was originally an agnomen of C. Atilius Regulus, consul B. C. 257, but afterwards became the name of a distinct family of the Atilia gens.
The origin of the name is uncertain. Most of the ancient writers derive it from serere,
and relate that Regulus received the surname of Serranus, because he was engaged in sowing when the news was brought him of his elevation to the consulship (" Serentem invenerunt dati honores Serranum, unde cognomen," Plin. Nat. 18.3. s. 4
; "te sulco, Serrane, serentem," Verg. A. 6.845
; Cic. pro Sex. Rosc. 18 ; V. Max. 4.4.5
It appears, however, from coins, that Saranus
is the proper form of the name, and Perizonius (Animadv. Hist.
100.1) thinks that it is derived front Saranum, a town of Umbria.