Atia (gens)

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The gens Atia, sometimes written Attia, was a plebeian family at Rome. The first of the gens to achieve prominence was Lucius Atius, a military tribune in 178 BC. Several of the Atii served in the Civil War between Caesar and Pompeius. The gens Attia may be identical with this family, although the individuals known by that name lived nearly a century after the more notable Atii, and are not known to have been related.[1]


The gens does not appear to have been of any great antiquity, and none of its members ever attained the consulship; but, since Augustus was connected with it on his mother's side, the flattery of the poets derived its origin from Atys, the son of Alba, and father of Capys. Atys was the sixth king of Alba Longa, an ancient city in Latium, traditionally founded by Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, and the mother city of Rome.[2][3][4]


The Atii are known to have used several of the most common praenomina at Rome, including Lucius, Marcus, Gaius, Publius, and Quintus.

Branches and cognomina

The cognomina of the Atii are Balbus, Rufus, and Varus. The Atii Balbi were from the city of Aricia. The Venetian scholar Paulus Manutius conjectured that the family of the Labieni belonged to the Atia gens, which opinion has been followed by most modern writers. However, Spanheim pointed out that there was no authority for this. As Labienus is not found as the cognomen of any person named Atius, nor in any other gens, it is probably the nomen of a separate gens.[5]


This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.

See also


  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ Publius Vergilius Maro, Aeneid v. 568.
  3. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita i. 3.
  4. ^ Lee Fratantuono (2007). Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil's Aeneid. Lexington Books. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-7391-2242-6.
  5. ^ Ézéchiel Spanheim, De Praestantia et usu Numismatum Antiquorum ii. 11, 12.
  6. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xli. 7.
  7. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili iii. 83.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed" . Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

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