The gens Rutilia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens appear in history beginning in the second century BC. The first to obtain the consulship was Publius Rutilius Rufus in 105 BC.
The nomenRutilius is derived from the LatincognomenRutilus, red or reddish, which was probably borne by an ancestor of the family who had red hair. The nomen belongs to a large class of gentilicia derived from other names using the suffix -ilius.
The Rutilii used relatively few praenomina, chiefly Publius, Lucius, Marcus, and Gaius, all of which were among the most common names throughout Roman history. The only other praenomen found under the Republic was Quintus, known from Quintus Rutilius, quaestor in 44 BC.
The Rutilii of the Republic bore the cognominaCalvus, Lupus and Rufus. In addition to these, the coins of the Rutilii include the surname Flaccus, which does not occur in literary sources. Other cognomina occur in the imperial times. A number of Rutilii bore no surname.Rufus, red, was typically given to someone with red hair, and this choice of cognomen may have been influenced by the fact that the nomen Rutilius has the same meaning. Another of the surnames of the Rutilii, Calvus, indicated someone bald, while Lupus, a wolf, belongs to a common type of cognomen derived from familiar objects and animals.Flaccus indicated someone flabby, or with floppy ears.
- Spurius Rutilius Crassus, according to Livy, one of the consular tribunes in 417 BC, is probably a mistake for Spurius Veturius Crassus, named by Diodorus Siculus, since no other Rutilii are mentioned for over two and a half centuries.