Fulvia (gens)

The gens Fulvia, originally Foulvia, was one of the most illustrious plebeian families at Rome.[1] By the end of the fourth century BC, they had joined the nobiles through the patronage of the Fabii, who supported the successful candidacy of Lucius Fulvius Curvus for the consulship of 322 BC.[2] They were long active in the politics of the Republic, and gained a reputation for producing excellent military leaders.


According to Cicero, this gens came to Rome from Tusculum, although some members must have remained in their native place, since Fulvii occur at Tusculum as late as the time of Cicero. The gens Fulvia was believed to have received its sacra from Hercules after he had accomplished his twelve labours.[1]


The earliest branch of the Fulvii used the praenomina Lucius, Marcus (praenomen), and Quintus, which they occasionally supplemented with other names, including Gaius, Gnaeus, and Servius. Lucius disappears early, and was not used by the later Fulvii. The Fulvii Centumali mentioned in history bore Gnaeus and Marcus exclusively, while the Flacci depended on Marcus and Quintus, supplemented by Gnaeus, Servius, and Gaius. Fulvii with other praenomina occur toward the end of the Republic.

Branches and cognomina

The cognomens which occur in this gens in the time of the Republic are Bambalio, Centumalus, Curvus, Flaccus, Gillo, Nobilior, Paetinus, and Veratius or Neratius.[1]

Curvus, which means "bent" or "crooked," is the first cognomen of the Fulvii to occur in history, although it is not known whether the name was due to some physical peculiarity, such as a bent nose, or crooked leg, or whether the name was bestowed metaphorically or ironically.[3]

Paetinus was originally an agnomen of the Curvus family name, which it superseded; it is a lengthened form of Paetus, a cognomen in many Roman gentes, and was indicative of a person who had a slight cast in the eye, for which reason it was classed by Pliny with the word Strabo.[4] However, Horace makes clear that it did not indicate such a complete distortion of vision as Strabo; for he describes a father calling a son who was Strabo by the name of Paetus when he wished to extenuate the defect.[5] Indeed, the slight cast implied by the word Paetus was considered attractive, and it was given as an epithet to Venus.[1][6][7]

As the cognomen of Curvus was superseded by that of Paetinus, so the latter was in turn superseded by Nobilior, meaning "very noble". This name seems to have been first assumed by the consul of 255 BC, and his descendants dropped the name of Paetinus.[1][3]

The relationship of the Fulvii Centumali to the other branches of the family is unclear; but from the fact that they appear in history only slightly later than the Curvi and Paetini, and because they used the same praenomina as that branch, it seems probable that they were closely connected indeed.

Bambalio refers to a tendency to stammer.[1]

To this list, some scholars append Nacca, or Natta, a fuller, based on a Lucius Fulvius Nacca or Natta, supposedly the brother-in-law of Publius Claudius Pulcher. Cicero mentions this Natta on two occasions, but does not mention his gentile name. Servius calls him Pinarius Natta, in a passage of uncertain genuineness, but the only known wife of Clodius was Fulvia; thus it is widely believed that her brother must have been Lucius Fulvius Natta, although that surname is otherwise unknown in the Fulvia gens. Drumann, however, provides reason to suppose that Clodius was married twice, and that his first wife was Pinaria; in which case Natta was not the brother of Fulvia.[1][8]


