Sertoria (gens)

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The gens Sertoria was a minor plebeian family at ancient Rome. Few members of this gens appear in history. The most illustrious of the family was the Roman general Quintus Sertorius, who defied the dictator Sulla and his allies for a decade after the populares were driven from power in Rome.[1]


The general Sertorius was born at Nursia, in Sabinium, where his family had lived for several generations. The name of the gens is a patronymic surname, based on the praenomen Sertor, which was considered archaic at Rome by the first century BC. It may have meant, "one who protects" or "preserves".[2][3]


The Sertorii used a variety of common praenomina, including Gaius, Gnaeus, Lucius, Publius, Quintus, and Titus.

Branches and cognomina[edit]

The Sertorii of the Republic were not divided into distinct families. In imperial times there was a family bearing the cognomen Brocchus, originally referring to someone with prominent teeth.[4][5]


This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.
  • Quintus Sertorius, a celebrated general in the last decades of the Republic. He fought alongside Marius and Cinna, and later established an independent state in Hispania during the dictatorship of Sulla, but was finally murdered by one of his officers.[6][1]
  • Sertorius Severus, a man of praetorian rank, was named one of the heirs of Pomponia Galla, together with Pliny the Younger.[7]
  • Sertorius, the husband of Bibula, mentioned by Juvenal.[8][9]
  • Sertorius Clemens, a medical writer mentioned by Galen.[9]

Sertorii Brocchi[edit]

  • Gaius Sertorius Brocchus, proconsul of an uncertain province during the reign of Claudius.[9]
  • Gaius Sertorius Brocchus Quintus Servaeus Innocens, consul suffectus in AD 101.[10]
  • Gnaeus Sertorius C. f. Brocchus Aquilius Agricola Pedanius Fuscus Salinator Julius Servianus, named in an inscription from Doclea in Dalmatia.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dictionary of Greek & Roman Biography & Mythology, vol. III, pp. 789–792 ("Quintus Sertorius").
  2. ^ Liber de Praenominibus.
  3. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897).
  4. ^ Chase, p. 109.
  5. ^ Dictionary of Greek & Roman Biography & Mythology, vol. I, p. 506 ("Brocchus").
  6. ^ Plutarch, "The Life of Sertorius", passim.
  7. ^ Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, v. 1.
  8. ^ Juvenal, Satirae, vi. 142.
  9. ^ a b c d PIR, vol. III, pp. 223, 224.
  10. ^ Fasti Ostienses, CIL XIV, 244.