from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flavius (from Latin flavus "blond") is a Roman family name ( nomen gentile ). The plebeian gens Flavia was of little importance in the republic , but in the 1st century AD it was a Roman imperial family with the Flavians Vespasian , Titus and Domitian .

In late antiquity , the name Flavius ​​denoted high-ranking imperial dignitaries and took on the character of a title that was placed in front of the actual name.

The feminine form of the name is Flavia . Modern variants are Flavian or Flavio .

Name bearer (selection)

During the imperial era, numerous people wore the noun Flavius ​​who had obtained it as freedmen or through the granting of Roman citizenship by the Flavian emperors. These included the later Emperor Flavius ​​Valerius Constantius Chlorus , which is why the dynasty he founded is sometimes referred to as the "second Flavian dynasty".

In late antiquity , Flavius ​​became a de facto title: from the late 4th to the early 7th centuries, most senior officials in imperial service prefixed their actual name with a Flavius to demonstrate their membership of the imperial elite. Probably since the 4th century one had the right to replace one's gentile noun with Flavius when reaching a certain career level . Many late Roman generals were also called Flavius ​​Merobaudes , Flavius ​​Stilicho , Flavius ​​Aëtius or Flavius ​​Ricimer . The active successor states of the Western Roman Empire also carried the title at times, such as the Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great , the Visigoth king Rekkared I or the Lombard king Authari .

See also


  1. Domitian's biological son (posthumously Divus Caesar ) and his two adoptive sons Vespasian and Domitian probably also bore the Flavius ​​name, but this can no longer be determined with certainty.
  2. Cf. Andras Mócsy: The name Flavius ​​as a designation of rank in late antiquity . In: Files of the IV. International Congress for Greek and Latin Epigraphy , Vienna 1964, pp. 257–263.
  3. See JG Keenan: The Names Flavius ​​and Aurelius as Status Designations in Later Roman Egypt . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 11 (1973), pp. 33-63.