The earliest inhabitants of central Italy, according to Roman legends, and supposedly sons of the trees. They lived as nomads, without laws or fixed habitations, and their food was wild fruit. Their name is generally taken to mean 'the original population'. When Aeneas arrived in Latium at the head of the Trojans the Aborigines were ruled by Latinus. Once they were united with the Trojans they formed the Latin race, so called in honor of Latinus.

note: this might (only a guess) be where we get our current term for the native peoples in various parts of the world - esp the more well-known Aborigines of Australia.
Gritchka writes: Your guess is correct. They are people who had been there 'ab origine' = 'from the beginning', first applied to pre-Roman Italy, then in modern times to Australia etc.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ant. Rom. 1, 9ff.; 1, 72; 2, 48f
- Strabo. 5, 3, 2, p. 228
- Cato. Origines fragments 5-7
- Sall. Catil. 6, 1
- Lyc. Alex. 1253
- Festus s.v. Romam, p. 266 M
- Pliny, NH 3, 56
- Serv. on Aen. 8, 328.
- See W. A. Scheöder, M. P. Cato: das erste Buch der Origines, pp. 102ff.

Ab`o*rig"i*nes (#), n. pl. [L. Aborigines; ab + origo, especially the first inhabitants of Latium, those who originally (ab origine) inhabited Latium or Italy. See Origin.]

1.

The earliest known inhabitants of a country; native races.

2.

The original fauna and flora of a geographical area

 

© Webster 1913.

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