Licinia (gens)

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Denarius of Publius Licinius Crassus[1]

The gens Licinia was a celebrated plebeian family at Rome, which appears from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times, and which eventually obtained the imperial dignity. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Licinius Calvus Stolo, who, as tribune of the plebs from 376 to 367 BC, prevented the election of any of the annual magistrates, until the patricians acquiesced to the passage of the lex Licinia Sextia, or Licinian Rogations. This law, named for Licinius and his colleague, Lucius Sextius, opened the consulship for the first time to the plebeians. Licinius himself was subsequently elected consul in 364 and 361 BC, and from this time, the Licinii became one of the most illustrious gentes in the Republic.[2][3]

Origin of the gens[edit]

The nomen Licinius is derived from the cognomen Licinus, found in a number of Roman gentes. Licinus may have been an ancient praenomen, but few examples of its use as such are known. The name appears to be derived from the Etruscan Lecne, which frequently occurs on Etruscan sepulchral monuments. The Licinii were probably of Etruscan origin, and may have come to Rome during the time of the later kings, two of whom, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus and his son or grandson, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, were themselves Etruscan.

Etruscan players were brought in to take part in the theatrical performances (ludi scaenici) first established in the consulship of Gaius Licinius Calvus. This could, however, be coincidental, as the historian Livy explains that the games were instituted in order to palliate the anger of the gods.[3][4][5]

Praenomina used by the gens[edit]

The chief praenomina used by the Licinii were Publius, Gaius, Lucius, and Marcus, all of which were very common throughout Roman history. The family occasionally used Sextus, and there is at least one instance of Gnaeus during the 1st century BC Aulus was used by the Licinii Nervae.[3] Women used the name Licinia.

Branches and cognomina of the gens[edit]

The family-names of the Licinii are Calvus (with the agnomina Esquilinus and Stolo), Crassus (with the agnomen Dives), Geta, Lucullus, Macer, Murena, Nerva, Sacerdos, and Varus. The other cognomina of the gens are personal surnames, rather than family-names; these include Archias, Caecina, Damasippus, Imbrex, Lartius, Lenticula, Nepos, Proculus, Regulus, Rufinus, Squillus, and Tegula. The only cognomina which occur on coins are Crassus, Macer, Murena, Nerva, and Stolo. A few Licinii are known without a surname; most of these in later times were freedmen.[3]

The surname Calvus was originally given to a person who was bald, and it was the cognomen of the earliest family of the Licinii to distinguish itself under the Republic. The first of this family bore the agnomen Esquilinus, probably because he lived on the Esquiline Hill. Stolo, a surname given to the most famous of the family, may be derived from the stola, a long outer garment or cloak. Although the family of the Licinii Calvi afterward vanished into obscurity, the surname Calvus was later borne by the celebrated orator and poet Gaius Licinius Macer, who lived in the first century BC.[3][6]

Another family of the Licinii bore the cognomen Varus, which means "crooked, bent," or "knock-kneed." The Licinii Vari were already distinguished, when their surname was replaced by that of Crassus. This was a common surname, which could mean "dull, thick," or "solid," and may have been adopted because of the contrast between this meaning and that of Varus.[3][6]

The surname Dives, meaning "rich" or "wealthy," was borne by some of the Licinii Crassi. It may have been retroactively ascribed to a number of earlier members of the family; it was most famous as the surname of Marcus Licinius Crassus, the triumvir, but it is not even certain that it was used by members of his immediate family before him.[3][6][7]

Lucullus, the cognomen of a branch of the Licinii, which first occurs in history towards the end of the Second Punic War, is probably derived from the praenomen Lucius, of which it appears to be a diminutive. The surname does not appear on any coins of the gens.[3]

A family of the Licinii bore the surname Murena (sometimes, but erroneously, written Muraena), referring to the sea-fish known as the murry or lamprey, a prized delicacy since ancient times. This family came from the city of Lanuvium, to the southeast of Rome, and was said to have acquired its name because one of its members had a great liking for lampreys, and built tanks for them.[3][6][8][9][10]

