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Sulpicia (gens)

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Title: Sulpicia (gens)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Di Penates, Alba Longa, Galus Sulpicius (suffect consul 4 BC), Servius Sulpicius Galba (consul 108 BC), Gaius Sulpicius Paterculus
Collection: Roman Gentes, Sulpicii
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sulpicia (gens)

The gens Sulpicia was one of the most ancient patrician families at Rome, and produced a succession of distinguished men, from the foundation of the Republic to the imperial period. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus, in 500 BC, only nine years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, and the last of the name who appears on the consular Fasti was Sextus Sulpicius Tertullus in AD 158. Although originally patrician, the family also possessed plebeian members, some of whom may have been descended from freedmen of the gens.[1]


  • Praenomina used by the gens 1
  • Branches and cognomina of the gens 2
  • Members of the gens 3
    • Sulpicii Camerini 3.1
    • Sulpicii Praetextati 3.2
    • Sulpicii Petici 3.3
    • Sulpicii Longi 3.4
    • Sulpicii Rufi 3.5
    • Sulpicii Saverriones 3.6
    • Sulpicii Paterculi 3.7
    • Sulpicii Galli 3.8
    • Sulpicii Galbae 3.9
    • Others 3.10
  • Christian figures 4
  • See also 5
  • Footnotes 6

Praenomina used by the gens

The Sulpicii made regular use of only four praenomina: Publius, Servius, Quintus, and Gaius. The only other praenomen appearing under the Republic is Marcus, known as the father of Gaius Sulpicius Peticus, five times consul during the 4th century BC The last of the Sulpicii known to have held the consulship, in the 2nd century, was named Sextus, a praenomen otherwise unknown in the gens.[1]

Branches and cognomina of the gens

During the Republic, branches of the gens Sulpicia were identified by various cognomina, the third element of a Roman man's name (see Roman naming conventions). These include Camerinus Cornutus, Galba, Gallus, Longus, Paterculus, Peticus, Praetextatus, Quirinus, Rufus, and Saverrio. In addition to these cognomina, we meet with some other surnames belonging to freedmen and to other persons under the Empire. On coins we find the surnames Galba, Platorinus, Proclus, and Rufus.[1]

Camerinus was the name of an old patrician family of the Sulpicia gens, which probably derived its name from the ancient town of Cameria or Camerium, in Latium. Many of them bore the agnomen Cornutus, from a Latin adjective meaning "horned". The Camerini frequently held the highest offices in the state in the early times of the Republic; but after 345 BC, when Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Rufus was consul, we do not hear of them again for upwards of four hundred years, till Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus obtained the consulship in AD 9. The family was reckoned one of the noblest in Rome in the early times of the Empire.[1]

The Praetextati appear in the second half of the 5th century BC. The family appears to have been a small one, descended from the Camerini. It probably derived its name from one of several related meanings. Praetextus commonly referred to clothing with a decorative border, and especially to the toga praetexta, a toga with a purple border worn by boys and magistrates. Something veiled or concealed could also be described as praetextatus.[1][2][3]

The Sulpicii Longi flourished during the 4th century BC, from the time of the Gallic sack of Rome in 390 to the period of the Samnite Wars. The cognomen Longus may have been bestowed upon the ancestor of this family because he was particularly tall.[1][3]

The surname Rufus, meaning "red", probably referred to the color of the hair of one of the Sulpicii, and may have begun as a cadet branch of the Camerini, as both cognomina were united in the consul of 345 BC.[1]

The Sulpicii Galli were a family of the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. Their cognomen may refer to a cock, or to a Gaul. The greatest of this family, Gaius Sulpicius Gallus, was a successful general and statesman, as well as an orator and scholar much admired by Cicero.[1]

The Sulpicii Galbae first came to prominence during the Second Punic War, and remained distinguished until the 1st century, when Servius Sulpicius Galba claimed the title of Emperor. The surname may share a common root with the adjective galbinus, a greenish-yellow color, although its exact significance with respect to the Sulpicii is unclear.[1][3]

Members of the gens

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

Sulpicii Camerini

Sulpicii Praetextati

Sulpicii Petici

  • Quintus Sulpicius Peticus, grandfather of the consul of 364 BC.
  • Marcus Sulpicius Q. f. Peticus, father of the consul of 364 BC.
  • Gaius Sulpicius M. f. Q. n. Peticus, censor in 366, consul in 364, 361, 355, 353, and 351 BC, and dictator in 358.

Sulpicii Longi

Sulpicii Rufi

Sulpicii Saverriones

Sulpicii Paterculi

  • Quintus Sulpicius Paterculus, grandfather of the consul of 258 BC.
  • Quintus Sulpicius Q. f. Paterculus, father of the consul of 258 BC.
  • Gaius Sulpicius Q. f. Q. n. Paterculus, consul in 258 BC, during the First Punic War, triumphed over the Carthaginians in Sicilia.
  • Servius Sulpicius Paterculus, the father of Sulpicia, who dedicated the temple of Venus Verticordia.
  • Sulpicia Ser. f., married Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, and thought to be the chastest woman in Rome, selected to dedicate the temple of Venus Verticordia in 113 BC.

