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AHENOBARBUS, ("brazen-bearded") was the name of a plebeian Roman family of the gens Domitia. The name was derived from the red beard and hair by which many of the family were distinguished.

GNAEUS DOMITIUS AHENOBARBUS was tribune of the people 104 B.C., brought forward a law (lex Domitia de Sacerdotiis) by which the priests of the superior colleges were to be elected by the people in the comitia tributa (seventeen of the tribes voting) instead of by co-optation; the law was repealed by Sulla, revived by Julius Caesar and (perhaps) again repealed by Marcus Antonius, the triumvir (Cicero, De Lege Agraria, ii. 7; Suetonius, Nero, 2). Ahenobarbus was elected pontifex maximus in 103, consul in 96 and censor in 92 with Lucius Licinius Crassus the orator, with whom he was frequently at variance. They took joint action, however, in suppressing the recently established Latin rhetorical schools, which they regarded as injurious to public morality (Aulus Gellius xv. 11).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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