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nomen

Postby Curio Agelastus on Sat Jun 07, 2003 10:29 pm

Salvete omnes,

I'm reading a chronology of the Roman Republic, and it mentions, in the early Republic, one Publius Appius Claudius Pulcher. Now I've heard of several people in the late Republic with the name of Appius Claudius Pulcher, but never with a second praenomen tacked on the beginning. Does anyone know why he had two praenomina?

Bene valete,
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Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Sat Jun 07, 2003 11:04 pm

Salve Marce,

back when I was still studying Latin, I was always told that a Roman had only three names:

- a praenomen (his first name)
- his familyname (I forgot what it was called)
- a cognomen (something special about that person e.g. Africanus, ...)

I've never heard of 4 parts in a Roman name before. Although there was a tim when my borther, Draco, called himself Gnaeus Dionysius Scorpio Invictus but he eventually stopped using this (thank the gods for that :) )

Now I've heard of several people in the late Republic with the name of Appius Claudius Pulcher


Maybe it was there were many other people so they decided to give him an extra name?

Vale bene,

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Jun 07, 2003 11:24 pm

Salve Curio,

Most Romans only had two names, in fact. Only the upper class had three (or more) names. And women usually didn't have praenomina (we are a bit more egalitarian here ;)).

My agnomen, Invictus, still exists Tiberi. But it's an agnomen, not a second cognomen or a cognomen (whereas Gnaeus Dionysius would be two praenomina, which is of course not the case).

The name "Appius" was almost exclusively associated with gens Claudia. Perhaps, over time, it became so attached to certain branches of this gens that they decided to make their gens name "Appia Claudia". This would make our fellow Publius only have one praenomen :).

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Postby Curio Agelastus on Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:56 pm

Salvete Tiberi et... Draco (What does Gnaeus become in the vocative? Gnaei?)

You both suggest that it could have been due to the vast amount of Claudians on the scene. However, Publius Appius was from the very early Republic, so it was unlikely that his familia had adopted Appia as well as Claudia as a nomen.

And yes, agnomen I could understand, but Pulcher is a cognomen, and Claudius a nomen, so it's not a case of an extra cognomen.

Oh well, maybe we can discuss it tonight. I have some more questions... You can tell that my exams are ended, from the fact that my increased reading has led to the resuming of my annoying and probably unanswerable questions! :-D

Bene valete,
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Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:52 pm

Publius Dionysius Mus omnibus salutem

Tiberius wrote:

back when I was still studying Latin, I was always told that a Roman had only three names:

- a praenomen (his first name)
- his familyname (I forgot what it was called)
- a cognomen (something special about that person e.g. Africanus, ...)

I've never heard of 4 parts in a Roman name before. Although there was a tim when my borther, Draco, called himself Gnaeus Dionysius Scorpio Invictus but he eventually stopped using this (thank the gods for that )


That was the theory... however in practice there are a few nice and strange examples not following this rule:

Quintus Avelius Priscus Severius Severus Annavus Rufus
(AE 1961, 109)

BTW, the record holder is a man with 36 cognomina... When I have the time, I will try to trace where he is mentioned.

People often added their filiatio and tribus to their name, as in our previous example:
Quintus Avelius Quinti filius Sergia tribus Priscus ...


In the near future (whenever that will be) I may write a small essay on Roman names...


And for Curio: I have no information on Claudius Pulcher or his names ...

Optamo vobis bene valere
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:52 pm

Salve Curio,

Marcus Scribonius Curio wrote:Salvete Tiberi et... Draco (What does Gnaeus become in the vocative? Gnaei?)


If it followed the exception on the rule, it would be "Gnaei". But it's an exception on an exception. As such, the vocative case of "Gnaeus" is "Gnae" :). I feel so special.

Marcus Scribonius Curio wrote:You both suggest that it could have been due to the vast amount of Claudians on the scene. However, Publius Appius was from the very early Republic, so it was unlikely that his familia had adopted Appia as well as Claudia as a nomen.


Other than offering my explanation again that the name Appius was closely tied to gens Claudia, I'm not sure what to say against your objection here.

Vale bene!
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