originally written AIMILIA, one of the most ancient patrician houses at Rome. Its origin is referred to the time of Numa, and it is said to have been descended from Mamercus, who received the name of Aemilius on account of the persuasiveness of his language (δι᾽ αἱμυλίαν λόγου
). This Mamercus is represented by some as the son of Pythagoras, and by others as the son of Numa, while a third account traces his origin to Ascanius, who had two sons, Julius and Aemylos. (Plut. Aemil.
8, 21; Festus, s. v. Aemil.
) Amulius is also mentioned as one of the ancestors of the Aemilii. (Sil. Ital. 8.297
It seems pretty clear that the Aemilii were of Sabine origin; and Festus derives the name Mamercus from the Oscan, Mamers in that language being the same as Mars. The Sabines spoke Oscan.
Since then the Aemilii were supposed to have come to Rome in the time of Numa, and Numa was said to have been intimate with Pythagoras, we can see the origin of the legend which makes the ancestor of the house the son of Pythagoras.
The first member of the house who obtained the consulship was L. Aemilius Mamercus, in B. C. 484.
The family-names of this gens are : BARBULA, BUCA, LEPIDUS, MAMERCUS or MAMERCINUS, PAPUS, PAULLUS, REGILLUS, SCAURUS. Of these names Buca, Lepidus, Paullus, and Scaurus are the only ones that occur on coins.