Vitellia (gens)

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The Gens Vitellia or Vitelii were a gens in ancient Rome. It is also spelled Vitullius in inscriptions.

In the time of Suetonius it was controversial between Aulus Vitellius (supporter of the princeps) and his enemies whether it was old and noble or recent and obscure, even plebeian. It would have originated as a diminutive of the cognomen Vitulus. The name of the Vitellii at least is old and their ancestry was said to date back to Faunus, king of the aboriginals, and Vitellia (Suetonius, Vitellius 1). Then, according to tradition, the family came from Sabini territory to Rome and were included among the patricians. As evidence for the existence of these early kings is the Via Vitellia from the Janiculum to the sea and a colonia Vitellia in Aequi territory.[citation needed]

Two brothers of Vitellii were among the chief supporters of Tarquinius Superbus's attempt to regain the throne; their sister was the wife of the consul Lucius Junius Brutus.[1] On the other hand, Cassius Severus and others considered that the Vitellii were of low birth: the founder of the gens was, they argued, a freedman who had a son with a prostitute, and that son only joined the equites because of his accumulated wealth (Suet., Vitell.. 1-2). Suetonius leaves the question of the gens's origins unanswered. See also Vitelli-a 16th Century prominent family of Umbria who claimed relationship to the Vitellius {gens}

Notable members[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. 


External Sources[edit]

Gens Vitellia - A gens of, the modern Roman Republic reconstructionist organization.