Members of the gens[edit]

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

Early Licinii[edit]

  • Gaius Licinius, one of the first tribuni plebis elected, in 493 BC. He and his colleague, Lucius Albinius Paterculus, are said to have elected three others, although according to Dionysius, all five were elected by the people.[11][12]
  • Publius Licinius, one of the first tribuni plebis in 493 BC. According to Dionysius he was elected by the people, although according to Livius he was one of three chosen by his colleagues.[11][12]
  • Spurius Licinius, according to Livius tribunus plebis in 481 BC, although Dionysius gives his nomen as Icilius. Dionysius may be correct, as the praenomen Spurius was not used by any other members of the gens Licinia.[13][14]

Licinii Calvi[edit]

Licinii Vari[edit]

  • Publius Licinius Varus, grandfather of the consul of 236 BC.
  • Publius Licinius P. f. Varus, father of the consul of 236 BC.
  • Gaius Licinius P. f. P. n. Varus, consul in 236 BC, carried on the war against the Corsicans and the transalpine Gauls.[26][27]
  • Publius Licinius (C. f. P. n.) Varus, praetor urbanus in 208 BC; he was instructed to refit thirty old ships and find crews for twenty others, in order to protect the coast near Rome.[28]
  • Gaius Licinius P. f. (C. n.) Varus, father of Publius and Gaius Licinius Crassus, consuls in 171 and 168 BC.

Licinii Crassi[edit]

Licinii Luculli[edit]

  • Lucius Licinius Lucullus, curule aedile in 202 BC, he and his colleague distinguished themselves by the magnificence with which they exhibited the Ludi Romani, but were suspected of having allowed their subordinates to defraud the public treasury.[53]
  • Gaius Licinius Lucullus, tribunus plebis in 196 BC, he proposed the establishment of the tresviri epulones, and was one of the first three persons appointed to the new office.[54]
  • Marcus Licinius Lucullus, praetor peregrinus in 186 BC, he and his colleagues were compelled to suspend all judicial proceedings for thirty days, in consequence of the alarm caused by the discovery of the cult of Bacchus at Rome.[55]
  • Lucius Licinius (L. f.) Lucullus, consul in 151 BC, he was assigned to Hispania, where he instigated a war against the Vaccaei, and as proconsul the following year, carried on war against the Lusitani with acts of great perfidy and cruelty.
  • Publius Licinius Lucullus, tribunus plebis in 110 BC, attempted, together with his colleague, Lucius Annius, to procure their joint re-election, but this was opposed by the other tribunes, and the election of all of the annual magistrates was postponed.[56]
  • Lucius Licinius L. f. (L. n.) Lucullus, praetor in 104 BC, appointed by the senate to the command in Sicily during the Second Servile War; victorious in the field, he was unable to capture the stronghold of the slaves, and surrendered his command, but not before destroying his camp and supplies out of spite.
  • Lucius Licinius L. f. L. n. Lucullus, consul in 74 BC, the conqueror of Mithridates, over whom he triumphed in 63. He was famous for his wealth and his luxurious lifestyle, gardens, and villa.
  • Marcus Licinius L. f. L. n. Lucullus, he was adopted into the gens Terentia as Marcus Terentius M. f. Varro Lucullus, consul in 73 BC, and triumphed in 71.
  • Lucius Licinius Lucullus, praetor in 67 BC, a man famous for his moderation and mildness of disposition; Dionysius records a colorful anecdote about his restraint in the face of insult.[57]
  • Gnaeus Licinius Lucullus, a friend of Cicero, who attended the funeral of Lucullus' mother.[58]
  • Lucius Licinius L. f. L. n. Lucullus, son of the consul of 74 BC, he was raised by his uncle, Cato, and Cicero. He espoused the cause of Brutus and Cassius, and was killed in the retreat from the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BC.[59][60][61]

Licinii Nervae[edit]

Licinii Murenae[edit]

