by the Eastern Emperor Anastasius in 508.
Conigastor Cunigast, a Gothic minister of Theodoric and later of his grandson Athalaric, accused by Boethius of oppressing the poor.
Croesus, wealthy and powerful king of Lydia (reigned c. 560–546 BC). H is meeting with the Greek sage Solon was famous for the reply given by the latter to the question who was the happiest man he had ever seen. Solon said that no man should be considered happy until he had ended his life in a happy way. Croesus was eventually defeated and captured by Cyrus, and when about to be burnt alive called three times on the name of Solon. Cyrus inquired the identity of this Solon and on hearing the story, had Croesus released.
Cyclops, one of a mythological race of one-eyed giants, the most famous of whom was Polyphemus. See note p. 114.
Cyprian, a Roman of noble birth, one of those who allied themselves to the Goths, accuser of Albinus and Boethius. At the time he was referendarius, in the king’s court of appeal and a loyal and favourite servant of Theodoric. Boethius calls him an informer moved by hatred, but according to Cassiodorus Cyprian’s impartiality was admired by litigants (Variae 5, 40) and he is praised in glowing terms. It was probably on a mission to the Byzantine court that he first unearthed the intrigues of the pro-Eastern circle in Rome. In 524 he was appointed Count of the Sacred Largesses and eventually promoted to the dignity of patricius.
Cyrus, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire and conqueror of Croesus of Lydia (reigned 559–529 BC). See p. 25 and Herodotus 1, 71 ff.
Damocles, a courtier of Dionysius 1 of Syracuse. On one occasion when he spoke with exaggeration of the wealth and happiness of Dionysius, as a symbol of the uncertainty of his position Dionysius gave a sumptuous feast for him at which he had to sit with a sword suspended over his head by a single hair. See Cicero, Tusc. 5, 61.
Decoratus, a young noble Roman advocate, appointed quaestor, probably along with Boethius some time before 509, the year of his death. Boethius speaks of him with contempt, but both Ennodius and Cassiodorus praise him for his excellent qualities.
Diomodes, mythological king of the Bistones; the eighth labour of Hercules was to capture his man-eating horses. See note p. 115.
Dionysius 1, tyrant of Syracuse (c. 430–367 BC).
Empedodes, Sicilian philosopher of considerable importance in the development of Greek philosophy (c. 493–433 BC). According to him cosmic history is a cyclic process of the combination and dissolution under the alternate influence of Love and Strife of the four eternally unchanging elements earth, air, fire and water.
Ennodius, Magnus Felix, saint, Christian rhetorician, bishop of Pavia, writer of letters, speeches and poems (AD 473/4–521). He taught rhetoric at Milan until his ordination as bishop in c. 514. The chief characteristic of his writings is the turgidity of their style.
Epicureanism, see Epicurus.
Epicurus, famous Athenian philosopher (342/1–271/70 BC). He taught that the natural aim and highest good of man was pleasure or ‘an independent and peaceful state of body and mind’ and defined philosophy as the attempt to gain happiness by means of discussion and reasoning.
Erymanthian Boar, a savage animal that was supposed to have ranged Mount Erymanthus in Arcadia until killed by Hercules.
Evander, a mythological minor deity who settled on the site of Rome. Hercules visited him and killed the monster Cacus who had ravaged Evander’s land. See note p. 115 and Virgil, Aen, 8, 185 ff.
Euripides, Greek tragedian (c. 485–c.406 BC).
Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus.
Fabricius Luscinus, Gaius, Roman general and politician (third century BC). He was a byword for the austerity and incorruptibility typical of ancient Roman virtue.
Franks, the name assumed by a coalition of German tribes on the middle and lower Rhine who overran Gaul in the course of the fifth century. Under Clovis they destroyed the last vestiges of Roman power there and laid the foundations of the later kingdom of France.
Furies, mythological spirits of punishment.
Gaudentius, a discredited informer, otherwise unknown, who laid information against Boethius.
