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.
Origin of the gens
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.
Praenomina used by the gens
Branches and cognomina of the gens
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.
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.
Members of the gens
- Lucius Ceionius Commodus, consul in AD 78.
- Lucius Ceionius (L. f.) Commodus, consul in AD 106.
- Lucius Ceionius L. f. (L. n.) Commodus Verus, consul in AD 136 and 137, adopted by the emperor Hadrian as his heir.
- Lucius Ceionius L. f. L. n. Commodus, adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius; emperor with Marcus Aurelius from AD 161 to 169.
- Ceionia L. f. L. n. Fabia, originally betrothed to Marcus Aurelius, the engagement was dissolved at the request of Antoninus Pius, and she married Plautius Quintillus, consul in AD 159.
- Ceionia L. f. L. n. Plautia, married Quintus Servilius Pudens, consul in AD 166.
- Gaius Avidius Ceionius L. f. L. n. Commodus.
Ceionii Postumi et Albini
- Ceionius Postumus, father of the emperor Albinus.
- Decimus Clodius Ceionius Septimius Albinus, emperor from AD 196 to 197.
- Ceionius Postumianus, a relative of the emperor Albinus, who helped him gain the attention of the Antonines.
- Ceionius Albinus, a distinguished man, probably a relative of the emperor Albinus, put to death by Septimius Severus.
- Ceionius Albinus, praefectus urbi under the emperor Valerian; his full name may have been Marcus Nummius Ceionius Annius Albinus. A Nummius Albinus was praefectus urbi in AD 256.
- Gaius Caeionius Rufius Volusianus, praefectus urbi in AD 310 and 311, and from 313 to 315.
- Ceionius Rufius Albinus, praefectus urbi from AD 335 to 337.
- Gaius Ceionius Rufius Volusianus, praefectus praetorio of Gaul in AD 354 and 355, and praefectus urbi in 365.
- Ceionius Rufius Albinus, praefectus urbi from AD 389 to 391.
- Publius Ceionius Caecina Albinus, grandfather of Eustochius, Bishop of Tours during the mid-5th century.
- Ceionius, praefectus of the camp under Publius Quinctilius Varus, took his own life after the disaster of Teutoburg Forest, in AD 9.
- Marcus Ceionius Silvanus, consul in AD 156.
- Marcia Aurelia Ceionia Demetrias, a freedwoman of the emperor Lucius Aurelius Verus; mistress of the emperor Commodus, in whose downfall she played a prominent part; she was later put to death by Didius Julianus.
- Ceionius Virius Bassus, consul in AD 271, and a friend of the emperor Aurelian, to whom he wrote a letter respecting the destruction of Palmyra.
- Ceionius Varus, praefectus urbi in AD 284 and 285.
- Ceionius Julianus, praefectus urbi in AD 310 and 311, a friend of the historian Vopiscus.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
- Aelius Spartianus, Aelius Verus, 2.
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
- Julius Capitolinus, Clodius Albinus, 4.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Julius Capitolinus, Marcus Aurelius, 4, 29, Lucius Verus 10.
- Ronald Syme, "Antonine Relatives: Ceionii and Vettuleni", in Athenaeum, vol. xxxv. p. 306 (1957).
- Julius Capitolinus, Clodius Albinus, 6.
- Aelius Spartianus, Septimius Severus, 13.
- Flavius Vopiscus, Aurelian, 9.
- Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vi. 314b.
- 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.
- Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, ii. 119.
- Aelius Lampridius, Commodus, 8, 10, 17.
- Aelius Spartianus, Didius Julianus, 6.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxxiii. 4, 13, 22, lxxiv. 16.
- Flavius Vopiscus, Aurelian, 31.
- Flavius Vopiscus, Firmus, 2.
- Anthony R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius (1966).