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Nephele

Surnames of the Aemilii

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The Aemilia gens (originally "Aimilia") was one of the most prominent of the gentes in producing the greatest number of magistrates for the Roman Republic. Plutarch, in his Life of Numa (VIII.9-10, Loeb Classical Library edition, translated by Bernadotte Perrin) offered this origin of the gens name: "Another proof is that one of the four sons born to king Numa was named Mamercus, after the son of Pythagoras. And from him they say that the patrician family of the Aemilii took its name, Aemilius being the endearing name which the king gave him for the grace and winsomeness of his speech."

 

As I did with my Surnames of the Cornelii, Surnames of the Claudii, Surnames of the Valerii, and Surnames of the Fabii, I have attempted here to list and define the various surnames used by the Aemilii of the Republic, particularly those who served in magisterial positions during the time of the Republic as noted in Broughton's Magistrates of the Roman Republic. For the purpose of this list, I have included cognomina, adoptive cognomina, and agnomina under the collective term of "surnames."

 

....read the full article of the Surnames of the Aemilii

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Another valuable installment Nephele. Among the Aemilii, whom would you nominate as their greatest representative?

 

Thank you, MPC!

 

Hmm, I'm not certain who the greatest representative of the Aemilii may have been, but I can tell you which of them interested me the most. That would be the two-time consul, Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, as evidenced by the fact that I spent more time on the entry for the surname "Macedonicus" than on any other surname entry for the Aemilii.

 

Now, I'd really be interested in hearing your choice for the greatest representative of the Aemilii.

 

-- Nephele

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Same--the Aemilius Paullus described by Plutarch. My favorite deed: of his spoils from Macedonia, he deposited nearly the whole batch in the public treasury, thereby freeing Romans of any taxes--that is, up until the consulships of the Caesarians Hirtius and Pansa (boo! hiss!). Aemilius Paullus was also to be found in the front rank of the philhellenes, and he never lowered himself to the rank populism that Scipio did.

 

BTW, tradition has it that the Aemilii were descendants of Mamercus, son of Pythagoras. I like to think that if the Aemilii had triumphed over the Julii we would see a Library of Pythagoras in the Forum instead of a dumb temple to Venus.

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Many thanks, Ursus!

 

MPC, thanks for posting those stories about our favorite Aemilius -- I enjoyed that!

 

BTW, tradition has it that the Aemilii were descendants of Mamercus, son of Pythagoras. I like to think that if the Aemilii had triumphed over the Julii we would see a Library of Pythagoras in the Forum instead of a dumb temple to Venus.

 

I agree. I'd sooner angle for a Pythagorean heritage than endure a fishy venereal one.

 

-- Nephele

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Hey Neph! Wicked work as usual. I've always wondered about the Mamercus' first name, it's origin, and peculiarity to the Aemilians. Cheers for the enlightenment. Which famous family is next?

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Salve, Amici. These map shows in red the location of the two Porticus Aemilia:

1) extra portam Trigeminam (left, down), biggest warehouse complex of republican Rome.

2) A porta Fontinali ad Martis aram (center), monumental arcades.

planromeporticusaemiliacp1.png

Here comes Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, Liber XXXV, cp. X, sec XII (DLXI AUC / 193 BC):

 

L. Quinctius et Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus consules facti... aedilitas insignis eo anno fuit M. Aemilii Lepidi et L. Aemilii Pauli: multos pecuarios damnarunt; ex ea pecunia clupea inaurata in fastigio Iouis aedis posuerunt, porticum unam extra portam Trigeminam, emporio ad Tiberim adiecto, alteram ab porta Fontinali ad Martis aram qua in Campum iter esset perduxerunt.

 

L. Quinctius and Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus were the two elected consuls... M. Aemilius Lepidus and L. Aemilius Paulus distinguished themselves as aediles this year. They inflicted fines on a large number of graziers, and out of the proceeds they had gold-plated shields made, which they placed on the pediment of the temple of Jupiter. They also built an arcade outside the Porta Trigemina, and in connection with it a wharf on the Tiber, and a second arcade leading from the Porta Fontinalis to the altar of Mars in the Campus Martius.

