Ahenobarbus was a cognomen used by a plebeian branch of the gens Domitia in the late Roman Republic and early Empire. The name means "red-beard" (literally, "bronze-beard") in Latin. According to legend, Castor and Pollux announced to one of their ancestors the victory of the Romans over the Latins at the battle of Lake Regillus, and, to confirm the truth of what they had just said, they stroked his black hair and beard, which immediately became red.
List of Ahenobarbi
Notable Ahenobarbi include:
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 192 BC)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 162 BC)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 122 BC)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 96 BC), son of the same named consul of 122 BC.
- Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 94 BC)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (died 81 BC)
- Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 54 BC), son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 96 BC), supporter of Pompey and character in Lucan's Pharsalia
- Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (praetor 50 BC)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 32 BC). A fictionalized version of this Ahenobarbus appears in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra under the name of "Enobarbus"
- Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 16 BC), only child of the above Gnaeus Domitius and Aemilia Lepida, paternal grandfather of the Emperor Nero, maternal grandfather of Valeria Messalina (third wife of the emperor Claudius)
- Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 32), father of the Emperor Nero and maternal uncle to Valeria Messalina
- The Emperor Nero was born in AD 37 to the Domitius above as Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (named after Domitius's father Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 16 BC)). He was adopted by Claudius in 50 as official heir to the throne, becoming Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus and then Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. He was the only child of Agrippina the Younger through her first marriage to Domitius, and through her, he was great-great grandson of the Emperor Augustus, great-grandnephew and adoptive great-grandson of the Emperor Tiberius, nephew of the Emperor Caligula, as well as great-nephew and stepson of the Emperor Claudius.
'The family tree below shows relationships between the Ahenobarbus branch of the gens Domitia to the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Fictional bearers of the name
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Ahenobarbus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.