plebeian, was originally one of the most distinguished families in Tusculum, and indeed in the whole of Latium.
It is first mentioned in the time of the Tarquins; and it was to a member of this family, Octavins Mamilius, that Tarquinius Superbus betrothed his daughter. The Mamilii traced their name and origin to the mythical Mamilia, the daughter of Telegonus, who was regarded as the founder of Tusculum, and was the reputed son of Ulysses and the goddess Circe. (Liv. 1.49
; Dionys. A. R. 4.45
; Festus, p. 130, ed. Müller.) In B. C. 458 the Roman citizenship was given to L. Mamilius on account of his marching unsummoned two years before to the assistance of the city when it was at tacked by Herdonius. (Liv. 3.18
But although the Mamilii had obtained the Roman franchise, it was some time before any of the members of the house obtained any of the higher offices of the state: the first who received the consulship was L. Mamilius Vitulus, in B. C. 265, the year before the commencement of the first Punic war.
The gens was divided into three families, LISIETANUS, TURRINUS, and VITULUS, of which the two latter were the most ancient and the most important. Limetanus, however, is the only surname which occurs on coins.
The mythical origin of the Mamilia gens, which has been mentioned above, is evidently referred to in the annexed coin.
The obverse represents the head of Mercury or Hermes, who was the ancestor of Ulysses, and the reverse Ulysses himself, clad in a mean and humble dress, that he might not be recognized by the suitors. (Eckhel, vol. v. pp. 242, 243.)