Category:Gens Fabia (Nova Roma)

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FABIA GENS is one of the most ancient patri­cian gentes at Rome, which traced its origin to Hercules and the Arcadian Evander (Ov. Fast. ii. 237, ex Pont. iii. 3. 99; Juv. viii. 14; PlmL Fab. Max. I ; Paul. Diac. s. v. Favii, ed. Muller.) The name is said to have originally been Fodii or Fovii, which was believed to have been derived from the fact of the first who bore it having in­vented the method of catching wolves by means of ditches (foveae), whereas, according to Pliny, (If. N. xviii. 3), the name was derived from faba, a bean, a vegetable which the Fabii were said to have first cultivated. The question as to whether the Fabii were a Latin or a Sabine gens, is a dis­puted point. Niebuhr and, after him, Gottling (Gesck. der Rom. Staatsv. pp. 109, 194,) look upon them as Sabines. But the reason adduced does not seem satisfactory ; and there is a legend in which their name occurs, which refers to a time when the Sabines were not yet incorporated in the Roman state. This legend, it is true, is related only by the pseudo-Aurelius Victor (de Orig. Gent. Rom. 22) ; but it is alluded to also by Plutarch (Romul. 22) and Valerius Maximus (ii. 2. § 9). When Romulus and Remus, it is said, after the death of Amulius, offered up sacrifices in the Lupercal, and afterwards celebrated a festival, which became the origin of the Lupercalia, the two heroes divided their band of shepherds into two parts, and each gave to his followers a special name: Romulus called his the Quinctilii, and Remus his the Fabii. (Coinp, Ov. Fast. ii. 361, &c., 375, &c.) This tradition seems to suggest, that the Fabii and Quinctilii in the earliest times had the superintendence of the sacra at the Lupercalia, and hence the two colleges of the Luperci retained these names even in much later times, although the privilege had ceased to be confined to those two gentes. (CicSPhtt. ii. 34, xiii. 15, pro Cael. 26 ; Propert. iv. 26; Plut. Caes. 61.) It was from the Fabia gens that one of the Roman tribes derived its name, as the Claudia, in later times, was named after the Claudia gens. The Fabii do not act a prominent part in history till after the establish­ment of the commonwealth ; aud three brothers belonging to the gens are said to have been invested with seven successive consulships, from b. c. 485 to 479. The house derived its greatest lustre from the patriotic courage and tragic fate of the 306 Fabii in the battle on the Cremera, b. c. 477. [Vibulanus, K. Fabius, No. 3.] But the Fabii were not distinguished as warriors alone: several members of the gens act an important part also in the history of Roman literature and of the arts. The name occurs as late as the second century after the Christian aera. The family-names of this gens under the republic are:Ambustus, Buteo, Dorso, Labeo, Licinus, Maximus (with the agnomens Aemilianus, Allobrogicus, Eburnus, Grurges, Rullianus, Servilianus, Verrucosus\ Pictor, and Vibulanus.

The only cognomens that occur on coins are Hispaniensis, Labeo, Max­imus, and Pictor.

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Praenomina commonly used by members of this gens in ancient times were:

Used by the Fabii Vibulani, Ambusti, and Maximi:
Gaius, Caeso, Marcus, Numerius, Quintus.
Used by the Fabii Dorsuones and Licini:
Gaius, Marcus.
Used by the Fabii Pictores:
Gaius, Marcus, Numerius, Quintus.
Used by the Fabii Buteones:
Marcus, Numerius, Quintus.
Used by the Fabii Labeones:

In modern times the most common praenomina have been Quintus, Marcus, Gaius, and Caeso. The praenomina Spurius, Servius, and Numerius have not been used by the Fabii in the modern era.

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