  • Publius Licinius, praetor in an uncertain year.
  • Publius Licinius P. f. Murena, the first of the family to bear the cognomen Murena. He was a contemporary of the orator Lucius Licinius Crassus, who was consul in 95 BC. Like his father, he attained the rank of praetor.[3]
  • Publius Licinius P. f. P. n. Murena, described by Cicero as a man of moderate talent, and some literary knowledge, who devoted much attention to the study of antiquity. He died in the civil war between Sulla and the younger Marius, about 82 BC.[74]
  • Lucius Licinius P. f. P. n. Murena, one of Sulla's lieutenants in Greece, he later fought against Mithridates without authorization, and was recalled by Sulla in 81 BC. He had probably been praetor before 86.
  • Lucius Licinius L. f. P. n. Murena, elected consul in 62 BC; before entering office he was accused of bribery, and defended by Quintus Hortensius, Cicero, and Marcus Licinius Crassus. During his consulship he worked to preserve the peace in the aftermath of Catiline's conspiracy.
  • Gaius Licinius L. f. P. n. Murena, legate of his brother, the consul of 62, in Gallia Cisalpina; he captured some of Catiline's allies.[75]
  • Licinius (L. f. L. n.) Murena, probably the son of the consul of 62, he was adopted by Aulus Terentius Varro, and assumed the name Aulus Terentius Varro Murena. He was consul suffectus in 23 BC, but the following year conspired with Fannius Caepio and was put to death.[76][77]
  • Lucius Licinius Varro Murena, brother by adoption of the preceding, and conspirator against Augustus[78]

