Cloelia (gens)


Cloelia (gens)

Contents

The gens Cloelia, originally Cluilia, and occasionally written Clouilia or Cloulia was a patrician family at Rome. The gens was prominent throughout the period of the Republic. The first of the Cloelii to hold the consulship was Quintus Cloelius Siculus, in 498 BC.[1]

Origin of the gens

The Cluilii were one of the noble families of Alba Longa, where it succeeded the royal house of the Silvii. According to legend, Numitor, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, was deposed by his brother, Amulius, and his sons were slain. When the princes had grown to manhood, they killed Amulius and restored their grandfather to the throne. As he had no surviving sons, it may be that upon Numitor's death the throne passed to the Cluilii. The last king of Alba Longa, and the only one following Numitor whose name has survived in tradition, was Gaius Cluilius.[2]

During his reign, Tullus Hostilius, the third King of Rome (traditionally reigned from 673 to 641 BC), declared his intention to destroy Alba Longa and remove its inhabitants to Rome. Cluilius marched an army to Rome, where according to legend he constructed the Fossa Cluilia, an earthen trench, to fortify his position. During his siege, Cluilius died, and in his place, Mettius Fufetius was appointed dictator. Despite enlisting the help of the Fidenates, Fufetius and the Alban forces were defeated, and their ancient city was destroyed. Its inhabitants were transferred to Rome, where several of the noble families of Alba Longa, including the Cluilii, were enrolled in the senate, and subsequenly numbered amongst the patricians.[3][4][5]

In later times, when it became fashionable for Roman families to claim mythological origins, it was said that the gens was descended from Clolius, a companion of Aeneas. From an early date, the Cloelii bore the cognomen Siculus, perhaps referring to the legend that the people of Alba Longa was a mixture of two ancient Italic peoples, the Siculi and the Prisci. Whatever the origin of the family, it may be noted that during the first century of the Republic, two leaders of the Aequi, an Oscan people of central Italy, bore the nomen Cloelius.[6][7][8][9]

Praenomina used by the gens

The principal names of the Cloelii were Titus, Quintus, and Publius, all of which were very common throughout Roman history. Gaius was borne by the earliest Cloelius whose name is known, and at least one respected member of the gens bore the ancient praenomen Tullus.[10][11]

Branches and cognomina of the gens

The only major family of the Cloelii bore the cognomen Siculus, apparently referring to one of the Siculi, an ancient Italic people who had been expelled from the mainland, and subsequently lived in Sicily. The Cloelii Siculi appear at the very beginning of the Roman Republic, and filled the highest offices of the state until the 2nd century BC. The first of the family to achieve prominence is sometimes called Vocula, probably referring to a low or quiet voice.[12][13]

Members of the gens

  • Gaius Cluilius, the last King of Alba Longa, who perished during the reign of Tullus Hostilius.
  • Cloelia, one of a group of virgins given as hostages to Lars Porsena, the King of Clusium, during his siege of Rome circa 508 BC. According to legend, she escaped the Etruscan camp, and swam across the Tiber to freedom.
  • Quintus Cloelius Siculus, also called Vocula, was consul in 498 BC, the year that war with the Latins broke out. According to Dionysius, he nominated his colleague, Titus Lartius, as dictator, but Livius and other authorities place Lartius' dictatorship three years earlier, in his first consulship.[14][15]
  • Cloelius Gracchus, the leader of the Aequi in 458 BC, with his forces surrounded the consul Lucius Minucius Augurinus, but was then surrounded by the dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, and was surrendered by his troops.[16][17]
  • Titus Cloelius Siculus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 444 BC; he was elected one of the first consular tribunes, but he and his colleagues were compelled to resign due to a fault in the auspices.
  • Cloelius, an Aequian commander, led a force of Volsci that besieged Ardea in 443 BC. He was defeated, and surrendered by his troops to the Roman consul, Marcus Geganius Macerinus.[18]
  • Tullus Cloelius, one of four ambassadors sent to the Fidenates in 438 BC; they were executed on the orders of Lars Tolumnius, the king of Veii.[19][20]
  • Publius Cloelius Siculus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 378 BC.[21]
  • Quintus Cloelius Siculus, censor in 378 BC; war prevented the censors of this year from completing their duties.[22]
  • Publius Cloelius Siculus, consecrated rex sacrorum in 180 BC; according to Valerius Maximus, he had also been Flamen Dialis, but was compelled to resign due to a fault in the auspices.[23]
  • Titus Cloelius, triumvir monetalis circa 128 BC. His name is also found as Cloulius.[24]
  • Titus Cloelius T. f., triumvir monetalis at Tarracina circa 98 BC.[25] and quaestor circa 95. He may be the same Cloelius mentioned by Plutarchus,[26] or perhaps his brother. At some point, perhaps in the early 90's, Cloelius was tried and acquitted in the murder of his father.[27]
  • Sextus Cloelius, perhaps the proper name of Sextus Clodius, usually regarded as a freedman of Publius Clodius Pulcher, whom he assisted in the writing of contracts and laws, thereby incurring the enmity of Cicero. He was still living in 44 BC.[28][29]
  • Quintus Cloelius, a senator in 39 BC, who may have held the office of aedile or tribune of the plebs. He was enrolled in the tribus Quirina.[30]

See also

  • List of Roman gentes

Footnotes

  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, i. 3-5, 22.
  3. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, i. 22, 23, 26-30.
  4. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, iii. 2-4, 29.
  5. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus, De Verborum Significatu, s.v. Cloeliae Fossae.
  6. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus, De Verborum Significatu, s.v. Cloelia.
  7. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iii. 25-28, iv. 9, 10.
  8. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, x. 22-24.
  9. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  10. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  11. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
  12. ^ D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
  13. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  14. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, ii. 21.
  15. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, v. 59, 71, 72, 75, 76.
  16. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iii. 25-28.
  17. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, x. 22-24.
  18. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 9, 10.
  19. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 17.
  20. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
  21. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 31.
  22. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 31; MRR1 p. 107.
  23. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xl. 42.
  24. ^ Broughton gives circa 110 B.C.; T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 1 (American Philological Association, 1951).
  25. ^ Broughton gives circa 100 B.C.
  26. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Pompeius 7.1; on the questions surrounding the identification, see Christopher Tuplin, "Coelius or Cloelius? The Third General in Plutarch, Pompey 7," in Chiron 9, 137–145 (1979).
  27. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Sexto Roscio, 64; Valerius Maximus 8.1. abs. 13; Michael C. Alexander, Trials in the Late Roman Republic, 149 BC to 50 BC pp. 174–175, (University of Toronto Press, 1990). See also T.P. Wiseman, "T. Cloelius of Tarracina," Classical Review 17, 263–264 (1967).
  28. ^ His name is given as Sextus Clodius in older sources, according to problematic textual readings. The social position and occupation of Sextus indicates that he was not a member of the patrician gens Claudia, but he may have been the freedman of one of the Cloelii.
  29. ^ Cynthia Damon, "Sex. Cloelius, Scriba," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 94 (1992) 227–244, limited preview online.
  30. ^ Listed in the Senatus consultum de Panamareis (Viereck no. 20); T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 2, pp. 465, 489 (American Philological Association, 1952).

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).


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