Lartia (gens)

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The gens Lartia, also spelled Larcia, or rarely Largia, was a patrician family at ancient Rome, whose members earned great distinction at the beginning of the Republic. Spurius Lartius was one of the two companions of Horatius, who defended the Pons Sublicius against Lars Porsena in 508 BC. A few years later, Titus Lartius became the first Roman dictator. However, the gens all but vanishes from history after this period. A family of the same name existed in the late Republic and under the early Empire, but their relationship to the earlier Lartii is unknown.[1]


The Lartii were one of several noble families of Etruscan origin during the early Republic. The nomen Lartius is a patronymic surname, based on the Etruscan praenomen Lars. This name, meaning "lord", is usually spelled Larth in Etruscan inscriptions, but Latin writers also used Lars in place of the Etruscan praenomina Laris and Larce, apparently distinct names in Etruscan. The nomen is always spelled Lartius in Livius, while Dionysius alternates between Λάρκιος, Larcius and Λάργιος, Largius. All three forms appear on Latin inscriptions.[1][2]


The only praenomina associated with the Lartii of the early Republic are Titus and Spurius. The Larcii of the late Republic and early Empire used Lucius and Aulus.

Branches and cognomina[edit]

According to Dionysius, the Lartii at the outset of the Republic bore the surname Flavus. However, Rufus is found in place of Flavus in some inscriptions. As the consuls of the early Republic are known to have been brothers, it seems possible that one of them, having fair hair, was called Flavus, while the other, having red hair, was called Rufus. The cognomina are now so confused that it is impossible to determine which was which.[1][3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 723 ("Lartia Gens").
  2. ^ Chase, pp. 129, 135, 136.
  3. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 6, 7, 18.
  4. ^ Livy, ii. 15.
  5. ^ Dionysius, v. 36, vii. 68.
  6. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 5–8, 18.
  7. ^ Livy, ii. 18, 21.
  8. ^ Dionysius, v. 50, 59, 60, 70, vi. 42, 92, vii. 68.
  9. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 9, 10–12, 14, 16.
  10. ^ Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, vi. 3. § 96.
  11. ^ SIG, 747.
  12. ^ Broughton, vol. II, p. 115.
  13. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, xix. 2. s. 11, xxxi. 2. s. 18.
  14. ^ Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, ii. 14, iii. 5.
  15. ^ Bowsky, "A. Larcius Lepidus Sulpicianus", pp. 504 ff.
  16. ^ Bowsky, "A. Larcius Lepidus Sulpicianus", pp. 506ff
  17. ^ a b Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, iii. 14.
  18. ^ Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain, pp. 235–237.
  19. ^ Eck, "Miscellanea prosopographica", pp. 245 ff.