Roman names (restored)

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Roman names (restored)

Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:46 pm

Salvete omnes,

Since the topic about Roman names has accidentally been deleted, I will repost Garrulus' question and my answer to it. As I remember, the crux of Lucius' question was whether we can distinguish patrician from plebeian names, and what was their origin.

The answer I posted was a paragraph extracted from

Going back to the earliest Latin inscription on the Praenestine Fibula („Manius me fecit Numerio“), Leonard Ashley and Michael Hanifin outline that nomina were the heart of the Roman naming system.[5] Indeed, nomen was the component of name that was inherited, indicated the position of the gens in the state, ist antiquity and sometimes ist origin.[6] Nomen was shared by all the members of the family and slaves. Sometimes nomina originated from personal names, for example Marcius derives from Marcus, Tullius from archaic Tullus. However, the most nomina gentilicia come from names of tribes. Romans initially derived from three groups of tribes, genera maiora Ramnes, Tities and Luceres. Within major tribes there were smaller clans (gentes), e. g. Julians and Servillians were gentes of the Luceres tribe, as Livy reports. Families were further divided into stirpes: thus Caesar was a branch of the Julian gens of the Luceres tribe. To the original founding tribes were added 30 plebeian tribes. Names for all Roman tribes were given by the sixth Roman King, Servius Tullius. To non-patricians he gave names derived from the four quarters of Rome in which they resided. To the quarters of Rome the King also added 26 rural areas outside of the city. As a result of the seige of Rome by the Etruscan King Lars Porsena at the beginning of the 6th century b.C., the 30 plebeian tribes were reduced to 20. The four urban tribes remained, their historical names are: Suburana, Esquilina, Collina, Pallatina. The 26 suburban districts became 16: Aemilia, Camilia, Cornelia, Fabia, Galeria, Horatia, Lemonia, Menemia, Papiria, Pollia, Popillia, Pupinia, Romilia, Sergia, Veturia and Voltinia. Later the Claudian gens was added to the 16 tribal names. More nomina were added in the 4th century b.C.: Stellatina, Tromentina, Sabatina and Arniensis, Pomptina, Publilia, Maecia, Scaptia, Ufentina, Falerina. In the 3d century b.C. more tribal names appeared: Aniensis, Terentina, Quirina and Velina.[7]

Five leading families of the classical Rome were Claudia, Cornelia, Aemilia, Fabia and Valeria. Notable among the patricians were bearers of the following nomina: Julia, Junia, Porcia, Sempronia, Gracchi, Cassia, Licinia, Tullia, Horatia, Domitia, Manlia, Calpurnia, Flavia, Livia, Caecilia, Roscia, Marcia, Antonia. There also existed non-patrician nomina, that were equestrian or upper middle-class: Octavia, Pompeia, Vipsania. There is at least one famous nomen of a common origin: Marius.[8]

[5] Ashley Leonard, Hanifin Michael, 1978, P. 306

[6] Yonge Charlotte M., 1863, P. 303

[7] Ashley Leonard, Hanifin Michael, 1978, P. 306-312

[8] Ashley Leonard, Hanifin Michael, 1978, P. 312-315


Q. Pomponius Atticus
Quintus Pomponius Atticus

"Ars longa, vita brevis" - Hippocrates
Quintus Pomponius Atticus
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Postby Lucius Tyrrhenus Garrulus on Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:21 pm

Salve, Q. Pomponius Atticus!
Multas gratias. That clears things up.
Vale bene!
Lucius Tyrrhenus Garrulus
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