Laetoria (gens)

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The gens Laetoria was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Its members appear regularly throughout the history of the Republic. None of the Laetorii ever obtained the consulship, but several achieved lesser offices of the Roman state. [1]

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Roman Republic Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)

The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Roman consul High political office in ancient Rome

A consul held the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, and ancient Romans considered the consulship the highest level of the cursus honorum.

Contents

Praenomina

The only praenomina found among the Laetorii mentioned by the ancient historians are Marcus, Gaius , and Lucius , the three most common names at all periods of Roman history. Some sources mention a Gnaeus Laetorius, but in other sources his praenomen is Gaius.

Marcus is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was one of the most common names throughout Roman history. The feminine form is Marca or Marcia. The praenomen was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gens Marcia, as well as the cognomen Marcellus. It was regularly abbreviated M.

Gaius['ɡa.jus] is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was one of the most common names throughout Roman history. The feminine form is Gaia. The praenomen was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gens Gavia. The name was regularly abbreviated C., based on the original spelling of Caius, which dates from the period before the letters "C" and "G" were differentiated.

Lucius is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was one of the most common names throughout Roman history. The feminine form is Lucia. The praenomen was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gentes Lucia and Lucilia, as well as the cognomenLucullus. It was regularly abbreviated L.

Branches and cognomina

The Laetorii of the Republic do not appear to have been divided into families, and the only surnames found are Mergus, a seagull, and Plancianus, apparently derived from the nomen of the Plancia gens, and perhaps indicating that the bearer was a descendant of that family, who was adopted by one of the Laetorii. [2]

Over the course of some fourteen centuries, the Romans and other peoples of Italy employed a system of nomenclature that differed from that used by other cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean, consisting of a combination of personal and family names. Although conventionally referred to as the tria nomina, the combination of praenomen, nomen, and cognomen that have come to be regarded as the basic elements of the Roman name in fact represent a continuous process of development, from at least the seventh century BC to the end of the seventh century AD. The names developed as part of this system became a defining characteristic of Roman civilization, and although the system itself vanished during the early Middle Ages, the names themselves exerted a profound influence on the development of European naming practices, and many continue to survive in modern languages.

Plancia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Plancius nomen

The gens Plancia was a minor plebeian family of equestrian rank at ancient Rome. Few members of this gens are mentioned in the time of the Republic, but a family of the Plancii rose to prominence from the time of Vespasian, and held a number of important magistracies through the time of Hadrian. Other Plancii are known from inscriptions.

Members

Centurion professional officer of the Roman army

A centurion was a professional officer of the Roman army after the Marian reforms of 107 BC. Most centurions commanded groups of centuries of around 100 legionaries, but senior centurions commanded cohorts or took senior staff roles in their legion. Centurions were also found in the Roman navy. In the Byzantine Army, they were also known by the name kentarch. Their symbol of office was the vine staff, with which they disciplined even Roman citizens protected from other forms of beating by the Porcian Laws.

The Primus pilus or Primipilus was the senior centurion of a Roman legion.

The plebs were, in ancient Rome, the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census. The precise origins of the group and the term are unclear, though it may be that they began as a limited political movement in opposition to the elite (patricians) which became more widely applied.

See also

Footnotes

  1. According to Livy, Laetorius was chosen by the popular assembly after the consuls could not agree on which of them should dedicate the new Temple of Mercury; the Senate was outraged by the election of a plebeian to perform these functions, but powerless to prevent it. [3] Münzer suggests that he was not plebeian aedile, but decemvir sacris faciundis. [4]
  2. Gnaeus Laetorius in some manuscripts. Broughton considers him the same as the praetor of 210 BC. [18] [19]
  3. Licinnius in Plutarch.

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Valeria (gens) Families from Ancient Rome who shared the Valerius nomen

The Gens Valeria was a patrician family at Rome, prominent from the very beginning of the Republic to the latest period of the Empire. Publius Valerius Poplicola was one of the consuls in 509 BC, the year that saw the overthrow of the Tarquins, and the members of his family were among the most celebrated statesmen and generals at the beginning of the Republic. Over the next ten centuries, few gentes produced as many distinguished men, and at every period the name of Valerius was constantly to be found in the lists of annual magistrates, and held in the highest honour. Several of the emperors claimed descent from the Valerii, whose name they bore as part of their official nomenclature.

