The gens Aelia, occasionally written Ailia, or Ælia, was a plebeian family in Rome, which flourished from the fifth century BC until at least the third century AD, a period of nearly eight hundred years. The archaic spelling Ailia is found on coins, but must not be confused with Allia, which is a distinct gens. The first member of the family to obtain the consulship was Publius Aelius Paetus in 337 BC.
Under the empire the Aelian name became still more celebrated. It was the name of the emperor Hadrian, and consequently of the Antonines, whom he adopted. A number of landmarks built by Hadrian also bear the name Aelius. The Pons Aelius is a bridge in Rome, now known as the Ponte Sant'Angelo. Pons Aelius also refers to a Roman settlement in Britannia Inferior, now the site of Newcastle upon Tyne, while Aelia Capitolina was a Roman colony built on the ruins of Jerusalem.
Branches and cognomina
The family-names and surnames of the Aelia gens are Catus, Gallus, Gracilis, Lamia, Ligur, Paetus, Staienus, Stilo, and Tubero. The only cognomina found on coins are Bala, Lamia, Paetus, and Sejanus. Of Bala nothing is known. Sejanus is the name of the favorite of the emperor Tiberius, who was adopted by one of the Aelii.
- Publius Aelius, one of the first plebeian quaestors, in 409 BC.
- Publius Aelius Paetus, consul in 337 BC, and one of the first plebeian augurs in 300 BC.
- Publius Aelius Paetus, plebeian aedile in 296 BC.
- Gaius Aelius Paetus, consul in 286 BC.
- Quintus Aelius Paetus, a pontifex who fell in the Battle of Cannae, 216 BC. He had been a candidate for the consulship that year.
- Publius Aelius Q. f. Paetus, a well-known jurist, consul in 201 BC.
- Sextus Aelius Q. f. Paetus Catus, an eminent jurist, consul in 198 BC.
- Quintus Aelius P. f. Q. n. Paetus, consul in 167 BC.
- Publius Aelius Tubero, praetor in 201 and 177 BC.
- Quintus Aelius Tubero, tribunus plebis in 194 BC, proposed the establishment of colonies among the Bruttii and Thurii, and appointed a commissioner for the foundation of the latter colony.
- Quintus Aelius Tubero, served under his father-in-law, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, in the war against Perseus in 168 BC.
- Quintus Aelius Q. f. Tubero, a jurist, praetor in 123 and consul suffectus in 118 BC.
- Lucius Aelius Tubero, a friend and relation of Cicero.
- Quintus Aelius L. f. Tubero, a jurist, and perhaps the same man as the consul of 11 BC.
- Lucius Aelius Lamia, a man of equestrian rank, who assisted Cicero in the suppression of the second Catilinarian conspiracy. He was banished for his efforts in 58 BC, but was subsequently recalled. He supported Caesar during the Civil War, and served as aedile in 45. He was praetor elect for 43 BC, but died in unusual and tragic circumstances.[i]
- Lucius Aelius L. f. Lamia, a friend of Horace, was consul in AD 3. He was appointed governor of Syria by Tiberius, but never permitted to administer his province. He succeeded Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus as praefectus urbi on the latter's death in AD 32, but died the following year, and received a censor's funeral.
- Lucius Aelius Plautius Lamia Aemilianus, consul suffectus in AD 80, during the reign of Titus. He married Domitia Longina, the daughter of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, but Domitian made her his mistress, and later married her, having Lamia put to death.
- Publius Aelius Ligus, consul in 172 BC.
- Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus, a grammarian, and teacher of both Varro and Cicero.
- Aelius Ligur, tribunus plebis in 57 BC, opposed the recall of Cicero, according to whom, he had assumed a surname to which he had no right.
- Aelius Promotus, an ancient physician at Alexandria, perhaps during the 1st century BC.
- Gaius Aelius Gallus, governor of Egypt under Augustus; he was the adoptive father of Sejanus.
- Sextus Aelius Catus, consul in AD 4.
- Aelius Theon, a 1st-century sophist.
- Aelius Catus, a commander, possibly the same as Sextus Aelius Catus.
- Lucius Aelius Sejanus, praetorian prefect under the emperor Tiberius.
- Aelia Paetina, wife of the emperor Claudius.
- Publius Aelius Trajanus Hadrianus, emperor from AD 117 to 138.
- Aelius Dionysius, a Greek rhetorician during the reign of Hadrian.
- Lucius Aelius Caesar, Hadrian's heir, consul in AD 137.
- Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius, emperor from AD 138 to 161.
- Lucius Aelius Lamia Silvanus, married Aurelia Fadilla, the daughter of Antoninus Pius.
- Aelius Aristides, a 2nd-century orator.
- Publius Aelius Fortunatus, a 2nd-century painter.
- Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, better known as Lucius Aelius Verus, emperor with Marcus Aurelius from AD 161 to 169.
- Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius; emperor from AD 176 to 192.
- Aelius Marcianus, a jurist of the early 3rd century.
- Aelius Spartianus, a historian, and one of the authors of the Historia Augusta. He wrote lives of several emperors from Hadrian to Caracalla.
- Aelius Donatus, a 4th-century grammarian and teacher of rhetoric.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 714 ("Lamia", no. 1): "This Lamia seems to be the same as the L. Lamia, praetorius vir, who is said to have been placed upon the funeral pile as if dead, and then to have recovered his senses, and to have spoken after the fire was lighted, when it was too late to save him from death."
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita iv. 54.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita x. 23.
- Fasti Capitolini
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxiii. 21.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Conditaxxxiv. 53, xxxv. 9.
- Valerius Maximus, i. 8. § 12.
- Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, vii. 52.
- Cicero, Pro Sestio, 12; In Pisonem, 27; Post Reditum in Senatu, 5; Epistulae ad Atticum, xiii. 45; Epistulae ad Familiares, xi. 16, 17.
- Cassius Dio, lviii. 19.
- Tacitus, Annales, vi. 27.
- Horace, Carmena Saeculare, i. 26, iii. 17.
- Cassius Dio, lxvi. 3.
- Suetonius, "The Life of Domitian", 1, 10.
- Juvenal, iv. 154.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Sext. 31, 32, 43, Pro Dom. 19, De Haruspicum Responsis 3.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.