chapter  I
14 Pages

Lucius Licinius Lucullus and the Luculli

In every land and under every clime nobles have shown the greatest pride in their ancestry. The Romans are no exception to this rule. The Julii Caesares, for instance, unblushingly declared that they were descended from the goddess Venus herself. The Luculli, with more modesty, but no more truth, spoke of a certain Lucullus who as a king of Illyria led his people into Italy in the distant past where they eventually became the nation of the Paeligni, inhabitants of the centre of that country. So far as we are concerned, however, the first historical L.Licinius Lucullus is a man who was curule aedile in 202. Learned opinion in ancient Rome and in our own day holds that his name ‘Lucullus’ is a diminutive of ‘Lucius’. This latter signifies ‘born at dawn’.