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Deus_vult

Patrician Families

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I know it's sort of a strange question but I've always wondered what happened to the famous families of rome. The Claudii, the Fabii, Cornelli (If I'm using the pluras right). I think there were 15 or so who showed up time and time for a thousand years and I wonder what ultimately happened to them. Anyone know of late writings on them? Ever hear of any claimants to the families in later history? Who was the last to call himself a Julian or a Servillian or Fabian?

Thanks

 

Here's the complete list of the original families.

 

According to Forsythe, the 16 original patrician clans were the

 

1. Aemilii ..... 9. Nautii

2. Claudii .... 10. Postumii

3. Cloelii .... 11. Quinctilii

4. Cornelii ....12. Quinctii

5. Fabii .... 13. Servilii

6. Furii .... 14. Sulpicii

7. Julii .... 15. Valerii

8. Manlii .... 16. Veturii

 

Credits to MPC for the list, it can be found here.

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(And even then he was succeeded by a noble of ancient lineage called Sulpicius Galba)

 

Galba was pretty much the last emperor to claim any noble lineage. It should be noted that even prior, under the second Triumvirate, the ruling class of Rome was largely people of non-Patrician origin. In fact thats when the old order really begins to suffer. The emperors that followed Galba (Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian) were not of any noble origin, although Vitellius achieved noble status through the rise of his father. Vespasian signaled the end of it all, and he made no pretense of nobility.

Edited by Divi Filius

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Galba was pretty much the last emperor to claim any noble lineage. It should be noted that even prior, under the second Triumvirate, the ruling class of Rome was largely people of non-Patrician origin. In fact thats when the old order really begins to suffer. The emperors that followed Galba (Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian) were not of any noble origin, although Vitellius achieved noble status through the rise of his father. Vespasian signaled the end of it all, and he made no pretense of nobility.

 

This is something I have needed to follow up for a while. Is there in fact a connection between the noble Vitelli of the early republic and Vitellius? (Cf Brutus and the Tarquinian conspiracy) I think Plutarch refers to the family as being descended from a river nymph, but this could be a Roman joke making fun of Vitellius' famous corpulence. Suetonius says that the emperor may or may not have been of ancient lineage, and mentions that they lived on the Vitellan way off the Janiculum, which suggests that they had been about for a bit.

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Is there in fact a connection between the noble Vitelli of the early republic and Vitellius?

 

I would say no. Even if they did it would mostly be mythical, but they do not seem to see any connection. Vitellius' family seems to have come from low background. His grandfather was a questor under Augustus while his father managed to reach the consulship and fame under Claudius. Nevertheless, Gwyn Morgan, in his Year of the Four Emperors, makes the connection to show the of unorthodoxy in the family(the Vitelli brothers were pro-monarchy while their sister was married to Brutus).

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I know it's sort of a strange question but I've always wondered what happened to the famous families of rome. The Claudii, the Fabii, Cornelli (If I'm using the pluras right). I think there were 15 or so who showed up time and time for a thousand years and I wonder what ultimately happened to them. Anyone know of late writings on them? Ever hear of any claimants to the families in later history? Who was the last to call himself a Julian or a Servillian or Fabian?

Thanks

Salve, DV!

This is an excellent question.

In his article titled "Composition of the Senate, A.D. 68-235" (The Journal of Roman Studies, 1957), Hammond illustrated the decline of patricians of Republican ancestry in the Roman Senate by providing statistical averages under the various emperors, starting with 16 percent under Augustus and declining to 4.5 percent under Nero. He further stated that the same decline was also seen among those families that had been elevated to patrician status under Augustus and Claudius. Of those 26 families, only 16 were still represented under Nero's rule, 9 under Vespasian, and a mere 6 under Trajan

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