Verrius Flaccus, Marcus

Verrius Flaccus, Marcus

Verrius Flaccus, Marcus, fl. 20 B.C., Roman grammarian. A freedman, he was appointed by Augustus to educate his grandsons and died at an advanced age during the reign of Tiberius. Of his numerous works, only one, his treatise De verborum significatu [on the meaning of words], survives, in an abridgment by Sextus Pompeius Festus. This work is a source of information about Latin grammar and Roman literature, customs, and myths.
Flaccus was a Roman cognomen of the plebs Fulvius, considered one of the most illustrious gentes of the city. Cicero and Pliny the Elder state that the family was originally from Tusculum, and that members still lived there in the 1st century.

As usual for cognomina, "Flaccus" was likely originally a nickname, probably of Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, the founder of the family. It has been variously interpreted as meaning "big ears", "flop ears", "floppy", or "fatty".

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