Curtia

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The Curtia gens was a very ancient Roman family, whose roots came from the Sabine race. According to the historian Titus Livius, the Curtia gens was one of the hundred families already existing at founding of Rome. The name of this gens came from the Latin curtus, which means "short" or "without a part of the body". It was used first as a nickname of a particular member of the gens, then later as a first name (a praenomen), becoming at last the name of the entire gens (a nomen).

The Curtia Gens is connected with the Roman legends about the Lacus Curtius. The Lacus Curtius is a very old site in the middle of the Roman Forum; its origins are explained with three different traditions reported by Titus Livius and Marcus Terentius Varro.

The Curtia gens included several families, that each took their own surname (a cognomen), like "Philon", a family that produced Gaius Curtius Philon, consul in 445 B.C. Another famous surname was "Rufus", the family of the famous historian Quintus Curtius Rufus.

Other members of the Curtia Gens that are remembered by history include:

  • Quintus Curtius, Triunvir for minting coins in 116-115 B.C., together with Marcus Iunius Silanus and Cneus Domitius Enobarbus. He had silver coins (denarii) marked with his name, shortened to: "Q CURT".
  • Quintus Curtius, an auctioneer in Abidos, Egypt.

Curtius Rufus, Proconsul in Africa, probably father of Quintus Curtius Rufus.

  • Quintus Curtius Rufus, historian, author of the "Histories of Alexander the Great"; he was the first Roman to write about foreign affairs.
  • Gaius Curtius, a famous Roman eques and relative of the Senator Gaius Rabirius.

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