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The legendary Lentulus (Lentulo) family

According to the most serious and authoritative biographies of Scipio Lentulus (Scipione Lentulo), he:

…was born in Naples in early November 1525 to Cesare, belonging to an ancient patrician family. The father died, he was adopted by the noble Campania GA Gagliardo, second husband of the mother. [by Simonetta Adorni Braccesi – Biographical Dictionary of Italians – Volume 64 (2005)]

His father was aptly named Cesar, and it has been widely accepted, but not quite proven, that the family was “ancient” by virtue de descendence from the Lentulus (or Lentuli) family of ancient Rome. According to Wikipedia:

Lentulus, the name of a Roman patrician family of the Cornelian gens, derives from lentes (lentils), which its oldest members were fond of cultivating (according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. xviii. 3, 10). The word Lentulitas (“Lentulism”; cf. Appietas) is coined by Cicero (Ad Fam. iii. 7, 5 ) to express the attributes of a pronounced aristocrat. The three first of the name were L. Cornelius Lentulus (consul 327 BC), Servius Cornelius Lentulus (consul 303) and L. Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus (consul 275). Their connection with the later Lentuli (especially those of the Ciceronian period) is very obscure and difficult to establish. The following members of the family deserve mention.

Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus, consul 146 BCE
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus, consul 72 BCE
Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Sura), consul 71 BCE, executed by Cicero 63 BCE
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, consul 57 BCE
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus, consul 49 BCE
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Cruscellio, suffect consul 38 BCE
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, consul 3 BCE
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, consul CE 26, executed by Caligula CE 39
See also Publius Lentulus, apocryphal governor of Jerusalem, supposedly the author of an epistle describing Jesus.

It may be for this reason that Scipio’s son, Paul, was so easily able to be recognized among the Patrician families of Bern (he was also a very capable doctor). He became the patriarch of the Von Lentulus line, including Robert Scipio, baron of Lentulus (April 18, 1714 – December 26, 1786).

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