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Calavia (gens)

The gens Calavia was a distinguished Campanian family of Roman times. Several members of the gens were involved in the events of the Samnite Wars and during the Second Punic War. The most famous of its members was undoubtedly Pacuvius Calavius, the chief magistrate of Capua during Hannibal's invasion of Italy, and son-in-law of Publius Claudius Pulcher.

When Calavius feared that the Capuans would massacre their own senators and surrender the city to Hannibal, he shut them in the senate-house until he convinced the citizens to place their trust in their leaders once more. When Hannibal nevertheless entered Capua following the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC, Calavius restrained his son from a rash attempt on the general's life. In revenge for the subsequent ill treatment of Campania by Rome, a family of this name joined with other Campanians in setting fire to various parts of Rome in 211 BC.