> Certainly Valerius Corvus is a
  > fruit of fiction as well as all the characters of the first
  > centuries of the Roman "history" (which is full of mythology, on
  > my mind, until the wars against the Gauls of the fourth century
  > B. C. at least).

Are you saying that VC was not an historic person? The reason I
ask, I had always thought him to be. (I know Tacitus makes
reference [by way of comparison] to the number of consulships he

  > The oracle was usually
  > sent to the prayers by means of a picus "woodpecker" (which is
  > also another name of the same ancient god), who used to stay on
  > the top of a wood pole. Therefore, later, Picus ('peritissimus
  > auguriorum' and 'praeclarus belligerator' according to Varro) was
  > represented as a young, holding a woodpecker on the head. In the
  > tale on Valerius Corvus the Latin annalists changed the picus
  > "woodpecker" with a corvus "crow", that was the "victory factor"
  > of the Gaulish gods and their devoted warriors.

I would think that if Roman annalists were to change a story
involving a bird besetting an enemy of Rome, they would have
changed it to an eagle... are we sure it is the same story?

  > I would not exclude that the Gaulish
  > chief (the hero of the tale) facing Valerius was really (in the
  > legend) called *Valatio (or similar: > Vlaith).

Query: Same root as Vlad?

many thanks
Mike J