a1 St. Hilda's College, Oxford
Towards the end of his list of colonial foundations, writing with apparent precision, dating the event not only by the consuls of the year but back from his time of writing, and using it as a means of fixing the colonization of Eporedia, Velleius Paterculus records the foundation of Narbo Martius: ‘Narbo autem Martius in Gallia Porcio Marcioque consulibus abhinc annos circiter centum quadraginta sex, deducta colonia est. Post duodeviginti annos in Bagiennis Eporedia Mario sextum Valerioque Flacco consulibus.’ If this is the offering of a gift horse, it has not always been graciously received. Velleius’ date has been questioned and rejected in a searching article by Mr. H. B. Mattingly, and more than once Mr. Mattingly's conclusions have been quoted with approval by Professor E. Badian. Mr. Mattingly began his attack by casting doubt on the authority of Velleius’ list as a whole: Velleius did not consult Livy at first hand, or any semi-official list, but used sources of differing value, one of them perhaps Greek. Nor is his testimony really confirmed by any of the later writers who seem to agree with him: they lazily follow him without looking for independent evidence.