Annia (gens)

The gens Annia was a plebeian family at Rome. Livy mentions a Lucius Annius, praetor of the Roman colony of Setia, in 340 BC, and other Annii are mentioned at Rome during this period. Members of this gens held various positions of authority from the time of the Second Punic War, and Titus Annius Luscus attained the consulship in 153 BC. In the second century AD, the Annii gained the Empire itself; Marcus Aurelius was descended from this family.[2]


The Annii claimed a descent from the goddess Anna Perenna, the sister of Dido, portrayed on the coins of Gaius Annius Luscus.[3] The nomen Annius was classified by Chase as one of Picentine origin, while the first of the Annii appearing in history (in 340 BC) was praetor of Setia, originally a Volscian town, captured by the Romans in 382 BC. Both the Picentes and the Volsci spoke Umbrian languages, so it may be that Annius was a member of an old Volscian family, rather than one of the Latin colonists, on whose behalf he spoke.[4][5] It seems the gens acquired the citizenship soon after, since a Roman senator named Annius is recorded a generation later.


The main families of the Annii at Rome used the praenomina Titus, Marcus, Lucius, and Gaius. Other names occur infrequently, although in imperial times several of the Annii used Appius, an otherwise uncommon praenomen chiefly associated with the Claudii.

Branches and cognomina

A number of Annii during the Republic bore no cognomen. The main family of the Annii was surnamed Luscus, "bleary-eyed" or, "one-eyed". One member of this family bore the additional surname Rufus, probably in reference to his red hair.[6][7] A variety of surnames were borne by individual Annii, including Asellus, a diminutive of asinus, a donkey; Bassus, stout; Cimber, one of the Cimbri; Faustus, fortunate; Gallus, a Gaul or cockerel; and Pollio, a polisher.[8][9] Bellienus or Billienus, sometimes described as a cognomen of the Annii, was in fact a separate gens, although Cicero refers to a Gaius Annius Bellienus; it is not certain which of the Bellieni mentioned below actually belong to the Annia gens.[10]


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

Annii Lusci

Annii Bellieni

Annii Veri


See also

List of Roman gentes


  1. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, pp. 381-386.
  2. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, pp. 180 ("Annia Gens"), 439–443 ("Aurelius", "Marcus Aurelius Antoninus").
  3. Babelon, Monnaies de la République romaine, vol. I, p. 139.
  4. Chase, p. 128.
  5. Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd Ed., p. 1131 ("Volsci").
  6. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, pp. 842, 843 ("Luscus", "Annius Luscus").
  7. Chase, pp. 109, 110.
  8. Chase, p. 110–112, 114.
  9. New College Latin & English Dictionary, s. v. Cimber.
  10. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 481 ("Bellienus").
  11. Livy, xxi. 25.
  12. Livy, xlii. 25, xliii. 17.
  13. Plutarch, "The Life of Tiberius Gracchus", 14.
  14. Fasti Capitolini, AE 1927, 101; 1940, 59, 60.
  15. Sallust, Bellum Jugurthinum, 77.
  16. Plutarch, "The Life of Sertorius", 7.
  17. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, pp. 1085, 1086 ("Titus Annius Papianus Milo").
  18. Sallust, Bellum Jugurthinum, 104.
  19. Broughton, vol. I, pp. 551, 552 (note 3).
  20. Cicero, Pro Fonteio 4.
  21. Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Toga Candida p. 92, ed. Orelli.
  22. Cicero, Philippicae ii. 36.
  23. Valerius Maximus, ii. 9 § 2. Some manuscripts give him the name of L. Antonius, but Syme restored his name.
  24. Syme, "Missing Senators", p. 55.
  25. Aulus Gellius, vii. 9.
  26. Livy, ix. 46.
  27. CIL 12.20
  28. Broughton, vol. II, pp. 462, 474.
  29. Valerius Maximus, vi. 4. § 1.
  30. Livy, xxiii. 6, 22.
  31. SIG, 688.
  32. Sherk, "Senatus Consultum De Agro Pergameno", p. 367.
  33. SIG, 700.
  34. Broughton, vol. I, p. 526.
  35. Sallust, Bellum Jugurthinum, 37.
  36. Valerius Maximus, ix. 2. § 2.
  37. Appian, Bellum Civile, i. 72.
  38. Velleius Paterculus, ii. 41.
  39. Marcus Tullius Cicero, In Verrem i. 41 ff.
  40. Broughton, vol. II, p. 478.
  41. Syme, "Missing Senators", p. 55. Syme explains that the praenomen Gaius found in the manuscript of Cicero is a mistake, as the other mentions of his name in the rest of the book mention him as Publius.
  42. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Bellum Catilinae, 17, 50.
  43. Broughton, vol. II, p. 479.
  44. Sutherland, Roman Imperial Coinage, vol. I, p. 74.
  45. Tacitus, Annales vi. 9, xv. 56, 71, xvi. 30.
  46. Tacitus, Historiae ii. 10.
  47. Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae iii. 50.
  48. Birley, The Roman government of Britain p. 112
  49. Pomeroy, The murder of Regilla.
  50. Birley, The Roman government of Britain p. 114.
  51. de:Appius Annius Atilius Bradua


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