Otacilia (gens)

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The gens Otacilia, originally Octacilia, was a plebeian family at Rome. The gens first rose to prominence during the First Punic War, but afterwards lapsed into obscurity. The first of the family to obtain the consulship was Manius Otacilius Crassus, in 263 BC.[1]


The nomen Otacilius may be derived from the praenomen Octavius. Octacilius is the correct orthography, but Otacilius is the form most common in later sources. The earliest known member of the family was a native of Maleventum, an ancient city of Campania, which according to Pliny was inhabited by the Hirpini.[1][2][3]


The early Otacilii favored the praenomina Manius, Titus, and Gaius. The earliest known Otacilius bore the praenomen Numerius, which passed through his daughter to the Fabii. In later times, Gnaeus and Lucius are found.[1][3]

Branches and cognomina[edit]

The only family-names of the Otacilii are Crassus and Naso. Crassus was a common surname, meaning "dull, thick," or "solid." It could refer to appearance, demeanor, or intellect. Naso is thought to refer to a prominent nose.[1][4]


This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.

Otacilii Crassi[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 64 ("Otacilia Gens").
  2. ^ Pliny the Elder, iii. 11. s. 16.
  3. ^ a b c d Festus, s. v. Numerius, pp. 170, 173, ed. Müller.
  4. ^ Chase, pp. 109–110.
  5. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, xiii. 33.
  6. ^ Suetonius, De Claris Rhetoribus, 3.
  7. ^ Vossius, De Historicis Latinis Libri III., i. 9. p. 40
  8. ^ Michael Grant, The Roman Emperors.
  9. ^ Polybius, i. 16 ff.
  10. ^ Zonaras, viii. 9.
  11. ^ Eutropius, ii. 10.
  12. ^ Orosius, iv. 7.
  13. ^ Gellius, x. 6.
  14. ^ Polybius, i. 20.
  15. ^ Valerius Maximus, viii. 2. § 2.
  16. ^ Caesar, De Bello Civili, iii. 28, 29.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). ""Otacilia Gens"". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. III. p. 64.