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On this page: Otacilia – Otacilia Gens – Otacilius – Otanes



tion to this effect, and Eusebius (H. E. vi. 36) mentions a letter, said to have been addressed to her by Origen. (Tillemont, Notes sur FEm- pereur Philippe, in his Histoire des Empereurs, vol. iii. p. 499 ; Eckhel, vol. vii. p. 332 ; Zosim. i. 19.) [W. R.]


OTACILIA, condemned in a judicium by the celebrated jurist C. Aquillius. (Val. Max. viii. 2. § 2.) In the MSS. of Valerius we have ab Otacilia Laterensi, for which we ought perhaps to read ab Otacilia Laterensis, that is, Otacilia, the wife of Laterensis.

OTACILIA GENS, sometimes written Oc-tacilia, is first mentioned at the commencement of the first Punic war, when two brothers of this name obtained the consulship, M\ Otacilius Crassus in b. c. 263, and T. Otncilius Crassus in b. c. 261; but after this time the Otacilii rarely occur. The only cognomens in this gens are crassus and naso. One or two persons, who were accidentally omitted under Crassus, are given below.

OTACILIUS. 1. T. otacilius crassus, one of the Roman generals, actively employed during the greater part of the second Punic war, was pro­bably a son of T. Otacilius Crassus, consul in b. c. 261. [crassus, otacilius, No. 2.J He is generally mentioned by Livy without a cognomen, but we learn from two passages (xxiii. 31, xxvi. 33), that he had the surname of Crassus. He was praetor b, c. 217, in which year he vowed a temple to Mens, and is mentioned next year, b.c. 216, as pro-praetor, when he brought a letter to the senate from Hieron in Sicily, imploring the assist­ance of the Romans against the Carthaginian fleet. In b. c. 215 Otacilius and Q. Fabius Maximus were created duumviri for dedicating the temples they had vowed ; and after consecrating the temple of Mens, Otacilius was sent with the imperium into Sicily to take the command of the fleet. From Lilybaeum he crossed over into Africa, and after'laying waste the Carthaginian coast fell in with the Punic fleet, as he was making for Sardinia, and captured a few of their ships. On his return to Rome Otacilius became a candidate for the consulship for the year b. c. 214, and would certainly have been elected but for Q. Fabius Maximus, the daughter of whose sister was the wife of Otacilius. The praerogativa centuria had already given their votes in favour of Otacilius, when Fabius dissuaded the people from nominating him to the consulship on the ground that he had not sufficient military abilities to cope with Hannibal. Fabius Maximus and Claudius Marcellus were accordingly appointed consuls; but as some compensation to Otacilius, he was elected praetor for the second time, b. c. 214, and the command of the same fleet was entrusted to him which he had had in the previous year. His command was prolonged during the next three years; and ins. c. 212 he did good service by


plundering the Carthaginian coast round Utica, and capturing several corn-vessels in the harbour of the latter city, by means of which he was able to send a supply of corn to the Roman forces, which had just taken Syracuse. In the election of the consuls for the year b. c. 210 Otacilius was again nominated to the consulship by the praero­gativa centuria, and again lost his election, when it seemed certain, by the interference of T. Man-lius Torquatus. Otacilius, however, never heard of this new affront; for just after the elections were over, word was brought that Otacilius had died in Sicily, b.c. 211. Otacilius was one of the pontifices. (Liv. xxii. 10, 56, xxiii. 21, 31, 32, 41, xxiv. 7—10, xxv. 31, xxvi. 1, 22, 23.)

2. otacilius crassus, one of Pompey's officers, had the command of the town of Lissus in Illyria, and cruelly butchered 220 of Caesar's soldiers, who had surrendered to him on the promise that they should be uninjured. Shortly after this he abandoned Lissus, and joined the main body of the Pompeian army. (Caes. B. C. iii. 28 29 )

L. OTACI'LIUS PILITUS, a Roman rhe­torician, who opened a school at Rome b.c. 81 (Hieronym. in Euseb. Chron. Olymp. 174. 4.) The cognomen of Otacilius is uncertain. Sueto­nius calls him Pilitus (in some manuscripts Pilutus\ Eusebius Plotus^ and Macrobius (Saturn, ii. 2) Pitholaus. He had been formerly a slave, and while in that condition acted as door-keeper (ostiarius), being chained, as was customary, to his post. But having exhibited talent, and a love of literature, he was manumitted by his master, and became a teacher of rhetoric. Cn. Pompeius Magnus was one of his pupils, and he wrote the history of Pompey, and of his father likewise, in several books, being the first instance, according to Cornelius Nepos, in which a history was written by a freedman. (Suet, de III. Rliet. 3 ; Voss. de Hist. Lat. i. 9. p. 40.)

OTANES ('OraVrjs). 1. A noble and wealthy Persian, son of Pharnaspes. He was the first who suspected the imposture of Smerdis the Magian, and, when his suspicion was confirmed by the report of his daughter phaedima (one of the royal wives), he took the chief part in organizing the conspiracy against the pretender and his faction (b.c. 521). After the slaughter of the Magians, Otanes, according to the statement in Herodotus, recommended the establishment of democracy, and, when his fellow-conspirators came to the resolution of retaining monarchy, he aban­doned all pretensions to the throne on condition that himself and his descendants should be exempted from the royal authority. At the same time it was decreed that to him and his posterity for ever a Median dress and other gifts of honour should be annually presented. Not long after this, Otanes was placed in command of the Persian force which invaded Samos for the purpose of placing Syloson, brother of Polycrates, in the government ; and the act of the madman Charilaus in murdering a number of the most distinguished Persians provoked him to order an indiscriminate massacre of the Samians. Afterwards, however, in obedience to the warning of a dream, he re-peopled the island which he had thus desolated. (Herod, iii. 68—84, 141—149 ; comp. Strab. xiv. p. 638.)

2. A Persian, son of Sisamnes. His father,

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