The gens Servilia was a patrician family at Rome. The gens was celebrated during the early ages of the Republic, and the names of few gentes appear more frequently at this period in the consular Fasti. It continued to produce men of influence in the state down to the latest times of the Republic, and even in the imperial period. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Publius Servilius Priscus Structus in 495 BC, and the last of the name who appears in the consular Fasti is Quintus Servilius Silanus, in AD 189, thus occupying a prominent position in the Roman state for nearly seven hundred years.
Like other Roman gentes, the Servilii of course had their own sacra; and they are said to have worshipped a triens, or copper coin, which is reported to have increased or diminished in size at various times, thus indicating the increase or diminution of the honors of the gens. Although the Servilii were originally patricians, in the later Republic there were also plebeian Servilii.
- 1 Origin
- 2 Praenomina
- 3 Branches and cognomina
- 4 Members
- 5 Descent of the Servilii of the late Republic
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
According to tradition, the Servilia gens was one of the Alban houses removed to Rome by Tullus Hostilius, and enrolled by him among the patricians. It was, consequently, one of the gentes minores. The nomen Servilius is a patronymic surname, derived from the praenomen Servius (meaning "one who keeps safe" or "preserves"), which must have been borne by the ancestor of the gens.
The different branches of the Servilii each used slightly different sets of praenomina. The oldest stirpes used the praenomina Publius, Quintus, Spurius, and Gaius. The Servilii Caepiones used primarily Gnaeus and Quintus. The Servilii Gemini employed Gnaeus, Quintus, Publius, Gaius, and Marcus. The ancestors of the gens must have used the praenomen Servius, but the family no longer used it in historical times.
Branches and cognomina
The Servilii were divided into numerous families; of these the names in the Republican period are Ahala, Axilla, Caepio, Casca, Geminus, Glaucia, Globulus, Priscus (with the agnomen Fidenas), Rullus, Structus, Tucca, and Vatia (with the agnomen Isauricus). The Structi, Prisci, Ahalae, and Caepiones were patricians; the Gemini originally patrician, and later plebeian; the Vatiae and Cascae plebeians. Other cognomina appear under the Empire. The only surnames found on coins are those of Ahala, Caepio, Casca, and Rullus.
The cognomen Structus almost always occurs in connection with those of Priscus or Ahala. The only Structus who is mentioned with this cognomen alone is Spurius Servilius Structus, who was consular tribune in 368 BC. The fact that Structus appears in two of the oldest stirpes of the Servilii, neither of which clearly predates the other, could indicate that persons bearing this surname were ancestral to both great houses.
The Prisci were an ancient family of the Servilia gens, and filled the highest offices of the state during the early years of the Republic. They also bore the agnomen of Structus, which is always appended to their name in the Fasti, till it was supplanted by that of Fidenas, which was first obtained by Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus, who took Fidenae in his dictatorship, in 435 BC, and which was also borne by his descendants.
Ahala, of which Axilla is merely another form, is a diminutive of ala, a wing. A popular legend related that the name was first given to Gaius Servilius Structus, magister equitum in 439 BC, because he hid the knife with which he slew Spurius Maelius in his armpit (also ala). However, this does not appear to be the case, since the name had been in use by the family for at least a generation before that event.
The surnames Caepio and Geminus appear almost simultaneously in the middle of the third century BC, with the consuls of 253 and 252. Each was the grandson of a Gnaeus Servilius, suggesting that the two cognomina belonged to two branches of the same family. Caepio, an onion, belongs to a large class of surnames derived from ordinary objects, while Geminus originally denoted a twin, and was typically given to the younger of two brothers. In a discussion concerning appearances, Cicero mentions a certain Quintus Servilius Geminus, who was frequently mistaken for his brother, Publius, the consul of 252 BC. The Servilii Vatiae seem to be descended from the Gemini.
- Publius Servilius Priscus Structus, father of the consul of 495 BC.
- Publius Servilius P. f. Priscus Structus, consul in 495 BC, defeated the Sabines and the Aurunci.
- Quintus Servilius P. f. Priscus Structus, magister equitum in 494 BC.
- Spurius Servilius P. f. Priscus Structus, consul in 476 BC, repulsed in his attempt to retake the Janiculum from the Etruscans.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Priscus Structus, consul in 468 and 466 BC.
- Publius Servilius S. f. P. n. Priscus Structus, consul in 463 BC, was carried off in his consulship by the great plague which raged at Rome in this year.
- Quintus Servilius P. f. S. n. Priscus Structus, dictator in 435 and 418 BC, captured the town of Fidenae, thereby obtaining the surname Fidenas.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. P. n. Priscus Fidenas, consular tribune in 402, 398, 395, 390, 388, and 386 BC.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Q. n. Priscus Fidenas, consular tribune in 382, 378, and 369 BC.
- Spurius Servilius Priscus, censor in 378 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala, consul in 478 BC, died in his year of office.
- Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala, magister equitum in 439 BC, slew Spurius Maelius.
