plebeian, is not mentioned till the second century before the Christian aera : the first member of it who obtained the consulship, Q. Pompeius, in B. C. 14], is described as a man of a humble and obscure origin (Cic. Ver. 5.70
, pro Muren.
It is expressly stated that there were two or three distinct families of the Pompeii under the republic (Vell. 2.21
); and we can trace two, one of which was broutght into celebrity by Q. Pompeilus, the consul of B. C. 14], and the other is still better known as that to which the triumvir belonged.
In the former family we find the surname of Rufus ;
in the latter, the father of the triumvir was distinguiished by the personal cognomen of Strabo,
and the triumvir himself gained that of Magnus,
which he handed down to his children as an hereditary surname. Beside these cognomens we have on coins Faustulus
as a a surname of a Sex. Pompeius, who is otherwise unknown, and Pius
as a surname of Sextts, the son of Cn. Pompeius Magnus, to designate him as the avenger of his father and brother. (Eckhel, vol. v. p. 280, &c.)
But as all the members of these families are usually spoken of under their gentile name, and not under their cognomens, they are given below under POMPEIUS. In addition to the cognomens already mentioned, we find many others, borne for the most part by freedmen or provincials, who had received the Roman franchise from the Pompeii: of these an alphabetical list is given below.