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

Fulvii Curvi, Paetini, et Nobiliores

  • Lucius Fulvius Curvus, grandfather of the consul of 322 BC.
  • Lucius Fulvius L. f. Curvus, father of the consul of 322 BC.
  • Lucius Fulvius L. f. L. n. Curvus, consul in BC 322, with Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus. Supposedly he had been consul of Tusculum at the time that town revolted against Rome, but upon going over to the Romans, was invested with the same office. He and his colleague triumphed over the Tusculans, and in some accounts, over the Samnites as well. Magister equitum in 316, he and the dictator, Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus, besieged Saticula, and defeated the Samnites.[9][10]
  • Marcus Fulvius L. f. L. n. Curvus Paetinus, consul suffectus in 305 BC, following the death of the consul Tiberius Minucius Augurinus in battle against the Samnites. According to some accounts, he took the town of Bovianum, and celebrated a triumph over the Samnites.[11]
  • Marcus Fulvius Cn. f. Cn. n. Paetinus, consul in BC 299.[12]
  • Gaius Fulvius Curvus, one of the plebeian aediles in BC 296; he and his colleague used fines from grazers to host games, and donate golden chalices to Ceres[13]
  • Servius Fulvius Paetinus M. f. M. n. Nobilior, consul in BC 255, with Marcus Aemilius Paullus, during the First Punic War. Following the defeat of Regulus in Africa at the beginning of the year, the consuls were dispatched with a fleet of at least three hundred ships to bring away the survivors. Near Hermaea, the Roman fleet gained a brilliant victory over the Carthaginians, who suffered very heavy losses. On its return to Italy, the fleet met a fearful storm, and was almost totally destroyed; but both consuls survived, and celebrated a triumph in the following year.
  • Marcus Fulvius Ser. f. M. n. Nobilior, son of the consul of BC 255.
  • Marcus Fulvius M. f. Ser. n. Nobilior, as praetor in 193 BC, obtained the province of Hispania Ulterior, where he defeated the Vaccaei, Tectones, and Celtiberi, receiving an ovation; as consul in 189, and fought against the Aetolians, triumphing the following year. He was censor in 179.
  • Quintus Fulvius Nobilior, one of the triumviri appointed in 184 BC to establish colonies at Potentia and Pisaurum. Cicero identifies him with the consul of 153 BC, who was the son of the consul of 189; but it is improbable that someone who held such an important office in 184 should have been elected consul thirty-one years later; and a Quintus Fulvius Nobilior whom Livy mentions as a boy in 180 would have been the right age to achieve the consulship in 153, but certainly would not have been given the responsibility of establishing two colonies while still a child, four years earlier.[1][14][15]
  • Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, military tribune in 180 BC, he served under the consul Aulus Postumius Albinus Luscus in Liguria. After dismissing his forces without authority, he was punished by being sent to Hispania Ulterior. Broughton notes great difficulty determining his identity, due to a number of similarly-named Fulvii, and inconsistent sources.[16][17]
  • Marcus Fulvius M. f. M. n. Nobilior, consul in BC 159, he appears to have carried on the war against the Eleates in Liguria, over whom he celebrated a triumph the following year.[18]
  • Quintus Fulvius M. f. M. n. Nobilior, consul in BC 153, the first year that the consuls entered upon their office upon the kalends of January, instead of the ides of March. Sent against the Celtiberi, he suffered a terrible defeat on the day of the Vulcanalia, the 23rd of August, a day which was ever after ill-omened to all Roman generals. Although Fulvius was able to inflict severe losses on the enemy, a stampede of his own elephants led to a second devastating defeat later in the year. He was censor in 136.
  • Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, one of Catiline's conspirators. A man of this name was condemned in BC 54, on unknown charges; he may be the same person.[19][20]

