The literature dealing with old sayings, especially that resorting to
exempü, founel a plentiful source for the teaching 01' moral virllles in the deeds anel
memorable qllotations 01' Valerills Maximlls. During the Midelle Ages anel the
Renaissance lhe figure of lJle ROlllan rhetor-historian playeel a pivotal role within lhe field
of b.vourite authors. However, as time went by, it was graelually replaced by Chriastian
anel nationalmodels, anel the exemplum, owing to its own success, callght on so lllllCh so
that its inelepenelent use was a source of delight anel, consequentJy, it was censoreel by
Eraslllus and abolished by successive COlll1Cils.