Curiatia (gens)

The gens Curiatia was a distinguished family at Rome, with both patrician and plebeian branches. Members of this gens are mentioned in connection with the reign of Tullus Hostilius, the third King of Rome, during the seventh century BC. The first of the Curiatii to attain any significant office was Publius Curiatius Fistus, surnamed Trigeminus, who held the consulship in 453 BC. The gens continued to exist throughout the Republic, and perhaps into imperial times, but seldom did its members achieve any prominence.[1]


The existence of a patrician gens of this name is attested by Livius, who expressly mentions the Curiatii among the noble Alban gentes, which, after the destruction of Alba, were transplanted to Rome, and there received among the Patres. This opinion is not contradicted by the fact that in BC 401 and 138 we meet with Curiatii who were tribunes of the people and consequently plebeians, for this phenomenon may be accounted for here, as in other cases, by the supposition that the plebeian Curiatii were the descendants of freedmen of the patrician Curiatii, or that some members of the patrician gens had gone over to the plebeians.

The Alban origin of the Curiatii is also stated in the story about the three Curiatii who, in the reign of Tullus Hostilius, fought with the three Roman brothers, the Horatii, and were conquered by the cunning and bravery of one of the Horatii, though some writers described the Curiatii as Romans and the Horatii as Albans.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][1]

Branches and cognomina

The only cognomen of the gens in the times of the Republic is Fistus. The consul of 453 bore the additional surname Trigeminus, alluding to the legend of the three Curiatii; the name can best be translated as "triplet." This name appears to have been passed down through the family, although whether its use was confined to the patrician family or shared by both branches is unclear.[1]


See also

List of Roman gentes


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

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