Aelia gens

The gens Aelia, occasionally written Ailia, was a plebeian family in Rome, which flourished from the fifth century BC until at least the third century AD, a period of nearly eight hundred years. The archaic spelling Ailia is found on coins, but must not be confused with Allia, which is a distinct gens. The first member of the family to obtain the consulship was Publius Aelius Paetus in 337 BC.

Under the empire the Aelian name became still more celebrated. It was the name of the emperor Hadrian, and consequently of the Antonines, whom he adopted. A number of landmarks built by Hadrian also bear the name Aelius. The Pons Aelius is a bridge in Rome, now known as the Ponte Sant'Angelo. Pons Aelius also refers to a Roman settlement in Britannia Inferior, now the site of Newcastle upon Tyne, while Aelia Capitolina was a Roman colony built on the ruins of Jerusalem.[1]

On the coins of Aelia in 224 BC, the H may stands for Hatria or Herdonia.[2]


The Aelii regularly used the praenomina Publius, Sextus, Quintus, and Lucius. There is also one example of Gaius amongst the early members of the gens.

Branches and cognominaEdit

The family-names and surnames of the Aelia gens are Catus, Gallus, Gracilis, Lamia, Ligur, Paetus, Staienus, Stilo, and Tubero. The only cognomina found on coins are Bala, Lamia, Paetus, and Sejanus. Of Bala nothing is known. Sejanus is the name of the favorite of the emperor Tiberius, who was adopted by one of the Aelii.[1]


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

Aelii PaetiEdit

Aelii TuberonesEdit

  • Publius Aelius Tubero, praetor in 201 and 177 BC.
  • Quintus Aelius Tubero, tribune of the plebs in 194 BC, proposed the establishment of colonies among the Bruttii and Thurii, and appointed a commissioner for the foundation of the latter colony.[8]
  • Quintus Aelius Tubero, served under his father-in-law, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, in the war against Perseus in 168 BC.
  • Quintus Aelius Q. f. Tubero, a jurist, praetor in 123 and consul suffectus in 118 BC.
  • Lucius Aelius Tubero, a friend and relation of Cicero.
  • Quintus Aelius L. f. Tubero, a jurist, and perhaps the same man as the consul of 11 BC.

Aelii LamiaeEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 714 ("Lamia", no. 1): "This Lamia seems to be the same as the L. Lamia, praetorius vir, who is said to have been placed upon the funeral pile as if dead, and then to have recovered his senses, and to have spoken after the fire was lighted, when it was too late to save him from death."[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. ^ The Numismatic Circular. 1895. p. 1333.
  3. ^ Livy, iv. 54.
  4. ^ Livy, x. 23.
  5. ^ Fasti Capitolini, AE 1927, 101; 1940, 59, 60.
  6. ^ Livy, xxiii. 21.
  7. ^ Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, pp. 265-266.
  8. ^ Livy, xxxiv. 53, xxxv. 9.
  9. ^ Valerius Maximus, i. 8. § 12.
  10. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, vii. 52.
  11. ^ Cicero, Pro Sestio, 12; In Pisonem, 27; Post Reditum in Senatu, 5; Epistulae ad Atticum, xiii. 45; Epistulae ad Familiares, xi. 16, 17.
  12. ^ Cassius Dio, lviii. 19.
  13. ^ Tacitus, Annales, vi. 27.
  14. ^ Horace, Carmen Saeculare, i. 26, iii. 17.
  15. ^ Cassius Dio, lxvi. 3.
  16. ^ Suetonius, "The Life of Domitian", 1, 10.
  17. ^ Juvenal, iv. 154.
  18. ^ Cicero, Pro Sestio, 31, 32, 43, Pro Dom. 19, De Haruspicum Responsis 3.


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Missing or empty |title= (help)