Aurelius: Wikis


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See also Aurelius (disambiguation) and Aurelia (disambiguation).

The gens Aurelia was a plebeian family at Rome. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Gaius Aurelius Cotta in 252 B.C., from which time the Aurelii become distinguished in history down to the end of the Republic. The Aurelii flourished under the Empire, and many later families of citizens enrolled under the authority of Emperors or magistrates bearing this nomen were also called Aurelius. The name became so common that it was sometimes abbreviated Aur., and by the latter centuries of the Empire it becomes difficult to distinguish members of the gens from other persons bearing the name.[1]


Praenomina used by the gens

The praenomina used by the Aurelii during the Republic were Gaius, Lucius, Marcus, and Publius. The Aurelii Orestides also used the praenomen Gnaeus. In imperial times, the Aurelii Fulvi used Titus, Marcus, and Lucius, while the Aurelii Symmachi used Quintus and Lucius.[2]

Origin of the gens

The nomen Aurelius is usually connected with the Latin adjective aureus, meaning "golden", and may have referred to the color of a person's hair. However, the original form of the nomen may have been Auselius, much as the original forms of the nomina Furia, Numeria, Papiria, Valeria, and Veturia were Fusia, Numisia, Papisia, Valesia, and Vetusia. In this case, it may be derived from a name for the sun, although that too may share a common etymology with aureus.[3][4]

Branches and cognomina of the gens

The family-names of the Aurelii under the Republic are Cotta, Orestes, and Scaurus. On coins we find the cognomina Cotta and Scaurus, and perhaps Rufus, the last of which is not mentioned by historians. Under the early emperors, we find an Aurelian family of the name of Fulvus, from which the Roman emperor Antoninus was descended, whose name originally was Titus Aurelius Fulvus. Towards the end of the western Empire, the Aurelii Symmachi rise to prominence, flourishing for some two centuries. The surname Pecuniola, borne by a member of the gens during the First Punic War, probably relates to his circumstance of poverty.[5][6]

Members of the gens


Aurelii Cottae

  • Gaius Aurelius L. f. C. n. Cotta, consul in 252 and 248 B.C., during the First Punic War.
  • Marcus Aurelius Cotta, plebeian aedile in 216 B.C., appointed decemvir sacrorum in 203.
  • Gaius Aurelius C. f. C. n. Cotta, consul in 200 B.C., carried on the war against the Gauls in Italy.
  • Marcus Aurelius Cotta, legate of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus in 189 B.C., during the war against Antiochus, returned to Rome with ambassadors to report the state of affairs to the Senate.[7]
  • Lucius Aurelius Cotta, tribunus militum in 181 B.C., commanded, together with Sextus Julius Caesar, the third legion in the war against the Ligures.[8]
  • Lucius Aurelius (L. f.) C. n. Cotta, consul in 144 B.C., a man of great cunning in managing his affairs.
  • Lucius Aurelius Cotta, consul in 119 B.C., threatened by Gaius Marius.
  • Lucius Aurelius Cotta, tribunus plebis in 95 B.C., and afterwards praetor.
  • Gaius Aurelius Cotta, consul in 75 B.C., a distinguished orator.
  • Marcus Aurelius Cotta, consul in 74 B.C., defeated by Mithradates.
  • Lucius Aurelius Cotta, consul in 65 B.C., and censor in 64.
  • Marcus Aurelius M. f. Cotta, son of the consul of 74 B.C.[9]
  • Aurelius Cotta Messalinus, son of Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, adopted into the gens Aurelia; a friend of the emperor Tiberius, who defended him from a charge of majestas.

Aurelii Scauri

  • Gaius Aurelius Scaurus, praetor in 186 B.C., obtained Sardinia as his province.[10]
  • Marcus Aemilius M. f. Scaurus, triumvir monetalis in 118 B.C., perhaps the same as the consul of 108.[11]
  • Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, consul in 108 B.C., captured and put to death by the Cimbri in 105.
  • Marcus Aemilius (M. f.) Scaurus, a quaestor mentioned by Cicero.[12]

Aurelii Orestides

  • Lucius Aurelius L. f. L. n. Orestes, consul in 157 B.C.[13][14]
  • Lucius Aurelius L. f. L. n. Orestes, consul in 126 B.C., triumphed over the Sardinians.
  • Gaius Aurelius L. f. L. n. Orestes, an orator mentioned by Cicero.[15]
  • Lucius Aurelius L. f. L. n. Orestes, consul in 103 B.C. with Gaius Marius, and died in the same year.[16][17]
  • Gnaeus Aurelius Orestes, praetor urbanus in 77 B.C., one of whose decisions was annulled upon appeal by the consul Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus.[18]
  • Gnaeus Aurelius Orestes, adopted into the gens Aufidia as Gnaeus Aufidius Orestes, consul in 71 B.C.[19][20]
  • Aurelia Orestilla, the second wife of Lucius Sergius Catilina.

Aurelii Fulvi

Aurelii Symmachi


See also


  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  3. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897).
  4. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
  5. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  6. ^ Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, v. p. 147.
  7. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxvii. 52.
  8. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xl. 27.
  9. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  10. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 6, 8.
  11. ^ Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, I. p. 863, II. p. 785, a.
  12. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, In Verrem, i. 33.
  13. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  14. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis, xxxiii. 3. s. 17.
  15. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 25.
  16. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  17. ^ Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Marius, 14.
  18. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, vi. 7. § 6.
  19. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis, ii. 17, Pro Domo Sua, 13, Pro Plancio, 21.
  20. ^ Eutropius, Breviarium historiae Romanae, vi. 8.
  21. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  22. ^ Codex Theodosianus, 2. tit. 4. ss. 1, 15.
  23. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  24. ^ Julius Capitolinus, Clodius Albinus, 4.
  25. ^ Aelius Galenus, De Compos. Medicam. sec. Loc. v. 5. vol. xii. p. 892.
  26. ^ 'Dicţionar de istorie veche a României ("Dictionary of ancient Romanian history") (1976) Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, pp. 399-401
  27. ^ Aelius Lampridius, Alexander Severus, 3.

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


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Name of a plebeian Roman gens, Latin Aurelius, from aurum (gold).

Proper noun




  1. A male given name; of mostly historical use in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Related terms



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