Gavia (gens)

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The gens Gavia, or occasionally Gabia, was a Roman family of plebeian descent. It first appears in history during the first century BC, but none of its members obtained any of the curule magistracies until imperial times. The Gavi Arch at Verona was built in honor of one of the Gavii.[1]

Origin[edit]

As a nomen, Gavius is a patronymic surname, derived from the praenomen Gavius. In historical times, this praenomen was used by the Oscan-speaking peoples of central and southern Italy, suggesting that the Gavii were originally of Sabine or Samnite origin;[2] one of the most famous persons with this praenomen was Gavius Pontius, a Samnite general during the Second Samnite War.

But as with other patronymic surnames, there may originally have been several unrelated families bearing the same nomen, and some of these could also have been of Latin origin; Gavius is thought to be the original form of Gaius, one of the most common praenomina in every period of Roman history. That name is derived from an ancient root meaning "to rejoice".[3] As it is impossible to distinguish between different families of Gavii with absolute certainty, all persons bearing this nomen are collected here.

Members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 232 ("Gavius or Gabius").
  2. ^ Chase, p. 127.
  3. ^ Chase, pp. 157, 158.
  4. ^ Cicero, In Verrem, v. 61.
  5. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, v. 20. § 4.
  6. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, vi. 1. § 4, 3. § 6; iv. 8. b. § 3..
  7. ^ Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Controversiae, v. praefatio.
  8. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 225 ("Apicius" no. 2).
  9. ^ Gellius, ii. 4, iii. 9, 19, v. 7, xi. 17.
  10. ^ Macrobius, i. 19, iii. 6 (compare iii. 18).
  11. ^ Fulgentius.
  12. ^ a b Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 473 ("Gavius or Gabius Bassus").
  13. ^ Pliny the Younger, Epistulae x. 18, 32, 33.
  14. ^ a b c Alföldy, p. 89, note 60.
  15. ^ Birley, Marcus Aurelius, p. 112.
  16. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 44 ("Orfitus" no. 8).
  17. ^ Alföldy, p. 216.
  18. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, pp. 44, 1380 ("Orfitus" no. 10, "Chronological Tables of Roman History").

Bibliography[edit]