an ancient patrician gens, a member of which obtained the consulship as early as B. C. 488.
It claimed to be descended from Nautius or Nautes, one of the companions of Aeneas, who was said to have brought with him the Palladium from Troy, which was placed under the care of the Nautii at Rome. (Dionys. A. R. 6.4
; Verg. A. 5.704
, with the note of Servius.) Like many of the other ancient gentes, the Nautii disappear from history about the time of the Samnite wars. All the Nautii bore the surname of RUTILUS.