A Roman virgin, who was one of the hostages given to Porsena with other maidens and boys, is said to have escaped from the Etruscan camp, and to have swum across the Tiber to Rome. She was sent back by the Romans to Porsena, who was so struck with her gallant deed, that he not only set her at liberty, but allowed her to take with her a part of the hostages: she chose those who were under age, as they were most exposed to ill-treatment. Porsena also rewarded her with a horse adorned with splendid trappings, and the Roman people with the statue of a female on horseback, which was erected in the Sacred Way.

Another tradition, of far less celebrity, related, that all the hostages were massacred by Tarquinius with the exception of Valeria, who swam over the Tiber and escaped to Rome, and that the equestrian statue was erected to her, and not to Cloelia.



  • Aurelius Victor. The Lives of the Illustrious Romans iii, 13.
  • Dio Cassius, in Bekker's Anecdota Graeca i, p. 133.8.
  • Dionysius, v, 33.
  • Juvenal, viii, 265.
  • Livy. The History of Rome ii, 13.
  • Pliny the Elder. Naturalis Historia xxxiv, 6. s. 13.
  • Plutarch. Poplicola 19; Illustrious Women, s.vv. Valeria et Cloelia.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
  • Valerius Maximus, iii, 2.2.
  • Virgil. Aeneid viii, 651.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.