A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

a powerful family in the Etruscan town of Arretium, who seem to have been usually firm supporters of the Roman interests. They were driven out of their native town in B. C. 301, by the party opposed to them, but were restored by the Romans. The Cilnii were nobles or Lucu-mones in their state, and some of them in ancient times may have held even the kingly dignity. (Comp. Hor. Carm. 1.1.1, 3.29. 1, Serm. 1.6. 3.) Till the fall of the republic no separate individual of this fallily is mentioned, for the "Cilnius" of Silius Italicus (7.29) is a poetical creation, and the name has been rendered chiefly memorable by C. Cilnius Maecenas, the intimate friend of Augustus. [MAECENAS.] It appears from sepulchral inscriptions that the Etruscan form of the name was Cfenle or Cfelne, which was changed by the Romans into Cilnius, much in the same way as the Etruscan Lecne was altered into Licinius. (Müller, Etrusker, i. p. 414.)