The gens Caesia was a minor plebeian family at ancient Rome during the late Republic, and through to imperial times. The first member of this gens to achieve prominence was Marcus Caesius, praetor in 75 BC. Under the Empire, the Caesii were distinguished for their literary achievements.[2]

Denarius of Lucius Caesius, 112-111 BC. On the obverse is Apollo, as written on the monogram behind his head, who also wears the attributes of Vejovis. The obverse depicts a group of statues representing the Lares Praestites, which was described by Ovid.[1]


The nomen of the Caesii may be derived from the Latin adjective caesius, meaning a light blue or blue-grey colour, typically used to refer to the colour of a person's eyes. The same root may have given rise to the praenomen Caeso, and perhaps also to the cognomen Caesar.[3][4]


The earlier Caesii appearing in history used the praenomina Lucius and Marcus, two of the most common names throughout Roman history, to which the later Caesii added Publius, Titus, and Sextus.

Branches and cognominaEdit

The Caesii under the Republic are not known to have used any regular cognomina. In imperial times, the surnames Cordus, Bassus, Nasica, and Taurinus appear. The first three are typical Latin cognomina. Cordus originally signified that a person was born late in the year, while Bassus indicated someone given to stoutness, and Nasica referred to someone with a prominent nose.[5] Taurinus belongs to a common type of cognomen derived from place-names, suggesting its bearer was a native of Taurinum, in northern Italy.[6]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ovid, Fasti, v, 129-145
  2. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 557 ("Caesia Gens", "Caesius", Nos. 1–6, "T. Caesius").
  3. ^ Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary, s.v. caesius ff..
  4. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 536 ("Caesar").
  5. ^ Chase, pp. 109–111.
  6. ^ Chase, pp. 113, 114.
  7. ^ Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, p. 312.
  8. ^ Cicero, In Verrem, i. 50.
  9. ^ Cicero, In Verrem, iii. 39, 43.
  10. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem, i. 1. § 4, 2. § 2.
  11. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, xiii. 11, 12.
  12. ^ Cicero, Pro Balbo, 22, Epistulae ad Familiares, xiii. 51.
  13. ^ Cicero, Pro Flacco, 28.
  14. ^ Tacitus, Annales, iii. 38, 70.
  15. ^ Putschius, Grammaticae Latinae Auctores Antiqui, pp. 2664–2671.
  16. ^ Wernsdorf, Poëtae Latini Minores, vol. iv., p. 309 ff.
  17. ^ Latin Anthology, Ep. 80, ed. Burmann; Ep. 622, ed. Meyer.


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSchmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Caesius". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. p. 557.