Gundobad, (Gundebadus), Arian king of the Burgundians (c. AD 480–516). His son married a daughter of Theodoric and his niece became the wife of Clovis.
Hercules, mythological Greek hero famous for his strength and courage. See note pp. 114–15.
Hermes, the Arcadian God who came to the aid of Odysseus in dealing with Circe. See note p. 95.
Hermus, an auriferous river in Turkey (modern Gediz).
Hesperides, the mythological guardians along with the dragon Ladon of the golden apples given to Hera at her marriage with Zeus and which Hercules was set to win as his eleventh labour.
Homer, the Greek epic poet (sometime before 700 BC).
Horace, (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Roman poet (65–8 BC).
Hydra, the water-serpent killed by Hercules at Lerna in Argolis; it had nine heads, and as fast as one of them was cut off, two more sprang up in its place.
Iamblichus, Neoplatonist philosopher (c. AD 250–c. 325). He was born in Coele Syria, studied under Porphyry in Rome or Sicily, wrote on Pythagoras and composed an anthology of earlier writers. He was credited with important contributions to the development of the philosophy of Plotinus, but in fact his works are superficial and substitute theosophy and magic for the mysticism of Plotinus.
Indus, a river flowing into the Arabian Sea through what is now modern Pakistan.
Ithaca, one of the Ionian Islands off the west coast of Greece, the home of Odysseus.
Ixion, according to Greek mythology he murdered his father-in-law. He was purified by Zeus but attempted to seduce the goddess Hera. As a punishment he was bound in Hades to an ever revolving wheel.
John I, saint and pope in succession to St Hormisdas (AD 523). He was sent by Theodoric on a mission to the Emperor at Constantinople, but on the confirmation of Theodoric’s suspicions of the pro-Eastern party at Rome, was thrown into prison where he died in 526.
Justinian, (Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus), Roman Emperor of the East (AD 527–65). Through his general Belisarius he invaded and occupied Italy in the period after Theodoric’s death. His political ambition to reunite the Eastern and Western Empire was probably the inspiration of the pro-Eastern circle around Symmachus and Boethius.
Juvenal, (Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis), greatest of the Roman satiric poets (c. AD 50–after 127).
Liberius, a Roman minister of Odoacer and later of Theodoric, Praetorian Prefect 493–500. It is recorded that he was a wise and skilful administrator.
Lombards, an East Germanic people who invaded Italy in AD 568 not long after Justinian had re-established the imperial rule there.
Lucan, (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus), Roman poet, author of the Pharsalia, a poem in ten books about the civil war between Caesar and Pompey (AD 39–65).
Lynceus, a mythological Greek hero endowed with supernatural sharpness of sight.
Martianus Capella, author of a long encyclopedic mixture of verse and prose called The Marriage of Mercury and Philology (early fifth century AD). The form of this work (Menippean satire) may have influenced Boethius but not its whimsical and pedantic subject matter or ‘perversely mannered’ style. The work of Martianus was widely appreciated in the Middle Ages.
Menander, Greek comic playwright (342/1–291/90 BC).
Monophysites, a heretical sect which taught that in the Person of the incarnate Christ there was a single divine nature: the orthodox teaching is that there is a double nature in Christ, divine and human.
Muses, Greek goddesses of poetry, music and dance. The later addition of Muses of astronomy, philosophy and all intellectual pursuits provides Dame Philosophy with the muses she opposes to those she finds at Boethius’s bedside in I, 1.
Nearchus, a Greek Tyrant: see Zeno of Elea.
Nemea, a valley on the north borders of Argolis, the scene of Hercules’ fight with the lion. See note p. 115.
Neoplatonism, the revival of Platonism which reached its peak in the third century AD. It was really a new synthesis of elements from Platonism, Aristotelianism, Pythagoreanism and Stoicism. It survived until the closing of the pagan schools by Justinian in 529 and deeply influenced Christian thought in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The chief Neoplatonist philosophers were Plotinus and his pupil Porphyry.
