a very ancient patrician house at Rome, which appears in the first Etruscan war with the republic, B. C. 506, and vanishes from history in B. C. 448.
The name Herminius occurs only twice in the Fasti, and has only one cognomen, AQUILINUS. [AQUILINUS.] Whether this gens were of Oscan, Sabellian, or Etruscan origin, is doubtful. An Herminius defends the sublician bridge against an Etruscan army, and probably represents in that combat one of the three tribes of Rome. Horatius Cocles, as a member of a lesser gens, the Horatian, is the symbol of the Luceres; and therefore Herminius is the symbol either of the Ramnes or the Titienses. Probably of the latter, since the Titienses were the Sabine tribe, and the syllable Her is of frequent occurrence in Sabellian names--Her-ennius, Her-ius, Her-nicus, Her-silia, &c. (Comp. Müller, Etrusc.
vol. i. p. 423.)
But, on the other hand, the nomen of one of the Herminii is Lar, Larius, or Larcius (Liv. 3.65
; Dionys. A. R. 11.51
; Diod. 12.27
), and the Etruscan origin of Lar is unquestionable. (Müller, Ib.
It is remarkable, that the first Herminius, cos. B. C. 506, in his consulate, on the bridge, and at the " Battle of Regillus," is coupled with Sp. Larcius. (Liv. 2.10
; Dionys. A. R. 5.22
.) The Roman antiquaries regarded the Herminii as an Etruscan family (Val. Max. de Praenom.
15); and Silius Italicus gives a North-Etruscan fisherman the name of Herminius. (Punic.
In the diverging dialects of the West-Caucasian languages, Arminius, the Cheruscan name (Tac. Ann.
ii.), and Herminius, are perhaps cognate appellations.