The Ancient Library

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On this page: Egnatia Gens – Egnatia Maximilla – Egnatius – Egnatuleius – Eidomene – Eidothea – Eileithyia


EGNATIA GENS, a family of Samnite origin, some at least of whom settled at Teanum. At the end of the social war the greater part of these ap­pear to have removed to Rome, where two of them were admitted into the senate (Cic. pro Cluent. 48), though a branch of the family seems still to have remained at Teanum. (Cic. ad Ait. vi. 1, mentions one Egnatius Sidicinus.) We find the following surnames borne by members of this gens : celer, maxim us, rufus, and veratius. [C. P. M.]

EGNATIA MAXIMILLA, a descendant of that branch of the Egnatia gens which bore the surname of Maximus, is mentioned by Tacitus (Ann. xv. 71) as the wife of Glicius Gallus, who was banished by the emperor Nero. She accom­panied her husband in his exile. [C. P. M.]

EGNATIUS. 1. gellius egnatius, was leader of the Saranites in the third great Samnite war, which broke out b. c. 298. By the end of the second campaign, the Samnites appeared en­tirely subdued; but in the following year Gellius Egnatius marched into Etruria, notwithstanding the presence of the Romans in Samnium, and roused the Etruscans to a close co-operation against Rome. This had the effect of withdrawing the Roman troops for a time from Samnium; but the forces of the confederates were defeated by the combined armies of the consuls L. Volumnius and Appius Claudius. In the fourth campaign (b. c. 295) Egnatius induced the Gauls and Umbrians to join the confederacy ; but in consequence of the withdrawal of the Etruscans and Umbrians, the Gauls and Samnites fell back beyond the Apen­nines, and were met by the Romans near the town of Sentinum. A decisive battle, signalized by the heroic devotion of P. Decius, ensued, in which the confederate army was defeated, and Egnatius slain. (Liv. x. 18—29.)

2. marius egnatius, one of the principal leaders of the Italian allies in the social or Marsian war, which broke out b. c. 90. He was doubtless one of those twelve commanders, who were to be chosen year by year by the allies, to serve under two consuls. (Diod. Fragm. vol. x. p. 186, ed. Bip.) In Livy he is called the leader of the Samnites. The first of his exploits which we have mentioned is the capture of Venafrum, of which he made himself master through treachery, and where he destroyed two cohorts. Not long after, near Teanum, in a de­file of Mons Massicus, he fell unexpectedly on the army of the consul L. Caesar, which he put to flight. The Romans fled to Teanum, but lost a great number of men in crossing the Savo, over which there was but a single bridge. In the fol­lowing year Egnatius was killed in battle with the Romans under the praetors C. Cosconius and Luc-ceius. (Liv. Epit. Ixxv.; Appian, B. C. i, 40, 41, 45.)

It has been ingeniously conjectured (by Prosper Merimee, in his Essai sur la Guerre Sociale) that the M. Marius of Sidicinum mentioned by A. Gel­lius as being suae dvitatis nobilissimus homo, and who was treated with such gross indignity by one of the consuls, probably of the year b. c. 123, was either the father or a near relative of Marius Eg­natius.

3. cn. egnatius, a man of somewhat disrepu­table character, was admitted into the Roman se­nate, but was subsequently expelled by the censors. (Cic. pro Cluent. 48.)

4. egnatius, a son of the former, was, like his


father, a member of the senate, and retained that dignity when his father's name was struck off the rolls. He was disinherited by his father. (Cic. pro Cluent. 48.)

5. egnatius, probably a son of No. 4, accom­panied Crassus on his expedition against the Par-thians, and after the great defeat which Crassus sustained (b. c. 53), escaped from the scene of the disaster with 300 horsemen. (Plut. Crassus, 27.) Appian (B. C. iv. 21) mentions two Egnatii, father and son, who were included in the proscrip­tion of the year b. c. 43, and were slain by a sin­gle blow, while locked in each other's arms. They were perhaps the same with the two last.

6. egnatius sidicinus, mentioned by Cicero as having had some money transactions with him. (Ad Ait. vi. 1. § 23.) [egnatia gens.]

7. egnatius, a poet who wrote before Virgil. Macrobius (Sat. vi. 5) quotes some lines from his poem De Rerum Naiura. [C. P. M.]

EGNATULEIUS, the name of a plebeian gens at Rome. The names of two only belonging to it have come down to us.

1. C. egnatuleius, c. p., whose name is found upon a coin figured below. The obverse represents the head of Apollo with C. egnatvlei. C. (F.), and the reverse Victory and a trophy, with rom(a) beneath. The letter Q indicates that the coin was a Quinarius or half a Denarius. (Eckhel, Doctr. Num. vol.v. p. 205.)

2. L. egnatuleius, was quaestor in the year B. c. 44, and commanded the fourth legion, which deserted from Antony to Octavianus. As a re­ward for his conduct on this occasion, Cicero pro­posed in the senate that he should be allowed to hold public offices three years before the legal time. (Cic. PUl. iii. 3, 15, iv. 2, v. 19.) [C. P. M.]

EIDOMENE (EtSoju&ij), a daughter of Pheres and wife of Amythaon in Pylos, by whom she be­came the mother of Bias and Melampus. (Apollod. i. 9. § 11.) In another passage (ii. 2. § 2) Apol-lodorus calls her a daughter of Abas. [L. S.j

EIDOTHEA (EtSofle'a), a daughter of the aged Proteus, who instructed Menelaus, in the is­ land of Pharos at the mouth of the river Aegyptus, in what manner he might secure her father and compel him to say in what way he should return home. (Horn. Od. iv. 365, &c.) ;

There are three other mythical personages of this name. (Hygin. Fab. 182; Schol. ad Soph. Antig. 972 ; Anton. Lib. 30.) [L. S.]

EILEITHYIA (Efoefowia), also called Elei-thyia, Eilethyia, or Eleutho. The ancients derive her name from the verb eA€tf0€(*>, according to which it would signify the coming or helping god­dess. She was the goddess of birth, who came to* the assistance of women in labour; and when she was kindly disposed, she furthered the birth, but when she was angry, she protracted the labour and delayed the birth. These two functions were originally assigned to different EiteiOviai. (Horn, 77. xi. 270, xvi. 187, xix. 103; comp. Paus. i. 44. § 3; Hesych. s. v. Y,l\ei6viat.) Subsequently, how­ever, both functions were attributed to one divi-

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