Nero, (Nero Claudius Caesar), Roman Emperor (AD 37–68). He was reputed to have arranged the murder of his stepbrother Britannicus (who had a better claim to the throne) and of his mother Agrippina.
Nicocreon, a tyrant of Salamis in Cyprus (ruled 332/1–311/10 BC). The philosopher Anaxarchus of Abdera is said to have caused him mortal offence in the course of a drinking bout, and when he fell into the tyrant’s hands in 323 he was pounded to death in a mortar.
Nominalism, the name given to the medieval school of philosophy which ‘held that universals were merely words, that only individuals existed, and that the genus or the species corresponded to nothing in the real world’ (G. Leff).
Nonius, unknown Roman politician satirized by Catullus. See note p. 54.
Odoacer, a Hunnish king of Italy, murdered by Theodoric (c. AD 433–493).
Odysseus, mythological king of Ithaca, and one of the leaders of the Greek expedition to Troy. He is the hero of the Odyssey, in which his adventures on the return voyage from Troy are recounted.
Opilio, younger brother of Cyprian. He fell from favour under Theodoric but regained his position by laying information against Boethius. Under Theodoric’s grandson Athalaric he held high office as Count of the Sacred Largesses (527 AD) and ambassador with Liberius to Constantinople.
Orpheus, famous mythological Greek musician reputed to be able to move trees and charm wild animals. He went down to Hades to recover his dead wife. See p. 82.
Ostrogoths, the eastern group of the Germanic peoples called Goths, settled in the third century AD in the steppelands between the Crimea and the rivers Don and Dniester. The sudden irruption of the Asiatic Huns caused them to move and eventually settle in the Po valley in Italy. They were Arian Christians.
Ovid, (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet (43 BC-?AD 17).
Papinian, (Aemilius Papinianus), Roman jurist executed in AD 212 on the orders of the emperor Caracalla for disapproving of the murder of the Emperor’s brother Geta.
Parmenides, Greek poet and philosopher at Athens (c. 450 BC).
Parthians, a semi-nomadic people between the Euphrates and the Indus, traditional enemies of Rome, famous for their horsemanship.
Paulinus, a Roman of consular rank defended by Boethius against the rapacity of the Goths. He is possibly the Paulinus who was consul in 493 and prosecuted by Symmachus and Festus (Variae, 1, 23); but Boethius would hardly have referred to Symmachus as a ‘palace jackal.’ Paulinus is spoken of with approval by Cassiodorus in another letter (2, 3).
Paulus, (Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus), Roman general and administrator, consul 182 and 168 BC, conqueror of Macedonia. See p. 25.
Perses, (or Perseus), last king of Macedonia, 179–168 BC. He was defeated and captured by Aemilius Paulus and led in triumph through Rome. See p. 26 and Livy XLV, 7 ff.
Phoebus, the sun god. See note p. 87. Brother of Phoebe, or Luna, the moon goddess.
Pholoe, a mountain south east of Elis where Hercules was reputed to have visited the centaur Pholus. He was attacked by a band of centaurs whom he put to flight. See note p. 115. Pholus was accidentally killed and buried in the mountain which was named after him.
Plato, the Athenian philosopher (c. 429–347 BC). He taught near the grove of Academus, whence the school he founded to train men for the service of the state was called the Academy: it survived to AD 529.
Plotinus, Neoplatonist Greek philosopher (AD 205–269/70). He studied under Ammonius Saccas at Alexandria and taught at Rome. His philosophical essays, the Enneads, were collected and arranged by his pupil Porphyry. E. R. Dodds calls him ‘the most powerful philosophical mind between Aristotle and Aquinas’.
Polyphemus, a Cyclops blinded by Odysseus. See note p. 114 and Homer, Od., IX.
Pompey, (Gnaeus Pompeius), Roman general and politician, one time colleague and later enemy of Caesar (106–48 BC). His struggle with Caesar culminating in his defeat at Pharsalus and murder in Egypt is the subject of Lucan’s Pharsalia.