- Quintus Servilius C. f. Structus Ahala, father of the consul of 427 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Q. f. C. n. Structus Ahala, consul in 427 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Q. f. C. n. (Structus) Ahala (or Axilla), consular tribune in 419 and 418 BC, and magister equitum in 418.
- Publius Servilius Q. n. Structus Ahala, father of Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala, the magister equitum of 408 BC.
- Gaius Servilius P. f. Q. n. Structus Ahala, consular tribune in 408, 407, and 402 BC, and magister equitum in 408.
- Gaius Servilius Ahala, magister equitum in 389 and 385 BC.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Ahala, father of Quintus Servilius Ahala, the consul of 365 BC.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Q. n. Ahala, consul in 365 and 362 BC, and dictator in 360.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Q. n. Ahala, magister equitum in 351 and consul in 342 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Structus, grandfather of the consular tribune.
- Gaius Servilius C. f. Structus, father of the consular tribune.
- Spurius Servilius C. f. C. n. Structus, consular tribune in 368 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius Caepio, grandfather of the consul of 253 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Caepio, father of the consul of 253 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. n. Caepio, consul in 253 BC, during the First Punic War, sailed to the coast of Africa with his colleague, Gaius Sempronius Blaesus.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. n. Caepio, father of the consul of 203 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. n. Caepio, consul in 203 BC, during the Second Punic War.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. f. Caepio, consul in 169 BC.
- Quintus Fabius Q. f. Q. n. Maximus Servilianus, son of Gnaeus Servilius Caepio, the consul of 169 BC, and brother of Gnaeus, consul in 141, and Quintus, consul in 140, was adopted by Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus. He was consul in 142 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. n. Caepio, consul in 141 and censor in 125 BC.
- Quintus Servilius Cn. f. Cn. n. Caepio, consul in 140 BC, during the Lusitanian War.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Cn. n. Caepio, consul in 106 BC, during the Cimbrian War; his army annihilated at the Battle of Arausio in 105.
- Quintus Servilius (Q. f. Q. n.) Caepio, quaestor urbanus in 100 BC and praetor in 91 BC, was killed in an ambush at Asculum in Picenum, at the beginning of the Social War.
- Servilia Q. f. Q. n., married Marcus Junius Brutus, and was the mother of the tyrannicide.
- Servilia Q. f. Q. n., married Lucius Licinius Lucullus, praetor in 74 BC.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. (Q. n.) Caepio, military tribune during the war against Spartacus, in 72 BC.
- Servilius Caepio, a supporter of Caesar, and at one time betrothed to his daughter, Julia.
- Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, the name taken by Marcus Junius Brutus, the tyrannicide, when he was adopted by his uncle, the military tribune of 72 BC.
- Gnaeus Servilius, grandfather of Publius Servilius Geminus, the consul of 252 and 248 BC. Possibly the same Gnaeus Servilius who was the ancestor of the Caepiones.
- Quintus Servilius Cn. f., father of Quintus and Publius Servilius Geminus.
- Publius Servilius Q. f. Cn. n. Geminus, consul in 252 and 248 BC, during the First Punic War.
- Quintus Servilius Q. f. Cn. n. Geminus, twin brother of the consul Publius Servilius Geminus.
- Gnaeus Servilius P. f. Q. n. Geminus, consul in 217 BC, slain at the Battle of Cannae in 216.
- Gaius Servilius P. f. Geminus, praetor before 218 BC, taken prisoner by the Boii that year. Either he or his sons went over to the plebeians.
- Gaius Servilius C. f. P. n. Geminus, consul in 203 and dictator in 202 BC, and later Pontifex Maximus.
- Marcus Servilius C. f. P. n. Pulex Geminus, consul in 202 BC.
- Marcus Servilius Geminus, consul in AD 3.
- Gaius Servilius Casca, tribune of the plebs in 212 BC, failed to intervene on behalf of his relative, Marcus Postumius Pyrgensis.
- Publius Servilius Casca Longus, one of Caesar's assassins, died shortly after the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Casca, brother of Publius, and another of Caesar's assassins.
- Marcus Servilius Vatia, grandfather of the consul of 79 BC.
- Gaius Servilius M. f. Vatia, father of the consul of 79 BC.
- Publius Servilius C. f. M. n. Vatia, surnamed Isauricus, consul in 79 and censor in 55 BC, triumphed over the Isauri.
- Publius Servilius P. f. C. n. Vatia Isauricus, consul in 48 and 41 BC.
- Servilia P. f. P. n., betrothed to Octavianus until the formation of the second triumvirate in 43 BC.
- Publius Servilius M. f. Rullus, triumvir monetalis in 100 BC.
- Publius Servilius P. f. M. n. Rullus, tribune of the plebs in 63 BC, proposed an agrarian law.
- Publius Servilius (P. f. P. n.) Rullus, one of the generals of Octavianus against Mark Antony after the Perusinian War, in 40 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Tucca, consul in 284 BC.