Fulvii Centumali

Fulvii Flacci

  • Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, grandfather of the consul of 264 BC.
  • Quintus Fulvius M. f. Flaccus, father of the consul of 264 BC.
  • Marcus Fulvius Q. f. M. n. Flaccus, consul in BC 264, the year in which the First Punic War broke out.
  • Quintus Fulvius M. f. Q. n. Flaccus, consul in 237, 224, 212, and 209 BC, magister equitum in 213 and dictator in 210; he was one of Rome's most successful generals, before and during the Second Punic War, but his legacy was tarnished by the severity with which he treated the defeated Capuans in 211.
  • Gnaeus Fulvius M. f. Q. n. Flaccus, praetor in 212 BC, during the third consulship of his brother, Quintus; he received Apulia as his province, and was defeated with great losses by Hannibal near Herdonia. Charged with losing his army through lack of caution and prudence, he was found to have behaved cowardly, and went into voluntary exile at Tarquinii.[32]
  • Quintus Fulvius M. f. Q. n. Flaccus, served as legate under his brother, Quintus, at the siege of Capua, BC 211. In 209, he was ordered to conduct a detachment of troops into Etruria, and bring back to Rome the legions which had been stationed there.[33]
  • Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, one of the decemviri agris assignandis, appointed in 201 BC to assign lands in Samnium and Apulia to veterans who had served under Scipio in Africa.[34][35]
  • Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, one of the triumvirs appointed to conduct colonies to Pollentia and Pisaurum, in BC 184.[36]
  • Quintus Fulvius Cn. f. M. n. Flaccus, consul suffectus in BC 180, received the province of Liguria. He sent 7,000 Apuani to Samnium.[37]
  • Quintus Fulvius Q. f. M. n. Flaccus, as praetor in 182 BC, he received the province of Hispania Citerior, where he won several victories over the Celtiberians, triumphing in 180. He was consul in 179, with his brother, Lucius Manlius Acidinus Fulvianus, and triumphed over the Ligurians. He was censor in 174.
  • Gnaeus Fulvius Q. f. M. n. Flaccus, brother of the consul of 179 BC, was expelled from the senate during the latter's censorship.
  • Marcus Fulvius Q. f. M. n. Flaccus, served as legate under his brother, Quintus, against the Celtiberians, BC 182.[38]
  • (Lucius?) Fulvius Q. f. M. n. Flaccus, a younger son of the consul of 237, 224, 212, and 209 BC; he was adopted by Lucius Manlius Acidinus, and became Lucius Manlius Acidinus Fulvianus. As praetor in 188 BC, he obtained the province of Hispania Citerior, where he remained until 186, defeating the Celtiberi; in consequence he received an ovation. He was consul in 179 BC, with his brother, Quintus, who had triumphed over the Celtiberi the preceding year.
  • Servius Fulvius Q. f. Flaccus, consul in BC 135, subdued the Vardaeans in Illyricum. Cicero calls him a literary and eloquent man. He was on one occasion accused of incest, and was ably defended by Gaius Scribonius Curio.[39][40][41]
  • Gaius Fulvius Q. f. Cn. n. Flaccus, consul in BC 134, during the First Servile War; he obtained the command in Sicily, and proceeded against the slaves, but with little success.[39][42]
  • Marcus Fulvius M. f. Q. n. Flaccus, consul in 125 BC, aided the Massilians against the Saluvii, and triumphed over the transalpine Ligures. A staunch ally of Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, and supporter of his agrarian law, his attempts to supply Graccus with an armed force led to failed negotiations with the senatorial party, and he was put to death, together with his elder son.
  • Fulvia M. f. M. n., daughter of the consul of 125 BC, married Publius Cornelius Lentulus, and was the mother of Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura.
  • Fulvia M. f. M. n., married a brother of Quintus Lutatius Catulus.[43]
  • Fulvia M. f. M. n., married Lucius Julius Caesar, consul in 90 BC.[44]

Fulvii Gillones

  • Quintus Fulvius Gillo, a legate of Scipio Africanus, who sent him to Carthage in BC 203. He was praetor in 200, and obtained Sicily as his province.[45]
  • Gnaeus Fulvius (Q. f.) Gillo, probably the son of Quintus, was praetor in 167, and received the province of Hispania Citerior.[46]
  • Marcus Fulvius Gillo, consul suffectus in AD 76, and governor of Asia from 89 to 90.
  • Quintus Fulvius Gillo Bittius Proculus, consul suffectus in AD 98. His stepdaughter was the second wife of Pliny the Younger.