Others[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ This Publius Licinius Crassus is probably the father of the triumvir, but has also been conjectured to be his son. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  4. ^ Luigi Lanzi, Saggio di Lingua Etrusca (Rome, 1789), vol. ii. p. 342.
  5. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vii. 2.
  6. ^ a b c d D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
  7. ^ B.A. Marshall, "Crassus and the cognomen Dives," Historia 22 (1973) 459–467.
  8. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, ix. 54.
  9. ^ Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, Saturnalia, ii. 11.
  10. ^ Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms, vol. iv. p. 183 ff.
  11. ^ a b Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, ii. 33.
  12. ^ a b Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, vi. 89.
  13. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, ii. 43.
  14. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, ix. 1.
  15. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, v. 12.
  16. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, s. v. Licinius no. 43 (Münzer).
  17. ^ Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, Römische Forschungen, vol. i. p. 95.
  18. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, v. 18.
  19. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xiv. 90.
  20. ^ The Capitoline Fasti mention only the father, elected for the second time.
  21. ^ a b T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (1952).
  22. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 39.
  23. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xiv. 57.
  24. ^ The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology lists this Licinius as consular tribune in 377 or 378 B.C. based on Livius vi. 31. 377 appears to be an error in the text, as 378 appears in the chronology in the appendix. This identification may have been based on Livius' identification of Licinius Menenius as the tribune of that year. This Menenius, whose name is given variously as Licinus or Lucius, is elsewhere accepted as by the same source as consular tribune in 378; the date of Licinius' tribunate remains unestablished.
  25. ^ Both the DGRBM and The Magistrates of the Roman Republic agree that both Plutarchus and Cassius Dio are mistaken in identifying him with Gaius Licinius Calvus Stolo, tribune of the plebs during this period. However, MRR assigns him the same filiation as Stolo, making him the son of an otherwise unknown Gaius Licinius Calvus, and thus Broughton cannot decide which of the two men were consul in 364 and 361 B.C. Here the DGRBM is probably correct in listing him as the son of the consular tribune of 396. He was probably father of Stolo, who was consul in both 364 and 361. This would be consistent with the latter's filiation.
  26. ^ Joannes Zonaras, Epitome Historiarum, viii. 18, p. 400.
  27. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxi. 18, Epitome, 50.
  28. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxvii. 22, 23, 51.
  29. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xli, xlii, xliii.
  30. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 17.
  31. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Laelius de Amicitia, 25, Brutus, 21.
  32. ^ Marcus Terentius Varro, Rerum Rusticarum libri III, i. 2.
  33. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, fragment, xcii.
  34. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, vii. 18.
  35. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, v. 30.
  36. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 58.
  37. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xxxiv. 3. s. 8.
  38. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 24.
  39. ^ Florus, Epitome de T. Livio Bellorum Omnium Annorum DCC libri duo, iii. 21. § 14.
  40. ^ Appianus, Bellum Civile, i. p. 394.
  41. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, "Crassus", 1, 4.
  42. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, vi. 9. § 12.
  43. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, ii. 24. § 2.
  44. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Post Reditum in Senatu, 9.
  45. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem, iii. 8. § 3.
  46. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, "Cato Maj." 70, fin.
  47. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, v. 8.
  48. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, v. 24.
  49. ^ Marcus Junianus Justinus, Historiarum Philippicarum libri XLIV, xlii. 4.
  50. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome, cxxxiv, cxxxv.
  51. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, liv. 24.
  52. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, i. 47, iv. 39.
  53. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxx. 39.
  54. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxiii. 42, xxxvi. 36.
  55. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 6, 8, 18.
  56. ^ Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Jugurthine War, 37.
  57. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, xxxvi. 24.
  58. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xv. 1.
  59. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, iii. 2, Epistulae ad Atticum, xiii. 6, Philippicae, x. 4.
  60. ^ Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, ii. 71.
  61. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, iv. 7. § 4.
  62. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 16.
  63. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
  64. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 3, 42.
  65. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
  66. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 3, 42.
  67. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome, 53.
  68. ^ Eutropius, Breviarium historiae Romanae, iv. 15.
  69. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xxxvi.
  70. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 34.
  71. ^ Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms, vol. iv. p. 19, no. 85.
  72. ^ Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, ii. 116.
  73. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lv. 30.
  74. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 54, 90.
  75. ^ Gaius Sallustius Crispus, The Conspiracy of Catiline, 42.
  76. ^ Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Carmen Saeculare, ii. 2, 10.
  77. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, liii. 25, liv. 3.
  78. ^ Clifford Ando, Imperial ideology and provincial loyalty in the Roman Empire, p. 140
  79. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxi. 12.
  80. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Cluentio, 48.
  81. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, iv. 1. § 10.
  82. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, "Tiberius Gracchus", 2.
  83. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, iii. 60.
  84. ^ Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, i. 11.
  85. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Cluentio, 42.
  86. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, ii. 9. § 9.
  87. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome, 80.
  88. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, "Marius", 45.
  89. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, Fragment, 120.
  90. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, In Verrem, i. 10, 46, 50, ii. 28, iii. 50, 92, Pro Plancio, 11.
  91. ^ Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Toga Candida, p. 83, ed. Orelli.
  92. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili, ii. 44.
  93. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar (attributed), De Bello Africo, 96.
  94. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, vii. 23, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 29, 33.
  95. ^ Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Satirae, ii. 3, 16, 64.
  96. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philippicae, ii. 23.
  97. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, xlv. 47.
  98. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, liv. 14.
  99. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus De Verborum Significatu, s. vv. Imbrex, Obstitum.
  100. ^ Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, xiii. 22, xv. 24.
  101. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xix. 2. s. 11, xxxi. 2. s. 18.
  102. ^ Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae, ii. 14, iii. 5.
  103. ^ Jan Gruter, Inscriptiones Antiquae Totius Orbis Romani, Heidelberg (1603), p. 180.
  104. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, ii. 53.
  105. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xx. 18. s. 76.
  106. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, i. 46, 82, 87, ii. 33, 39, 44, 60.
  107. ^ Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae, iv. 29, v. 4, 21, vi. 5.
  108. ^ Digesta seu Pandectae, 40. tit. 13. s. 4.
  109. ^ Sigmund Wilhelm Zimmern, Geschichte des Römischen Privatrechts (1829), vol. i.

External links[edit]

 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.