Ceionia (gens)

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The gens Ceionia was a Roman family of imperial times. The first member of the gens to obtain the consulship was Lucius Ceionius Commodus in AD 78. The rise of this family culminated in the elevation of the emperor Lucius Aurelius Verus, born Lucius Ceionius Commodus, in AD 161.[1]

Origin of the gens[edit]

The Ceionii were probably of Etruscan origin. Their nomen resembles other Etruscan names, such as Cilnius, and the family does not appear in history before the 1st century. The historian Aelius Spartianus wrote that they came from Etruria, or perhaps from the town of Faventia, which was itself of Etruscan origin.[1][2]

Praenomina used by the gens[edit]

The praenomina used by the Ceionii were Lucius, Gaius, and Marcus.

Branches and cognomina of the gens[edit]

The most illustrious family of the Ceionii bore the cognomen Commodus, meaning "friendly, obliging," or "pleasant." The agnomen Verus, meaning "true", was borne by some members of this family. Many other surnames occur, some of which were ordinary cognomina, such as Rufus, meaning "red" or "reddish," or "Bassus". However, as with many families of imperial times, many surnames were acquired from other families to whom the Ceionii were related or otherwise politically connected.[1][3]

Postumus, a surname belonging to the father of the emperor Albinus, is derived from the praenomen Postumus, referring to a youngest child, although a popular false etymology derived it from post humus, "after burial", meaning a child born after his father's death. In a letter referred to by the historian Julius Capitolinus, Ceionius Postumus claimed to be a descendant of the ancient patrician house of the Postumii, whose nomen was itself derived from the praenomen Postumus. Ceionius named his son Albinus, supposedly in reference both to the extraordinary whiteness of his skin, and to the noble family of the Postumii Albini; however, several other members of the gens also bore the surname Albinus.[3][4]

Members of the gens[edit]

Ceionii Commodi[edit]

Ceionii Postumi et Albini[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ a b Aelius Spartianus, Aelius Verus, 2.
  3. ^ a b D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
  4. ^ a b Julius Capitolinus, Clodius Albinus, 4.
  5. ^ a b c Fasti Capitolini.
  6. ^ Julius Capitolinus, Marcus Aurelius, 4, 29, Lucius Verus 10.
  7. ^ a b Ronald Syme, "Antonine Relatives: Ceionii and Vettuleni", in Athenaeum, vol. xxxv. p. 306 (1957).
  8. ^ Julius Capitolinus, Clodius Albinus, 6.
  9. ^ Aelius Spartianus, Septimius Severus, 13.
  10. ^ Flavius Vopiscus, Aurelian, 9.
  11. ^ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vi. 314b.
  12. ^ T. S. M. Mommaerts & D. H. Kelley, "The Anicii of Gaul and Rome", in Fifth-century Gaul: a Crisis of Identity?, John Drinkwater and Hugh Elton, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 120-121.
  13. ^ Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, ii. 119.
  14. ^ Aelius Lampridius, Commodus, 8, 10, 17.
  15. ^ Aelius Spartianus, Didius Julianus, 6.
  16. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxxiii. 4, 13, 22, lxxiv. 16.
  17. ^ Flavius Vopiscus, Aurelian, 31.
  18. ^ Flavius Vopiscus, Firmus, 2.