The gens Caelia, also written Coelia was a plebeian family at Rome. The nomen is usually written Caelius in manuscripts, while Coelius or Coilius is regularly found on coins. The name is frequently confused with the more common Caecilius. Although the Caelii asserted their great antiquity, the first of this gens who obtained the consulship was Gaius Caelius Caldus in 94 BC.
The Caelii claimed descent from the Etruscan hero, Caelius Vibenna, whose adventures were legendary in Etruria, but largely forgotten at Rome; the emperor Claudius, who was deeply interested in Etruscan culture, described the adventures of Caelius, his brother, Aulus Vibenna, and their companion, Macstarna, whom Claudius maintained was the same person as Servius Tullius, the sixth King of Rome. The famous François Tomb discovered at Vulci includes a fresco depicting one such episode, in which, aided by a companion, the three heroes and their friends escape from captivity, and slay an enemy named Gnaeus Tarquinius of Rome. Subsequently Vibenna and his followers settled at Rome, on the Querquetulan, or oak-covered hill, which in later times was generally known as the Caelian Hill, one of the famed seven hills of Rome.
Branches and cognomina
There only cognomina of this gens under the Republic were Caldus and Rufus, but most of the Caelii bore no surname. Caldus is derived from the Latin calidus, which may be translated "hot, eager, rash," or "hasty". Rufus, "red", was typically given to a person with red hair.
- Marcus Caelius, tribune of the plebs, attacked in a speech by Marcus Porcius Cato, the censor.
- Lucius Caelius, commanded as a legate in Illyricum during the war against Perseus, in 169 BC, and was defeated in his attempt to take the town of Uscana.
- Lucius Coelius Antipater, a jurist and historian during the latter half of the second century BC
- Publius Caelius, placed in command of Placentia by the consul Gnaeus Octavius in 87 BC, and when the town was taken by Cinna's army, he caused himself to be put to death, rather than fall into the hands of the Marian party.
- Publius Caelius (P. f.), praetor in 74 BC.
- Marcus Caelius, an eques, from whom Verres took away several silver vases, in 71 BC.
- Marcus Caelius M. f. Vinicianus, quaestor circa 56 BC, tribune of the plebs in 53, praetor about 48, and subsequently proconsul of Bithynia and Pontus. Although a supporter of Pompeius during his tribunate, he was a partisan of Caesar during the Civil War.
- Gaius Caelius, tribune of the plebs in 51 BC, with several of his colleagues vetoed the senate's decrees directed against Caesar.
- Marcus Caelius Rufus, praetor peregrinus in 48 BC, during the Civil War, deprived of his office after deliberately causing a riot, and subsequently slain by the cavalry, whom he attempted to bribe to surrender the city of Thurii.
- Quintus Caelius, a friend and follower of Marcus Antonius, attacked by Cicero.
- Caelius, a moneylender, with whom Cicero had some dealings.
- Gaius Caelius C. f., a senator in 129 BC, probably the father of Gaius Coelius Caldus, the consul of 94 BC.
- Gaius Caelius C. f. C. n. Caldus, consul in 94 BC, a novus homo and minor orator, subsequently a supporter of Marius.
- Lucius Caelius C. f. C. n. Caldus, the son of Gaius Caelius Caldus, consul in 94 BC.
- Gaius Caelius L. f. C. n. Caldus, quaestor under Cicero in Cilicia in 50 BC; when Cicero departed the province, he left the administration in the hands of Caldus.
- Caelius Caldus, taken prisoner by the Germans following the defeat of Publius Quinctilius Varus in AD 9, killed himself rather than be subjected to the torture he anticipated.
- Caelius Cursor, an eques, put to death by Tiberius, for having falsely charged the praetor Magius Caecilianus with treason.
- Gaius Caelius Rufus, consul in AD 17.
- Caelius Pollio, commander of the Roman army in Armenia in AD 51, bribed by Rhadamistus to betray the cause of Mithridates, the Roman client king.
- Marcus Caelius Roscius, legate of the twentieth legion, stationed in Britain at the time of Nero's death in AD 68.
- Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus, a jurist, appointed consul by the emperor Otho in AD 69, and retained by Aulus Vitellius.
- Quintus Caelius Honoratus, consul suffectus in AD 105.
- Decimus Caelius Balbinus, Roman emperor with Marcus Clodius Pupienus in AD 238.
- Caelius Apicius, the attributed author of a culinary treatise in ten books, probably in the first century AD.
- Coelius Sedulius, a Christian poet of the early fifth century.
- Caelius Firmianus Symposius, a poet, and the author of a series of riddles, of uncertain date.
- Caelius Aurelianus, a physician of uncertain date during the imperial period.
- Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, p. 324.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 532 ("Caelia or Coelia Gens").
- Varro, De Lingua Latina, v. 46.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 532 ("Caeles or Caelius Vibenna").
- Oxford Classical Dictionary.
- Cicero, De Inventione, ii. 9.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 561 ("Caldus").
- Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary, s. v. v. calidus, rufus.
- Aulus Gellius, i. 15.
- Livy, xliii. 21.
- Valerius Maximus, iv. 7. § 5.
- Cicero, In Verrem, i. 50.
- Cicero, In Verrem, iv. 47, Pro Flacco, 4.
- ILLRP, 402.
- Broughton, vol. II, pp. 210, 228, 273, 288.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, viii. 8.
- Cicero, Philippicae, xiii. 2, 12.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 5, 6, vii. 3, xiii. 3.
- Sherk, "Senatus Consultum De Agro Pergameno", p. 367.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, ii. 15, 19, Epistulae ad Atticum, vi. 2, 4-6, vii. 1.
- Velleius Paterculus, ii. 20.
- Tacitus, Annales, iii. 37.
- Tacitus, Annales, xii. 44
- Cassius Dio, lxi. 6.
- Tacitus, Historiae, i. 60.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Inventione, Epistulae ad Atticum, Epistulae ad Familiares, In Verrem, Philippicae, Pro Flacco.
- Marcus Terentius Varro, De Lingua Latina (On the Latin Language).
- Titus Livius (Livy), History of Rome.
- Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium (Memorable Facts and Sayings).
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, Historiae.
- Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights).
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus (Cassius Dio), Roman History.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849).
- T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, American Philological Association (1952–1986).
- Atilio Degrassi, Inscriptiones Latinae Liberae Rei Publicae (abbreviated ILLRP), Florence (1957–1963).
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York (1963).
- Robert K. Sherk, "The Text of the Senatus Consultum De Agro Pergameno", in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, vol. 7, pp. 361–369 (1966).
- Michael Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, Cambridge University Press (1974, 2001).
- Oxford Classical Dictionary, N. G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard, eds., Clarendon Press, Oxford (Second Edition, 1970).
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.