Lutatia (gens)

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Temple of Juturna at Largo di Torre Argentina, built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus to celebrate his victory at the Aegades.

The gens Lutatia, occasionally written Luctatia, was a plebeian family of ancient Rome. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Lutatius Catulus in 242 BC, the final year of the First Punic War. Orosius mentions their burial place, the sepulchrum Lutatiorum, which lay beyond the Tiber.[1][2]


The chief praenomina used by the Lutatii of the Republic were Gaius and Quintus, from which they rarely deviated; but there are also instances of Gnaeus and Marcus, which were probably given to younger children.

Branches and cognomina[edit]

The surnames of the Lutatii under the Republic were Catulus, Cerco, and Pinthia, of which only the second is found on Roman coins. Catulus, borne by the most famous family of the Lutatii, is probably derived from the same root as Cato and Catus, which originally described someone shrewd, wise, or cautious. An alternative explanation would translate the surname as "puppy, whelp" or "cub". Cerco, borne by some of the Catuli, refers to a tail.[3][4]


Denarius of Quintus Lutatius; on the obverse Roma; on the reverse the Dioscuri. Another coin of the Lutatii features the head of Pallas on the obverse, and on the reverse a ship within a wreath of oak leaves, alluding to the naval victory of Gaius Lutatius Catulus.[5]
This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.

Catuli et Cercones[edit]

  • Gaius Lutatius Catulus, grandfather of the consuls of 242 and 241 BC.
  • Gaius Lutatius C. f. Catulus, father of the consuls.
  • Gaius Lutatius C. f. C. n. Catulus, consul in 242 BC, he had command of the Roman fleet at the Battle of the Aegates, and defeated the Carthaginian fleet under Hanno II the Great, after which Carthage agreed to negotiate an end to the war.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
  • Quintus Lutatius C. f. C. n. Catulus Cerco, consul in 241 BC, helped negotiate the terms of the treaty with Carthage. Soon afterward, there was a revolt at Falerii; Lutatius and his colleague defeated them and triumphed. He was censor in 236, but died during his year of office.[13][14][15][16][17][18]
  • Gaius Lutatius C. f. C. n. Catulus, consul in 220 BC.[19]
  • Gnaeus Lutatius Cerco, one of the ambassadors sent to Alexandria in 173 BC.[20]
  • Quintus Lutatius Q. f. Catulus, an orator, poet, and writer of prose. He was consul in 102 BC, with Gaius Marius as his colleague. They fought against the Cimbri and Teutones. Later, during the civil war between Marius and Sulla, Catulus took his own life rather than face the partisans of his former colleague. His wife was Servilia.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]
  • Quintus Lutatius Q. f. Q. n. Catulus Capitolinus, consul in 78 BC, and censor in 65. Catulus was an influential member of the Roman Senate, as one of the few prominent men who had survived the proscriptions of Marius and Sulla. He married a sister of Quintus Hortensius, the orator, and in turn Hortensius married a sister of Lutatius.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]
  • Lutatia Q. f. Q. n., the wife of the orator Hortensius. Her daughter, Hortensia, inherited her father's rhetorical skills.[37][38][39]


  • Marcus Lutatius Pinthia, an eques who lived in the middle part of the second century BC.[40]
  • Lutatius, the author of a history titled, Communis Historia, sometimes attributed to Gaius Lutatius Catulus, but probably by another Lutatius, since Cicero does not mention it among Catulus' works.[41][42][43]
  • Lutatius Daphnis, a grammarian, originally purchased as a slave by Quintus Lutatius Catulus, but afterward manumitted.[44]
  • Quintus Lutatius Diodorus, became a Roman citizen under Sulla, at the behest of Quintus Lutatius Catulus. He settled at Lilybaeum, where he was victimized by Verres.[45]
  • Lutatius, a scholiast on Statius.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orosius, v. 21.
  2. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 843 ("Lutatia Gens").
  3. ^ Chase, pp. 113, 116.
  4. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 653 ("Catulus").
  5. ^ Eckhel, v. p. 240.
  6. ^ Polybius, i. 58–64
  7. ^ Livy, Epitome, 19.
  8. ^ Eutropius, ii. 27.
  9. ^ Orosius, iv. 10.
  10. ^ Valerius Maximus, ii. 8. § 2.
  11. ^ Zonaras, viii. p. 398 ff.
  12. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  13. ^ Livy, xxx. 44, Epitome, 19.
  14. ^ Eutropius, ii. 28.
  15. ^ Orosius, iv. 11.
  16. ^ Polybius, i. 65.
  17. ^ Zonaras, viii. 18.
  18. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  19. ^ Zonaras, viii. p. 405.
  20. ^ Livy, xlii. 6.
  21. ^ Cicero, Pro Plancio, 5; De Oratore, iii. 8; Brutus, 35.
  22. ^ Orelli, Onomasticon Tullianum, ii. p. 366 ff.
  23. ^ Plutarch, "The Life of Marius"; "The Life of Sulla.
  24. ^ Appian, Bellum Civile, i. 74.
  25. ^ Velleius Paterculus, ii. 21.
  26. ^ Florus, iii. 21.
  27. ^ Valerius Maximus, vi. 3, ix. 12.
  28. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, xxxiv. 19.
  29. ^ Orelli, Onomasticon Tullianum, ii. p. 367 ff.
  30. ^ Sallust, Bellum Catilinae, 35, 49.
  31. ^ Tacitus, Historiae, iii. 72.
  32. ^ Suetonius, "The Life of Caesar", 15; "The Life of Galba", 2.
  33. ^ Valerius Maximus, vi. 9. § 5.
  34. ^ Plutarch, "The Life of Crassus", 13; "The Life of Cato the Younger", 16.
  35. ^ Seneca, Epistulae, 97.
  36. ^ Cassius Dio, xxxvi. 13.
  37. ^ Valerius Maximus, iii. 3. § 3.
  38. ^ Quintilian, i. 1. § 6.
  39. ^ Appian, Bellum Civile, iv. 32.
  40. ^ Cicero, De Officiis, iii. 19.
  41. ^ Probus, In Vergilii Bucolica et Georgica Commentarius, iii. 280.
  42. ^ Servius, Ad Aeneidem, ix. 710.
  43. ^ Krause, Vita et Fragmenta, p. 318 ff.
  44. ^ Suetonius, De Illustribus Grammaticis, 3.
  45. ^ Cicero, In Verrem, iv. 17.