Porphyry, (Porphyrius), scholar, philosopher and student of religions (AD 232/3– c. 305). He was the devoted personal disciple of Plotinus whose writings he edited. Among his many works (now partly lost) were numerous philosophical commentaries on Plato, Aristotle and others, including the famous Isagoge, or Introduction to the Categories of Aristotle, which became a standard medieval textbook of logic and was translated and commented on by Boethius. He was a remarkable polymath, but his work as a thinker was not important.
Proclus, Neoplatonic Greek philosopher and head of the Academy (AD 412–485).
Pseudo-Dionysius, the name given to an unknown mystical theologian of c. AD 500, who seems to have aimed at making a synthesis of Neoplatonist thought and Christian teaching. He writes of the mystical union of the soul with God achieved by the process of ‘unknowing’ in which the soul leaves behind the knowledge of the senses and the reason to be illuminated and deified by God. His writings exercised a profound influence on medieval religious experience.
Ptolemy, (Claudius Ptolemaeus) of Alexandria, Greek geographer (fl. AD 121–151). He wrote on trigonometry, astronomy, optics and geography; the last is an eight book treatise and atlas which despite its faults remained the standard geography until relatively recent times.
Pythagoras, early Greek astronomer, mathematician and religious leader (sixth century BC).
Ravenna, a city on the Adriatic coast of Italy, capital of the Western Empire from the beginning of the fifth century.
Realists, the name of the school of medieval philosophy which in contradistinction to the Nominalists ‘recognized, in some degree, the existence of genera and species and their correspondence to reality’ (G. Leff).
Regulus, Marcus Atilius, Roman general (third century BC). In 255 he was defeated and captured by the Carthaginians, and was later sent on parole to Rome to arrange an exchange of prisoners. The (probably apocryphal) story of his voluntary return to Carthage and death by torture became a famous episode in the annals of Roman history. See Horace Odes, 3, 5 and Cicero De Officiis, 3, 26, 99.
Rusticiana, daughter of Symmachus and wife of Boethius.
Saturn, the planet. See note p. 87.
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, distinguished and wealthy Roman orator, philosopher and tragedian, tutor and later adviser of the Emperor Nero (c. 5/4, BC-AD 65). When he was nearly seventy Seneca attempted to retire and give up his immense wealth to Nero, but the Emperor refused. Later he was implicated in a plot against Nero and forced to commit suicide.
Sidonius, (Gaius Sollius Modestus Apollinaris), saint, statesman, author and bishop of Clermont. He was a Gallo-Roman born at Lyons of noble family about AD 430, and was Prefect of Rome 468–9. His appointment as bishop (while he was probably still a layman) was political, but he abandoned poetry, became a benefactor of monks and gave away his wealth. He was one of the last representatives of classical culture and his poetry was skilful if uninspired.
Socrates, the Greek philosopher (469–399 BC). He was arrested and tried on a charge of corrupting the young and being guilty of impiety. Thirty days elapsed between his condemnation and death by drinking hemlock, and his conversations during this period are preserved by Plato. See The Last Days of Socrate., translated by Hugh Tredennick. (Penguin Classics, 1954.)
Sophocles, Greek tragedian (c. 496–406 BC).
Soranus, Marcus Barea, a prominent Roman of the time of Nero, who had been a just and energetic governor of Asia. He was forced to commit suicide by Nero (Tacitus, Annals, 16, 32).
Statius, Publius Papinius, Roman poet (AD 45–96). He wrote occasional poems (the Silvae), and two epics (the Thebais, and Achilleis), the latter interrupted by his death. In his fluent and highly polished verse he imitated Virgil.
Stoicism, a philosophical school founded by Zeno of Citium c. 300 BC. See note p. 128. Its ethical system and teaching concerning the virtuous life were very influential; Seneca was one of the chief stoics under the emperors, and Stoicism provided the philosophical basis for the opposition to imperial autocracy. The influence of Stoicism on later Neo-platonism and on some fathers of the Christian church was considerable.