Fabia (gens) Families from Ancient Rome who shared the Fabius nomen

The gens Fabia was one of the most ancient patrician families at Rome. The gens played a prominent part in history soon after the establishment of the Republic, and three brothers were invested with seven successive consulships, from 485 to 479 BC, thereby cementing the high repute of the family. Overall, the Fabii received 45 consulships during the Republic. The house derived its greatest lustre from the patriotic courage and tragic fate of the 306 Fabii in the Battle of the Cremera, 477 BC. But the Fabii were not distinguished as warriors alone; several members of the gens were also important in the history of Roman literature and the arts.

Manlia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Manlius nomen

The gens Manlia was one of the oldest and noblest patrician houses at Rome, from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gnaeus Manlius Cincinnatus, consul in 480 BC, and for nearly five centuries its members frequently held the most important magistracies. Many of them were distinguished statesmen and generals, and a number of prominent individuals under the Empire claimed the illustrious Manlii among their ancestors.

Licinia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Licinius nomen

The gens Licinia was a celebrated plebeian family at Rome, which appears from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times, and which eventually obtained the imperial dignity. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Licinius Calvus Stolo, who, as tribune of the plebs from 376 to 367 BC, prevented the election of any of the annual magistrates, until the patricians acquiesced to the passage of the lex Licinia Sextia, or Licinian Rogations. This law, named for Licinius and his colleague, Lucius Sextius, opened the consulship for the first time to the plebeians. Licinius himself was subsequently elected consul in 364 and 361 BC, and from this time, the Licinii became one of the most illustrious gentes in the Republic.

Junia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Iunius nomen

The gens Junia was one of the most celebrated families in Rome. The gens may originally have been patrician. The family was already prominent in the last days of the Roman monarchy. Lucius Junius Brutus was the nephew of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome, and on the expulsion of Tarquin in 509 BC, he became one of the first consuls of the Roman Republic.

The gens Papiria was an ancient patrician family at Rome. According to tradition, the Papirii had already achieved prominence in the time of the kings, and the first Rex Sacrorum was a member of this gens. Lucius Papirius Mugillanus was the first of the Papirii to obtain the consulship in 444 BC. The patrician members of the family regularly occupied the highest offices of the Roman state down to the time of the Punic Wars. Most of the Papirii who held office under the later Republic belonged to various plebeian branches of the family. Although the most illustrious Papirii flourished in the time of the Republic, a number of the family continued to hold high office during the first two centuries of the Empire.

Marcia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Marcius nomen

The gens Marcia, occasionally written Martia, was one of the oldest and noblest houses at ancient Rome. They claimed descent from the second and fourth Roman Kings, and the first of the Marcii appearing in the history of the Republic would seem to have been patrician; but all of the families of the Marcii known in the later Republic were plebeian. The first to obtain the consulship was Gaius Marcius Rutilus in 357 BC, only a few years after the passage of the lex Licinia Sextia opened this office to the plebeians.

The gens Terentia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Dionysius mentions a Gaius Terentilius Arsa, tribune of the plebs in 462 BC, but Livy calls him Terentilius, and from inscriptions this would seem to be a separate gens. No other Terentii appear in history until the time of the Second Punic War. Gaius Terentius Varro, one of the Roman commanders at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC, was the first to hold the consulship. Members of this family are found as late as the third century AD.

Minucia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Minucius nomen

The gens Minucia was a Roman family, which flourished from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times. The gens was apparently of patrician origin, but was better known by its plebeian branches. The first of the Minucii to hold the consulship was Marcus Minucius Augurinus, elected consul in 497 BC.

Marcii Censorini

Marcius Censorinus was a name used by a branch of the plebeian gens Marcia of ancient Rome. The cognomen Censorinus was acquired through Gaius Marcius Rutilus, the first plebeian censor, whose son used it. The gens Marcia claimed descent from both Ancus Marcius, a king of Rome, and symbolically from Marsyas the satyr, who was associated with free speech and political liberty; see further discussion at Prophecy and free speech at Rome. The Marcii Censorini were consistent populares, supporting Marius, Cinna, Julius Caesar, and Antonius.

