) the name of an illustrious patrician family of the Cornelia gens.
This name, which signifies a stick or staff, is said to have been originally given to a Cornelius, because he served as a staff in directing his blind father (patrem pro baculo regebat
), and to have been handed down by him as a family name to his descendants (Macr. 1.6
This family produced some of the greatest men in Rome, and to them she was more indebted than to any others for the empire of the world. The Scipios, like many other Roman families, possessed a burial-place in which all the members of the family were interred (Cic. Tusc.
This family-tomb, which was near the Porta Capena, was discovered in 1780, and is one of the most interesting remains of the republican period.
It was discovered on the left of the Appia Via, about 400 paces within the modern Porta S Sebastiano.
The inscriptions and other curiosities are deposited in the Museo Pio-Clementino, at Rome.
A full account of this tomb is given by Visconti, Monumenti degli Scipioni,
Roma, 1785, fol.
The inscriptions are also given by Orelli, Inscript.
Nos. 550-559. (See also Becker, Handbuch der Römischen Allerthümer,
vol. i. p. 518.)