Sulpicii Galli

  • Servius Sulpicius Gallus, grandfather of the consul of 243 BC.
  • Gaius Sulpicius Ser. f. Gallus, father of the consul of 243 BC.
  • Gaius Sulpicius C. f. Ser. n. Gallus, consul in 243 BC.[23][24]
  • Gaius Sulpicius C. f. Gallus, father of the consul of 166 BC.
  • Gaius Sulpicius C. f. C. n. Gallus, a great scholar; as consul in 166 BC, triumphed over the Ligures.[23][25]
  • Quintus Sulpicius C. f. C. n. Gallus, died at an early age, and his death was borne by his father with great fortitude.[26]

Sulpicii Galbae


  • Sulpicia, the mother-in-law of Spurius Postumius Albinus, consul in 186 BC.[30]
  • Sulpicia, the wife of Lentulus Cruscellio, who was proscribed by the triumvirs in 43 BC, followed her husband to Sicilia, against the wishes of her mother, Julia.[31][32]
  • Publius Sulpicius Quirinus, censor in 42 and consul suffectus in 36 BC.[23]
  • Servius Sulpicius, mentioned by Quintus Horatius Flaccus as an author of love-poems.
  • Sulpicia, a poet, perhaps the daughter of Servius Sulpicius Rufus.
  • Publius Sulpicius Quirinus, also called Quirinius, consul in 12 BC, and later governor of Syria.
  • Sulpicius Asper, a centurion, and one of the conspirators against Nero, discovered and put to death in AD 66.[33][34]
  • Sulpicius Florus, an infantryman granted Roman citizenship under the emperor Galba, who later participated in the emperor's overthrow.
  • Sulpicius Blitho, a source cited by the biographer Cornelius Nepos.
  • Sulpicia, a poet, praised by Martial, who probably lived toward the close of the 1st century.
  • Sulpicia Lepidina, the wife Flavius Cerealis, prefect of a cohort at Vindolanda in Britannia, circa AD 103.
  • Sulpicius Apollinaris, a grammarian, and a friend and contemporary of Aulus Gellius during the later 2nd century.
  • Sextus Sulpicius Tertullus, consul in AD 158.[23]
  • Sulpicia Memmia, one of the three wives of Alexander Severus. Her father was a man of consular rank; her grandfather's name was Catulus.[35]
  • Sulpicius Lupercus Servastus, a Latin poet, of whom nothing is known except his elegy, De Cupiditate, and a Sapphic ode, De Vetustate.[36]
  • Sulpicius Severus, an ecclesiastical historian of the late 4th and early 5th centuries.
  • Sulpicius Flavus, a companion of the emperor Claudius, whom he assisted in the composition of his historical works.[37]

Christian figures

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (1952).
  3. ^ a b c D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
  4. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, ii. 19.
  5. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, v. 52, 55, 57, vi. 20.
  6. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 16.
  7. ^ Joannes Zonaras, Epitome Historiarum, vii. 13.
  8. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, vii. 68, viii. 22.
  9. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 22, 27.
  10. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xv. 41.
  11. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vii. 28.
  12. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xvi. 66.
  13. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, xiii. 52.
  14. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxiii. 18.
  15. ^ Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae, v. 3.
  16. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 23.
  17. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xii. 53.
  18. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 32-34, 36, 38.
  19. ^ Barthold Georg Niebuhr, History of Rome, iii. pp. 2, 3.
  20. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, iv. 42.
  21. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 4, 18, 21.
  22. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Murena, 26, 27, Epistulae ad Atticum, ix. 18, 19, x. 14, Epistulae ad Familiares, iv. 2, Philippicae, ix. 5.
  23. ^ a b c d Fasti Capitolini.
  24. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, Fragmenta Vaticana’’, p. 60, ed. Dinsdorf.
  25. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 44.
  26. ^ Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, i. 53, Brutus, 23, Laelius de Amicitia, 2, 6, Epistulae ad Familiares, iv. 6.
  27. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxx. 39, xxxii. 7.
  28. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlii. 28, 31.
  29. ^ a b Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De Vita Caesarum, Galba, 3.
  30. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 11-13.
  31. ^ Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, vi. 7. § 3.
  32. ^ Appianus, Bellum Civile, iv. 39.
  33. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, xv. 49, 50, 68.
  34. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxii. 24.
  35. ^ Aelius Lampridius, Alexander Severus, c. 20.
  36. ^ Johann Christian Wernsdorf, Poetae Latini Minores, iii. p. 235 ff., 408.
  37. ^ Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De Vita Caesarum, Claudius, 4, 41.

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