Antistia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Antistius nomen

The gens Antistia, sometimes written Antestia on coins, was a plebeian family at Rome. The first of the gens to achieve prominence was Sextus Antistius, tribune of the plebs in 422 BC. The gens gained patrician status under Augustus.

Memmia (gens) Families from Ancient Rome who shared the Memmius nomen

The gens Memmia was a plebeian family at Rome. The first member of the gens to achieve prominence was Gaius Memmius Gallus, praetor in 172 BC. From the period of the Jugurthine War to the age of Augustus they contributed numerous tribunes to the Republic.

Plaetoria (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Plaetorius nomen

The gens Plaetoria was a plebeian family at Rome. A number of Plaetorii appear in history during the first and second centuries BC, but none of this gens ever obtained the consulship. Several Plaetorii issued denarii from the late 70s into the 40s, of which one of the best known alludes to the assassination of Caesar on the Ides of March, since one of the Plaetorii was a partisan of Pompeius during the Civil War.

Sicinia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Sicinius nomen

The gens Sicinia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens occur throughout the history of the Republic, but only one of them obtained the consulship, Titus Sicinius Sabinus in 487 BC. Throughout the long Conflict of the Orders, the Sicinii were celebrated for their efforts on behalf of the plebeians.

The gens Genucia was a prominent family of the Roman Republic. It was probably of patrician origin, but most of the Genucii appearing in history were plebeian. The first of the Genucii to hold the consulship was Titus Genucius Augurinus in 451 BC.

The gens Helvia was a plebeian family at Rome. This gens is first mentioned at the time of the Second Punic War, but the only member of the family to hold any curule magistracy under the Republic was Gaius Helvius, praetor in BC 198. Soon afterward, the family slipped into obscurity, from which it was redeemed by the emperor Pertinax, nearly four centuries later.

The gens Villia was a plebeian family at Rome. Its members are mentioned in the first century of the Republic, but the only Villius who obtained the consulship was Publius Villius Tappulus, in BC 199.

Munatia (gens) families from Ancient Rome who shared the Munatius nomen

The gens Munatia was a plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned during the second century BC, but they did not obtain any of the higher offices of the Roman state until imperial times.

The gens Oppia was an ancient Roman family, known from the first century of the Republic down to imperial times. The gens may originally have been patrician, as they supplied priestesses to the College of Vestals at a very early date, but all of the Oppii known to history were plebeians. None of them obtained the consulship until imperial times.

The gens Publilia, sometimes written Poblilia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the early decades of the Republic. The lex Publilia passed by Volero Publilius, tribune of the plebs in 471 BC, an important milestone in the struggle between the patrician and plebeian orders. Although the Publilii appear throughout the history of the Republic, the family faded into obscurity around the time of the Samnite Wars, and never again achieved positions of prominence in the Roman state.

References

  1. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 709 ("Laetorius").
  2. The New College Latin & English Dictionary ("mergus").
  3. 1 2 Livy, ii. 27.
  4. Münzer, pp. 89 ff.
  5. Broughton, vol. I, p. 13.
  6. Livy, ii. 56–58.
  7. Dionysius, ix. 41–49.
  8. Broughton, vol. I, p. 30.
  9. Valerius Maximus vi. 1. § 11.
  10. Suda, s. v. Γάϊος Λαιτώριως.
  11. Dionysius, excerpta Valesiana, pp. 88 ff. (ed. Mai).
  12. Fasti Capitolini
  13. Broughton, vol. I, p. 288.
  14. Livy, xxiii. 30, xxv. 22, xxvi. 23, xxvii. 7, 8.
  15. Broughton, vol. I, pp. 270, 279, 284 (note 1), 288.
  16. Livy, xxx. 39.
  17. Broughton, vol. I, pp. 316, 318, 319.
  18. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 709 ("Laetorius", no. 7).
  19. Broughton, vol. I, pp. 325, 326 (note 5).
  20. Livy, xxxi. 21.
  21. Valerius Maximus, iv. 7. § 2.
  22. Plutarch, "The Life of Gaius Gracchus", 16, 17.
  23. Appian, Bellum Civile, i. 60 ff.

Bibliography

Livy Roman historian

Titus Livius – simply rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime. He was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and even in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus Greek historian

Dionysius of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus. His literary style was Atticistic — imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime.

Plutarch Ancient Greek historian and philosopher

Plutarch, later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.