Potitii a distinguished family among the ancient Romans, who are said to have received Hercules when he went into Italy, and treated him hospitably on the very spot where Rome was afterwards built. The Potitii were in return invested with the honor of being in all future time the hereditary priests of the god. They continued accordingly to enjoy this privilege until B.C. 312, when they sold their knowledge of the sacred rites for 50,000 pounds of copper. For this remuneration they instructed public slaves in the worship of Hercules; whereupon the deity was so enraged that the whole family of the Potitii perished within thirty days. See Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. s.v. Potitia Gens.