Caecilia (gens)

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The gens Caecilia was a plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are mentioned in history as early as the fifth century BC, but the first of the Caecilii who obtained the consulship was Lucius Caecilius Metellus Denter, in 284 BC.[1][2]

Origin[edit]

Like other Roman families in the later times of the Republic, the Caecilii traced their origin to a mythical personage, Caeculus, the founder of Praeneste. He was said to be the son of Vulcan, and engendered by a spark; a similar story was told of Servius Tullius. He was exposed as an infant, but preserved by his divine father, and raised by maidens. He grew up amongst the shepherds, and became a highwayman. Coming of age, he called upon the people of the countryside to build a new town, convincing them with the aid of a miracle. An alternative tradition claimed that the Caecilii were descended from Caecas, one of the companions of Aeneas, who came with him to Italy after the sack of Troy.[3][4][5][6][6][7][8]

Praenomina[edit]

The praenomina used by the Caecilii during the Republic are Lucius, Quintus, Gaius, and Marcus. Titus appears only towards the very end of the Republic, and is not known to have been used by the great house of the Caecilii Metelli.[6]

Branches and cognomina[edit]

The cognomina of this gens under the Republic are Bassus, Denter, Metellus, Niger, Pinna, and Rufus, of which the Metelli are the best known. From the consulship of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Denter, the family of the Metelli became one of the most distinguished at Rome. In the latter half of the 2nd century BC. it obtained an extraordinary number of the highest offices of the state. Quintus Metellus, who was consul in 143 BC, had four sons, who were raised to the consulship in succession; and his brother, Lucius Metellus, who was consul in 142, had two sons, who were likewise elevated to the same dignity.

The Metelli were distinguished as a family for their unwavering support of the party of the optimates. The etymology of their name is quite uncertain. Festus connects it, probably from mere similarity of sound, with mercenarii. The history of the family is very difficult to trace, and in many parts conjectural. It is treated at length by Drumann.[6][9][10]

Members[edit]

This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.

Caecilii Metelli[edit]

Others[edit]

See also[edit]

List of Roman gentes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor. The appearance of Titus Caecilius, a patrician consular tribune for the year 444 BC in Livius, is a false reading for Titus Cloelius.
  2. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 7.
  3. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus, De Verborum Significatu, s. v. Caeculus.
  4. ^ Servius, ad Virg. Aen., vii. 678.
  5. ^ Gaius Julius Solinus, De Mirabilis Mundi, ii. 9.
  6. ^ a b c d Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  7. ^ Johann Adam Hartung, Die Religion der Römer (1836), i. p. 88 ff.
  8. ^ Rudolf Heinrich Klausen, Aeneas und die Penaten (1839), p. 761 ff.
  9. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus De Verborum Significatu, p. 146, ed. Müller.
  10. ^ Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms, ii. 17-58.
  11. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 56, xl. 1.
  12. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlii. 6.
  13. ^ Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms, ii. 57.
  14. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, xv. 21. § 2.
  15. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Caesar, 35, Pompeius, 62.
  16. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, xli. 17.
  17. ^ Appianus, Bellum Civile, ii. 41.
  18. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili, i. 33.
  19. ^ Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, iii. 114 ff.
  20. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, x. 4, 8.
  21. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, ii. 1 § 1.
  22. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lv. 30.
  23. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  24. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, vii. 74.
  25. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 16.
  26. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome 76.
  27. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Divinatio in Caecilium.
  28. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Sulla 22, 23; Post Reditum in Senatu 9; Pro Milone 14; Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem iii. 3. § 2.
  29. ^ Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Cic. Milon. p. 48, ed. Orelli.
  30. ^ Quintus Tullius Cicero, de Petit. Cons. 2.
  31. ^ Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Toga Candida, 84, ed. Orelli.
  32. ^ Cornelius Nepos, The Life of Atticus, 5.
  33. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, i. 1, 12, ii. 19, 20, iii. 20.
  34. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili, i. 46.
  35. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xi. 23, xii. 52, xiii. 7.
  36. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, iv. 15.
  37. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales ii. 41.
  38. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History lvii. 17.
  39. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, iv. 28.
  40. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xxviii. 57.
  41. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, ii. 60, iii. 68.
  42. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxv. 17.
  43. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxvii. 13.
  44. ^ Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De Vita Caesarum, Domitianus, 8.
  45. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, i. 13.
  46. ^ Marcus Minucius Felix, Octavius.
  47. ^ Johann Christian Felix Bähr, Die Christlich-Römische Theologie, § 19 (1837).

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.