Stymphalus, lake and district in North East Arcadia (modern Zaraka). Pausan-ias describes a temple of Artemis there near which stood some statues of young women with legs and thighs of birds. These are the legendary Stymphalian birds whose destruction was one of the labours of Hercules. See note p. 115.
Symmachus, Quintus Aurelius Memmius, Roman consul (AD 485), patrician, and head of the Senate (AD 524). He is spoken of with affection and admiration by his son-in-law, Boethius, and praised by Ennodius and Cassiodorus. He combined the interests of philosopher and historian (writing a Roman history in seven books) and was an orator of considerable eloquence. He spent money on the repair of public buildings in Rome and impressed his contemporaries with his love of the Roman ideal. Cassiodorus calls him ‘a modern imitator of the ancient Cato, but [he] surpassed the virtues of the men of old in [his love of] the most holy religion’; although he served Theodoric, his ancestry and upbringing led him to oppose him both as a heretic and a barbarian. He was executed in 525.
Tagus, one of the principal rivers of Spain (modern Tajo) celebrated for its fish, oysters and gold-bearing sand.
Tantalus, mythological king of Lydia whose crime - either the devouring of his own children or theft of food from the gods - was punished in Hades as follows. He was tormented by hunger and thirst, and tantalized by being placed in water up to his chin and with fruit hanging over his head; but whenever he moved to eat or drink the fruit and water receded. Seep. 83.
Theodoric, known as Theodoric the Great and remembered in saga as Dietrich von Bern (Verona). He was king of the Ostrogoths in succession to his father Theudemir who d. AD 474. Theodoric was born about 454 and sent at the age of seven as a hostage to Constantinople where he received his early upbringing and education. He led his people on various campaigns both for and against the Emperor (who at various stages adopted him and made him consul), and eventually set out for Italy with the blessing of Constantinople in 488. Ravenna surrendered in 493 and after the murder of Odoacer Theodoric became king of Italy. His rule brought peace and prosperity which was only broken by the resumption of the persecution of Arians in the east and the discovery of treason among the senators in Rome. He died with his policy in ruins in 526.
Thulé, an island in the Northern Ocean regarded as the most northerly point of the known world, variously identified as Mainland in the Shetland Islands or Iceland.
Tiresias, a legendary blind Theban seer.
Tityus, a mythological giant punished in Hades for assaulting a goddess. He lay stretched out on the ground covering nine acres while two vultures tore at his liver. See note p. 84.
Triguila, a Goth whose evil designs were frustrated by Boethius. Their nature is not specified and nothing more is known of him except that he was a palace official.
Troy, a city in modern Turkey near the Aegean entrance to the Dardanelles (modern Hissarlik). It was the scene of the Trojan war in the Iliad.
Tully, see Cicero.
Tynan Dyes, so called from Tyre, an important city on the coast of Phoenicia south of Sidon, famous as the seat of a purple-dyeing industry.
Verona, an important city in Northern Italy near lake Garda, used as an occasional capital by Theodoric.
Vesuvius, the famous volcano in central Italy near Naples which engulfed Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79.
Virgil, (Publius Vergilius Maro), greatest of all the Roman poets and author of the Aeneid. (70–19 BC).
Zeno, Roman Emperor of the East (ADc.450–91). His reign was largely a succession of disastrous wars against various enemies including the Ostrogoths. He was author of the Henotikon: see under Acacius.
Zeno of Citium, Greek philosopher and founder of the Stoic school (335–263 BC).
Zeno of Elea, Greek philosopher, pupil and friend of Parmenides, b. c. 490 BC He was a member of the Eleatic school of philosophy and one of three philosophers of whom Diogenes Laertius tells the story that he bit out his own tongue to scorn the tyrant (in Zeno’s case called Nearchus) who was torturing him into confession: he was afterwards pounded to death in a mortar.