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Caesar CXXXVII

Valerianus as an example

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...is this thread still about Valerianus, or about something else, i mean no one will join the discussion if this is going to continue in this way, and thats what we want, a lively discussion from as many bright heads as possible on a given topic, right?

 

cheers

viggen

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...is this thread still about Valerianus, or about something else, i mean no one will join the discussion if this is going to continue in this way, and thats what we want, a lively discussion from as many bright heads as possible on a given topic, right?

 

cheers

viggen

 

 

What can I say, I totaly agree ! ;)

Poor Valerianus...one thread of 1,000 and he got this

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...is this thread still about Valerianus, or about something else, i mean no one will join the discussion if this is going to continue in this way, and thats what we want, a lively discussion from as many bright heads as possible on a given topic, right?

 

cheers

viggen

My apologies; there's a point where we must simply agree that we have the right to disagree.

The disagreement so far has been not about Valerianus' genealogy per se, but the logical methodology involved.

My only point: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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no reason to apologise, and also thanks on both; now feel free to discuss the philosophical aproach on methodology and evidence in the Arena, and continue about Valerianus right here ;)

 

cheers

viggen

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no reason to apologise, and also thanks on both; now feel free to discuss the philosophical aproach on methodology and evidence in the Arena, and continue about Valerianus right here ;)

 

cheers

viggen

Not much more to add besides what I've already posted.

Valerian's atypical (for the III century) noble family background is attested not only by the unreliable Historia Augusta ("Trebellius Pollio") but also by Aurelius Victor (presumably the best source for this period) and even by the hostile Zosymus.

In fact, I'm not aware of any relevant source that contends this fact.

I don't think any reliable genealogy can be designed for Valerian beyond his own father.

Being the contemporary naming practices so irregular, the presence (or absence) of Valerian's cognomina is hardly useful for our purpose.

I think there's no way to know if there were any connections of the Valerian dynasty with the Republican plebeian noble Licinia Gens, even less its nature.

The poor condition of the available records for the III century makes the absence of such evidence essentially meaningless.

Edited by sylla

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From the List of Logical Fallacies, this is the entry for Argumentum ex Silentio.

 

However, it's easy to see that such fallacy doesn't apply here; this thread has an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Click on it.

 

You do have a point, argumentum ex silentio is a problematic argument, however I think we need to see the big picture of evidences in his time: in the time Valerianus was operating there is no trace of the old republican families - so it's make it's extremely unlikely that he was descended of such family unless we had a pretty good evidence to that.

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From the List of Logical Fallacies, this is the entry for Argumentum ex Silentio.

 

However, it's easy to see that such fallacy doesn't apply here; this thread has an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Click on it.

 

You do have a point, argumentum ex silentio is a problematic argument, however I think we need to see the big picture of evidences in his time: in the time Valerianus was operating there is no trace of the old republican families - so it's make it's extremely unlikely that he was descended of such family unless we had a pretty good evidence to that.

And if there were any trace of any one of such families, how would we indentify them?

 

As stated here, the argument is circular; P. Licinius Valerius can't be from the original Licinia gens just because he lived too late; then, his name is no trace of the old republican families; then, such families didn't survive.

 

(Just for the sake of clarity, what we have here is an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam, not of argumentum ex silentio; the latter means that you can't infer you're right simply because your oppponent didn't answer).

Edited by sylla

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From the List of Logical Fallacies, this is the entry for Argumentum ex Silentio.

 

However, it's easy to see that such fallacy doesn't apply here; this thread has an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Click on it.

 

You do have a point, argumentum ex silentio is a problematic argument, however I think we need to see the big picture of evidences in his time: in the time Valerianus was operating there is no trace of the old republican families - so it's make it's extremely unlikely that he was descended of such family unless we had a pretty good evidence to that.

And if there were any trace of any one of such families, how would we indentify them?

 

As stated here, the argument is circular; P. Licinius Valerius can't be from the original Licinia gens just because he lived too late; then, his name is no trace of the old republican families; then, such families didn't survive.

 

(Just for the sake of clarity, what we have here is an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam, not of argumentum ex silentio; the latter means that you can't infer you're right simply because your oppponent didn't answer).

 

ANYTHING is possible however with the lack of sources indicating it we need to ask is it REASONABLE that Valerianus was a descendant to republican family?

 

You can identify the old republican families by there names. the Roman oligarchy was a close one and thought it's wasn't official sons tend to inherit there father position (if your father was a senator it's likely that you be as well and so on) in the time that Valerianus lived we simply doesn't find members of the republican families mentioned in the sources and while we certainly don't know the name of every Roman official at the time the lack of mention in the sources did indicated that they stop to play a prominent role in politics (whatever they were extinct or simply vanished to obscurity).

 

Now if we will return to my original question, does it reasonable that Valerianus was a descendant to republican family? in light of the evidence about the republican families in his time and without any source which mention it I would have to say the answer is NO.

 

BTW argumentum ex silentio is used to indicate that something couldn't happened because the sources doesn't mention it (or in another words they are silence about it).

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I don't think any reliable genealogy can be designed for Valerian beyond his own father.

Being the contemporary naming practices so irregular, the presence (or absence) of Valerian's cognomina is hardly useful for our purpose.

I think there's no way to know if there were any connections of the Valerian dynasty with the Republican plebeian noble Licinia Gens, even less its nature.

 

As interesting as this argument/discussion has been I think it's probably time to let it lie, I mean, do we even know who Valerian's father was?

 

If we can't even trace his line to his own father, what chance have we got of chasing it all the way back to republican times? we can argue and argue till we're blue in the face but at the end of the day because the sources are so scarce for that period it really is a waste of time.

 

On the other hand I would like to see the discussion on Argumuntum ex silentio and argumentum ed ignorantium continue, it's strangely quite interesting.

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ANYTHING is possible .

We agree.

 

Anything else is speculation, and any speculation is as solid as their sources (or the lack of them). "Reasonable" is an entirely subjective value judgment.

 

The potential value of negative evidence depends on its probabilistic (statistical) assessment; ie, how likely is it that the lack of the expected evidence is because it was never there (a true negative) and not just due to chance or alternative mechanisms, like the physical loss of the relevant sources (a false negative).

For example, the possibility of an additional hypothetical wife of Julius Caesar is rather low, given the amount of available prosopographical information from the late Roman Republic; ie, the sources are silent (a true negative).

 

This is not possible with Valerianus, because here the sources are not silent; they are essentially absent (making a false negative far more likely).

For example, we don

Edited by sylla

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