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Aemilia






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AEMILIA gens (originally Aimilia), a patrician family of great antiquity, as both writers and coins serve fully to attest. It was famous for the exploits and public services of its members, insomuch that they filled office, as chief pontiffs, dictators, governors, senators, consuls, masters of the horse, military tribunes with consular power, and triumvirs reipublicae constituendae, together with all the other magisterial and sacerdotal functions. Buca, Lepidus, Paulus, and Scaurus appear as surnames on the medals of this gens, and there are 43 numismatic varieties. Gold, of the highest rarity; Silver common, except scarce reverses. There are silver restored by Trajan. The brass are colonial. For the cognomen of Buca, see AIMILIA [Basilica] REFecit S. C. - For that of Paulus see TER PAVLVS. - For Scaurus see REX ARETAS. The following relates to
Lepidus. The coins of the Lepidi are remarkable for their commemoration of warlike achievements performed by persons belonging to that branch of the Aemilia gens. - There is a denarius belonging to this family, which bears on its obverse, a female head with a diadem. On its reverse, an equestrian figure with a trophy on his shoulder; around the type AN XV PR H O C S; on the exergue M LEPIDVS.
 

The meaning of this abbreviated legend on a well known and interesting silver coin is - M LEPIDVS ANorum XV PRaetextatus Hostem Occidit Civem Servavit. - Thus informing us that M Lepidus at the age of fifteen, still Praetextatus (that is, wearing the robe peculiar to a patrician boy) killed an enemy [in battle] and saved [the life of] a Roman citizen. - Valerius Maximus (l. iii. c. i. n. i.) relates this fact in almost the same words: - Aemilius Lepidus puer etian tum progressus in aciem hostem interemit, civem servavit. Cujus tum memorabilis (he adds) operis index est, in Capitolio statua bullata et incincta praetexta S. C. posita.
According to the above-named Roman historian, a statue of Lepidus, dressed in the costume appropriated to the male children of noblemen till 17 years of age, was placed in the Capitol, by order of the Senate, as an honourable record of this precocious act of valour and patriotism. - After further citing a passage from Macrobius, to shew that, in the times of the Kings, a similar deed, under similar circumstances as to age and bravery, had been performed, and had met with a like recompense - Eckhel calls to mind (vol. v. 123) that on the obverse of another of these denarii, a crown of oak leaves, the honour conferred on him who saved a citizen, is added in the field of the coin behind the woman's head.
 
 
AEMILIA gens.  - There is a denarius of this family engraved in Morell's Thesaurus, which bears on its obverse ROMA, and a female head. On its reverse M AEMILIO, and an equestrian statue on a bridge; referring to the building of the Pons Sublicius, of stone, at Rome, between 660-688 U. C. (94-64 B. C.)

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