- Servilia, the wife of Quintus Lutatius Catulus, consul in 102 BC.
- Gaius Servilius Glaucia, praetor in 100 BC, a supporter of Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, with whom he perished.
- Quintus Servilius, praetor in 90 BC, was slain by the inhabitants of Asculum on the outbreak of the Social War.
- Publius Servilius, an eques, magister of one of the companies that farmed the taxes in Sicilia during the administration of Verres.
- Publius Servilius Globulus, tribune of the plebs in 67 BC.
- Gaius Servilius, a Roman citizen in Sicilia, publicly scourged by Verres.
- Marcus Servilius, accused of repetundae in 51 BC.
- Marcus Servilius, tribunus plebis in 44 BC, praised by Cicero as a vir fortissimus.
- Marcus Servilius Nonianus, consul in AD 35, and one of the most celebrated orators and historians of his time.
- Servilius Damocrates, a physician at Rome during the first century.
- Servilia, daughter of Barea Soranus, accused and condemned with her father in AD 66.
- Quintus Servilius Pudens, consul in AD 166.
- Marcus Servilius Silanus, consul in AD 188.
- Quintus Servilius Silanus, consul in AD 189.
Descent of the Servilii of the late Republic
This family tree depicts the Servilii Caepiones, Gemini, and Vatiae, from the third century BC to their known descendants in imperial times, extending down to the family of the emperor Galba. The chart is based on one by Friedrich Münzer.
|Stemma Caepionum et Geminorum|
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 793 ("Servilia Gens").
- Fasti Capitolini, AE 1900, 83; 1904, 114; AE 1927, 101; 1940, 59, 60.
- Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xxxiv. 13. s. 38.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, i. 30.
- George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897).
- Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, v. p. 308 ff.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 928 ("Structus").
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 528 ("Servilius Priscus").
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, pp. 83 ("Ahala"), 448 ("Axilla").
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, pp. 533–535 ("Caepio"), vol. II, p. 239 ("Geminus"), vol. III, pp. 1232, 1233 ("Vatia").
- Chase, pp. 111–113.
- Cicero, Academica Priora, ii. 84.
- Dionysius, vi. 40.
- Livy, iii. 6, 7.
- Dionysius, ix. 67, 68.
- Orosius, ii. 12.
- Livy, vi. 22, 31, 36.
- Livy, vi. 31.
- Livy, ii. 49.
- Livy, iv. 30.
- Livy, iv. 45, 46.
- Livy, vii. 22, 38.
- Livy, vi. 38.
- Diodorus Siculus, xv. 78.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 5, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, ii. 16, In Verrem, i. 55.
- Frontinus, De Aquaeductu, 8.
- Velleius Paterculus, ii. 10.
- Cicero, Pro Fonteio 14.
- Livy, Epitome, 72.
- Appian, Bellum Civile, ii. 14.
- Suetonius, "The Life of Caesar", 21.
- Plutarch, "The Life of Caesar", 14, "The Life of Pompeius", 47.
- Valerius Maximus, i. 8. § 11.
- Livy, xxv. 3.
- Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, p. 329.
- Cassius Dio, xlviii. 28.
- Appian, Bellum Civile, v. 58.
- Cicero, In Verrem, ii. 8.
- Cicero, In Verrem, iii. 71.
- Cicero, In Verrem, v. 54.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, viii. 8 § 3, Epistulae ad Atticum, vi. 3 § 10.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, xii. 7, Philippicae, iv. 6.
- Aelius Lampridius, "The Life of Commodus", 11.
- Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, "Servilius", p. 1778.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Academica Priora, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Epistulae ad Atticum, Epistulae ad Familiares, In Verrem, Philippicae, Pro Fonteio.
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica (Library of History).
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia (Roman Antiquities).
- Titus Livius (Livy), History of Rome.
- Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium (Memorable Facts and Sayings).
- Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), Historia Naturalis (Natural History).
- Sextus Julius Frontinus, De Aquaeductu (On Aqueducts).
- Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.
- Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De Vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars, or The Twelve Caesars).
- Appianus Alexandrinus (Appian), Bellum Civile (The Civil War).
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus (Cassius Dio), Roman History.
- Aelius Lampridius, Aelius Spartianus, Flavius Vopiscus, Julius Capitolinus, Trebellius Pollio, and Vulcatius Gallicanus, Historia Augusta (Augustan History).
- Paulus Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos (History Against the Pagans).
- Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum (The Study of Ancient Coins, 1792–1798).
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849).
- René Cagnat et alii, L'Année épigraphique (The Year in Epigraphy, abbreviated AE), Presses Universitaires de France (1888–present).
- August Pauly, Georg Wissowa, et alii, Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft (Scientific Encyclopedia of the Knowledge of Classical Antiquities, abbreviated RE or PW), J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart (1894–1980).
- George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII, pp. 103–184 (1897).
- Michael Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, Cambridge University Press (1974).
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). . Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.