patrician, and afterwards plebeian also.
The history of this gens forms the subject of one of Cicero's letters to Papirius Paetus, who did not know that any of the Papirii had ever been patricians (ad Fam.
9.21). Cicero states that the Papirii were originally called Papisii, and that the first person who adopted the former form of the name was L. Papirius Crassus, consul, B. C. 336. We learn front the same authority that the patrician Papirii belonged to the minores gentes, and that they were divided into the families of CRASSUS, CURSOR, MAISO, and MUGILLANUS: and that the plebeian Papirii consisted of the families of CARBO, PAETUS, and TURDUS. The most ancient family was that of Mugillanus, and the first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was L. Paspeaking pirius Mugillanus, in B. C. 444.
The gens, however, was of still higher antiquity than this, and is referred by tradition to the kingly period. The Papirius who composed the collection of the Leges Regiae, is said to have lived in the reign of Tarquinius Superbus (see below); and one M'. Papirius was the first rex sacrificulus appointed on the expulsion of the kings (Dionys. A. R. 5.1