  • Marcus Fulvius Bambalio, of Tusculum, a man of no account, married Sempronia, daughter of Sempronius Tuditanus. Their daughter, Fulvia, was the wife of Marcus Antonius. Fulvius received the nickname Bambalio on account of a hesitancy in his speech.[47]
  • Fulvia M. f., daughter of Marcus Fulvius Bambalio, married Publius Clodius Pulcher; after his murder in 52 BC, she married Gaius Scribonius Curio. Following his death in the African War, BC 49, she became the third wife of Marcus Antonius, the triumvir; in 41 she helped to instigate the Perusine War.
  • Publius Fulvius Veratius or Neratius, whom Cicero calls a lectissimus homo, accused Titus Annius Milo in BC 52.[48][49]
  • Aulus Fulvius, a member of the second Catilinarian conspiracy, in 63 BC. While he was on his way to Catiline, his father was informed of his son's design, and, overtaking him, ordered that the younger Fulvius be put to death.[50][51][52]
  • Fulvia Pia, the mother of Lucius Septimius Severus, emperor from AD 193 to 211.
  • Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, Praetorian prefect under Septimius Severus, to whom he may have been related. Having achieved great wealth and power, he succeeded in having his daughter, Fulvia Plautilla, married to Caracalla, the future emperor. But as Caracalla despised both his bride and his father-in-law, Plautianus anticipated his downfall, and in AD 203 was put to death on the accusation that he was plotting against the emperor and his family.
  • Fulvia Plautilla, the wife of Caracalla, was banished and put to death in AD 212, following the murder of the emperor's brother, Geta.
  • Fulvius Plautius, the brother of Fulvia Plautilla, along with whom he was banished and put to death in AD 212.
  • Fulvius Diogenianus, a former consul, noted for his imprudent freedom of speech during the reign of Macrinus.[53]
  • Fulvius, praefectus urbi in AD 222, was torn to pieces, along with Aurelius Eubulus, by the soldiers and people, in the massacre which followed the death of Elagabalus, and was succeeded in office by the notorious Eutychianus Comazon. He may perhaps be the same person as the consular, Fulvius Diogenianus.[54]
  • Gaius Fulvius Maximus, legate of Dalmatia in the reign of Severus Alexander.
  • Marcus Laelius Fulvius Maximus Aemilianus, consul ordinarius in AD 227.
  • Fulvius Pius, consul in AD 238.
  • Fulvius Aemilianus, consul in AD 244.
  • Fulvius Asprianus, a historian, who detailed at great length the doings of the emperor Carinus.[55]

See also

List of Roman gentes


  1. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
  2. Klaus Bringmann, A History of the Roman Republic (2007), p. 53.
  3. John C. Traupman, ‘’The New College Latin & English Dictionary’’ (Bantam, 1995).
  4. Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis xi. 37. s. 55.
  5. Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Satirae i. 3. 45.
  6. Publius Ovidius Naso, Ars Amatoria ii. 659.
  7. Priapeia, 36.
  8. Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms ii. p. 370.
  9. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita viii. 38, ix. 21.
  10. Gaius Plinius Secundus, Historia Naturalis vii. 44.
  11. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita ix. 44.
  12. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita x. 9.
  13. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita x. 23.
  14. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxxix. 44, xl. 42.
  15. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus 20.
  16. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xl. 41.
  17. T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (1952).
  18. Fasti Triumphales.
  19. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, The Conspiracy of Catiline 17.
  20. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum iv. 16. § 12.
  21. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita x. 4, 11, 22, 26, 27, 30.
  22. Fasti Capitolini.
  23. Polybius, The Histories ii. 11, 12.
  24. Florus, Epitome de T. Livio Bellorum Omnium Annorum DCC libri duo ii. 5.
  25. Eutropius, Breviarium historiae Romanae iii. 4.
  26. Paulus Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri VII iv. 13.
  27. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxiv. 43, 44, xxv. 41, xxvi. 1, 28, xxvii. 1.
  28. Polybius, The Histories ix. 6.
  29. Eutropius, Breviarium historiae Romanae iii. 14.
  30. Paulus Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri VII iv. 17.
  31. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxxv. 10, 20, 23, 24.
  32. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxv. 3, 21, xxvi. 2, 3.
  33. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxvi. 33, xxvii. 8.
  34. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxxi. 4.
  35. Gaius Julius Solinus, De Mirabilis Mundi 7.
  36. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxxix. 44.
  37. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxxviii. 42, xl. 37, 41.
  38. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xl. 30.
  39. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome 56.
  40. Appianus, The Illyrian Wars 10.
  41. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus 21, 32; De Inventione i. 43.
  42. Paulus Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri VII v. 6
  43. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Domo Sua 43.
  44. Napoleon III. Histoire de Jules César Volume 1, p. 253 Paris: H. Plon 1865
  45. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xxx. 21, xxxi. 4, 6.
  46. Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita xlv. 16.
  47. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philippicae ii. 36, iii. 6.
  48. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Flacco 20.
  49. Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Cic. Milon. 40, 54, ed. Orelli.
  50. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, The Conspiracy of Catiline 39.
  51. Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History xxxvii. 36.
  52. Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX v. 8. § 5.
  53. Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History lxxviii. 36. He may be the same man as the praefectus urbi killed in AD 222.
  54. Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History lxxix. 21.
  55. Flavius Vopiscus, Carinus 16.

 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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