Valeri Maximi Facta et dicta memorabilia, libri VII-IX, Iuli Paridis Epitoma, Fragmentum de praenominibus, Ianuari Nepotiani Epitoma, edidit John Briscoe, vol. II, Stutgardiae et Lipsiae 1998 (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana).
The Liber de praenominibus or De praenomine is a compendium of onomastics in seven chapters. The first two chapters outlines discusses the alleged original simplicitas of traditional Roman names, which, according to Varro, originally lacked praenomen and cognomen. The author advances considers Varro's hypothesis wrong. The later chapters offer a curious discussion, sometimes anecdotal, on gentilicia, on the etymological origin of some 'talking' names and praenomina, with some grammatical attention to the spelling of consonant groups.
We know nothing about the author. The work itself gives scanty information. The presence of Greek words (cf. 4, ἀγκόν, 6, σποράδην) suggests a degree of knowledge of the Greek language, even if perhaps only limited to some words. The author also shows a keen interest in linguistics and etymology and some knowledge of traditional anecdotes.
The manuscript Vaticanus Latinus 4929 (of the ninth century) transmits this short text as the tenth book of the epitome of Iulius Paris. However, this short work is to be considered (Galdi, Briscoe) completely independent from Valerius Maximus’ Dicta et facta memorabilia and from its epitomes. [N. Rosso; tr. L. Battezzato]