The gens Nautia was an old patrician family at ancient Rome. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Spurius Nautius Rutilus in 488 BC, and from then until the Samnite Wars the Nautii regularly filled the highest offices of the Roman Republic. After that time, the Nautii all but disappear from the record, appearing only in a handful of inscriptions, mostly from Rome and Latium.[1] A few Nautii occur in imperial times, including a number who appear to have been freedmen, and in the provinces.


Little is known about the origin of the nomen Nautius, or whether it has any connection with nauta, a sailor. The Nautii themselves claimed to be descended from Nautes or Nautius, a companion of Aeneas, who brought the Palladium, a sacred statue of Athena from Troy. His descendants, the Nautii, were said to have protected and maintained the Palladium into Roman times.[2][3][1]


All of the Nautii known from the early Republic bore the praenomina Spurius or Gaius. The later Nautii used Marcus, Gaius, Publius, Lucius, and Quintus, all of which were very common names throughout Roman history.

Branches and cognominaEdit

All of the Nautii mentioned in history bore the surname Rutilus, which means "reddish", and probably signified that one of the early Nautii had red hair.[1][4]


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

Early NautiiEdit

Later NautiiEdit

  • Gaius Nautius Q. f., a senator in 129 BC.[24]
  • Marcus Nautius, quaestor during the late Republic or the early decades of the Empire, according to an inscription at Gabii.[25]
  • Gaius Nautius Amphio, one of the curators of a monument erected at Rome in AD 9.[26]
  • Gaius Nautius Nicanor, mentioned in an inscription from Rome.[27]
  • Gaius Nautius Philoxenus, mentioned in an inscription from Rome.[27]
  • Publius Nautius Auctus, mentioned in an inscription from Rome.[28]
  • Gaius Nautius Syntropus, mentioned in an inscription from Cumae concerning those serving under the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, guardians of the Sibylline Books, which were said to have come from Cumae during the reign of Tarquin the Proud.[29]
  • Gaius Nautius C. l. Trupho, a freedman named in an inscription from Tarracina.[30]
  • Publius Nautius Apollinaris, erected a monument at Rome to Lucius Lusius Petellinus.[31]
  • Marcus Nautius, named in an inscription from Lilybaeum.[32]
  • Lucius Nautius, named in an inscription from Lilybaeum.[32]
  • Quintus Nautius Secundus, a soldier from Carthage in the second legion at Nicopolis in Epirus Vetus, according to an inscription dating to the middle of the second century.[33]


  1. ^ Under 404 BC, Livy describes Rutilus as consular tribune for the second time, although he also described the two prior occasions.
  2. ^ Broughton notes that this Nautius is only named Gaius in Livy; in other sources he is Spurius, and Broughton identifies him with the consular tribune of 419, 416, and 404.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 1145 ("Nautia Gens").
  2. ^ Dionysius, vi. 4.
  3. ^ Vergil, Aeneid, v. 704, with the note of Servius.
  4. ^ Chase, p. 110.
  5. ^ Dionysius, vi. 69, viii. 16 ff.
  6. ^ Livy, ii. 39.
  7. ^ Broughton, vol. I, p. 19.
  8. ^ Livy, ii. 52, iii. 25, 26, 29.
  9. ^ Dionysius, ix. 28, 35, x. 22, 23, 25.
  10. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 27, 28, 39.
  11. ^ Livy, iv. 35.
  12. ^ Broughton, vol. I, p. 68.
  13. ^ Livy, iv. 44, 47, 61.
  14. ^ a b c Fasti Capitolini.
  15. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 71, 73, 81.
  16. ^ Livy, iv. 52.
  17. ^ Broughton, vol. I, pp. 76, 77.
  18. ^ Livy, ix. 21.
  19. ^ Broughton, vol. I, p. 155.
  20. ^ Livy, x. 41, 44.
  21. ^ Broughton, vol. I, p. 181.
  22. ^ Broughton, vol. I, p. 185.
  23. ^ Florus, i. 18. § 17.
  24. ^ Sherk, "Senatus Consultum De Agro Pergameno", p. 368.
  25. ^ CIL I, 3480b, AE 1909, 76a.
  26. ^ CIL VI, 34004.
  27. ^ a b CIL VI, 10396
  28. ^ CIL VI, 22893.
  29. ^ CIL X, 3699, AE 2010, 281.
  30. ^ CIL X, 8269.
  31. ^ CIL XV, 7488, AE 1999, 301.
  32. ^ a b AE 1997, 737.
  33. ^ AE 1955, 238.