The gens Manlia was one of the oldest and noblest patrician houses at Rome, from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gnaeus Manlius Cincinnatus, consul in 480 BC. The family was probably numbered amongst the gentes maiores, the most important of the patrician families.
Origin of the gens
The Manlii were said to hail from the ancient Latin city of Tusculum. The nomen Manlia may be a patronymic surname, based on the praenomen Manius, presumably the name of an ancestor of the gens. The gens Manilia was derived from the same name. However, Manius was not used by any of the Manlii in historical times.
Praenomina used by the gens
A well-known story relates that after Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was condemned for treason, the Roman Senate decreed that henceforth none of the gens should bear the praenomen Marcus. However, this legend may have originated as a way to explain the scarcity of the name amongst the Manlii, as the name was occasionally used in later generations.
Branches and cognomina of the gens
The earliest cognomen found amongst the Manlii is Cincinnatus, better known as a cognomen of the Quinctii. This name, probably referring to a person with fine, curly hair, may have been a personal surname, as it does not seem to have been used by later generations. The cognomen Vulso appeared shortly thereafter, and this family flourished for over three hundred years. Several other early Manlii appear without cognomina.
The family of the Capitolini was descended from the Vulsones, and appears at the beginning of the 4th century BC. The surname Capitolinus probably indicates that the family lived on the Capitoline Hill, although the role of Marcus Manlius in saving the Capitol from the Gauls during the sack of Rome in 390 BC is also credited with establishing the name in his family. The surname was relatively short-lived amongst the Manlii, being replaced by that of Torquatus. Imperiosus was a cognomen belonging to some of the Capitolini and Torquati, bestowed on account of their imperious manner.
The Torquati were descended from the Capitolini, and obtained their surname from Titus Manlius Imperiosus, who defeated a giant Gaul during a battle in 361 BC, and took his torque as a trophy, placing it around his own neck. The descendants of Torquatus remained prominent until the final decades of the Republic.
Members of the gens
- Gnaeus Manlius Cn. f. Vulso, consul in 474 BC.
- Aulus Manlius Cn. f. P. n. Vulso, decemvir in 451 BC.
- Marcus Manlius Cn. f. Vulso, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 420 BC.
- Publius Manlius M. f. Cn. n. Vulso, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 400 BC.
- Gaius Manlius M. f. Vulso, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 379 BC.
- Lucius Manlius A. f. P. n. Vulso Longus, consul in 256 and 250 BC.
- Lucius Manlius Vulso, unsuccessful candidate for the consulship in 216 BC.
- Publius Manlius Vulso, praetor in BC 210, received Sardinia as his province.
- Gnaeus Manlius Cn. f. L. n. Vulso, consul in 189 BC.
- Lucius Manlius Cn. f. L. n. Vulso, praetor in 197 BC, received Sicilia as his province.
- Aulus Manlius Cn. f. L. n. Vulso, consul in 178 BC.
- Marcus Manlius Vulso Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 434 BC.
- Lucius Manlius Vulso Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 422 BC.
- Titus Manlius A. f. Cn. n. Vulso Capitolinus, the father of Marcus, consul in 392 BC, and Aulus, four times consular tribune.
- Aulus Manlius A. f. Cn. n. Vulso Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 405, 402, and 397 BC.
- Quintus Manlius A. f. Cn. n. Vulso Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 396 BC.
- Marcus Manlius T. f. A. n. Capitolinus, consul in 392 BC, the deliverer of the Capitol from the Gauls.
- Aulus Manlius T. f. A. n. Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 389, 385, 383 and 370 BC.
- Gnaeus Manlius Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 385 BC (called Gaius by T. Livius).
- Publius Manlius A. f. A. n. Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 379 and 367, and dictator in 368 BC.
- Lucius Manlius A. f. A. n. Capitolinus Imperiosus, dictator in 363 BC.
- Gnaeus Manlius L. f. A. n. Capitolinus Imperiosus, consul in 359 and 357 BC.
- Titus Manlius L. f. A. n. Imperiosus Torquatus, dictator in 353, 349, and 320; consul in 347, 344, and 340 BC.
- Titus Manlius T. f. L. n. Torquatus, executed by his father for disobeying an order, 340 BC.
- Titus Manlius (T. f. T. n.) Torquatus, consul in 299 BC, thrown from his horse and killed.
- Lucius Manlius (T. f. T. n.) Torquatus, legate of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus in the great campaign of 295 BC.
- Aulus Manlius T. f. T. n. Torquatus Atticus, consul in 244 and 241 BC.
- Titus Manlius T. f. T. n. Torquatus (d. 202 BC), consul in 235 and 224, and dictator in 208 BC.
- Aulus Manlius T. f. T. n. Torquatus, grandson of Atticus.
- Titus Manlius A. f. T. n. Torquatus, consul in 165 BC.
- Aulus Manlius A. f. T. n. Torquatus, consul in 164 BC.
- Titus Manlius T. f. Torquatus, witness on behalf of Gnaeus Plancius in 54 BC.
- Aulus Manlius Torquatus, propraetor of Africa circa 70 BC.
- Lucius Manlius L. f. Torquatus, consul in 65 BC.
- Aulus Manlius (A. f.) Torquatus, praetor in 52 BC, supported Gnaeus Pompeius during the civil war.
- Lucius Manlius L. f. L. n. Torquatus, partisan of Pompeius, taken prisoner and slain in 46 BC.
- Titus Manlius (T. f. T. n.) Torquatus, quaestor of Gaius Vibius Pansa in 43 BC.
- Lucius Manlius Acidinus, praetor urbanus in 210 and proconsul of Hispania in 206 BC.
- Lucius Manlius L. f. L. n. Fulvianus (adopted), consul in 179 BC. with his natural brother, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus.
- Manlius Acidinus (M. f.), mentioned as an "illustrious youth" in 170 BC. by Livius.
- Lucius Manlius (L. f.) Acidinus, quaestor in 168 BC.
- Manlius Acidinus, an acquaintance of the younger Cicero in 45 BC.
- Aulus Manlius, legate of Gaius Marius in 107 BC, during the war against Jugurtha.
- Manlius Lentinus, legate of Gaius Pomptinus in Gallia Narbonensis, took the city of Ventia in 61 BC.
- Gnaeus Manlius, tribunus plebis in 58 BC, proposed a law granting the libertini the right to vote in all of the tribes.
- Titus Manlius Valens (circa AD 6-96), consul in AD 96, and died the same year.
- Manlia Scantilla, wife of Marcus Didius Julianus, and Roman Empress in AD 193
- Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (5th century), influential Christian philosopher
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 44.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, v, 12
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi, 3, 30
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxii. 35.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxvi. 23, xxvii. 6, 7.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxii. 27, 28, xxxviii. 20
- Polybius, The Histories, xxii, 25, 26.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 23.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 42.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 61, v. 8, 16.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 30.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, x. 26.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Plancio, 11, Brutus, 70.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Plancio 11.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlii. 49.
- Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Jugurthine War, 86, 90, 102.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, xxxvii. 47.
- Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Cic. Mil. p. 56.
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, xii. 40; Historiae, i. 64.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxvii. 14.
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.