Edited by ASCLEPIADES

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Hey Neph! Wicked work as usual. I've always wondered about the Mamercus' first name, it's origin, and peculiarity to the Aemilians. Cheers for the enlightenment. Which famous family is next?

 

Thank you, CS! Glad to see you back here!

 

I think the Servilii will be next for my surname series here. I'm choosing them because of their association with the princely clans of the Aemilii, Cornelii, and Fabii (whom I've already tackled).

 

Asclepiades, nice addition of the map depicting the location of the two Porticus Aemilia, with Livy's commentary. Of additional interest, here are some other noteworthy contributions to Rome's architecture by the Aemilii, from Samuel Ball Platner's 1929 A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, courtesy of Bill Thayer's Lacus Curtius website (color photos by Thayer):

 

Basilica Aemilia: "In 78 B.C., the consul M. Aemilius Lepidus decorated the building (here called basilica Aemilia) with engraved shields or portraits of his ancestors (Plin. NH XXXV.13)..."

 

Columna Rostrata Aemilii Pauli: "a column, adorned with the beaks of ships, erected on the Capitoline in honour of M. Aemilius Paullus, consul in 255 B.C., and destroyed by lightning in 172 B.C. (Liv. XLII.20.1)."

 

Pons Aemilius: the official name...of the first stone bridge across the Tiber, said to have been built [by Aimilios]."

 

Aimilios or Aimilius being the original form of the nomen gentilicium Aemilius, created by the monarch Numa. Plutarch, in his Life of Numa (VIII.9-10, Loeb Classical Library edition, trans. by Bernadotte Perrin) offered this origin of the gens name: "Another proof is that one of the four sons born to king Numa was named Mamercus, after the son of Pythagoras. And from him they say that the patrician family of the Aemilii took its name, Aemilius being the endearing name which the king gave him for the grace and winsomeness of his speech."

 

-- Nephele

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יישר כח נפ

 

Just for the record - There were 53 consulships (or T.M with consular powers) for the Aemilian gens in the republican period -

3 Mamerci with 8 consulships

5 Mamercini (the same "family") with 14 consulships

1 Privernas with two consulships

4 Paulli with 5 consulships

3 Barbulae with 4 consulships

3 Papi with 5 consulships

9 Lepidi with 12 consulships

1 Lepidus-Purcina with one consulship

1 Scaurus with one consulship

And 1 Paullus-Lepidus with one consulship

 

One example for their great dynasty -

The praetor/consul for the years 484, 478 and 473 (Var.) Lucius had a son marcus, he had a son Mamercus the three times dictator of the 5th century . The son of the last one was Lucius, 6 times T.M. with consular powers at the beggining of the 4th century, he had a son, Lucius who was consul in 366 and 363 (Var.) . The last one had a son, Lucius (cos. 341 and 329 Var.) . According to RE it is possible that he had a brother named Quintus Barbula, the father of Marcus the dictator of 292/285 . It is possible that the consul 0f 255, Marcus Lepidus, was his son and in all cases, the consul of 232 was his (cos. 255) son . The last one had a son named Marcus (praetor 218 and 213) who had a son Marcus the princeps senatus, pontifex maximus cos. 187 and 175 censor 179 . This great man had a son - Quintus, who had a son - Marcus (cos. 78), who was the father of the triumvir Marcus . The triumvir married Iunia the sister of Brutus (caesar's assasin) and they had a son Quintus who was the father of Manius (cos. 11 CE) who married Vipsania Iulia . The last couple had a daugther named Aemilia Lepida the wife of the emperor Galba who died in 40 CE . She was the last of the patrician Aemilii . Some 550 years of Roman nobility .

Edited by Caesar CXXXVII

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thanks Nephele for another excellent piece on the surnames of the Republic, has now its own page...

 

cheers

viggen

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