Roman Names

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Roman Names

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Mar 24, 2004 4:44 am

Salvete, amici!

Below I have attached my original "Your Roman Name: the Owner's Manual". It was originally written for a friend of mine in the OP; he has since enjoyed much success there; and I of course have enjoyed Not Being There At All Anymore. >({|;-p

So I now share the fruits of my expertise with you 'uns. Sip slowly until it's had a chance to cool...


From: legion6
Subject: Your Roman Name--The Owner's Manual
To: jmath669642reng (James Mathews)

Salve iterum, Marce Minuci!

Now *this* I can do!!

Roman names are pretty simple, actually...once you get the hang of 'em.
(I'm sure you could say the same thing to me about engineering...)
>({|;-P

You've got three: Given name (Praenomen) Marcus; family name (Nomen) Minucius; and street-name/nickname/use-name (Cognomen) Audens. It's important to realize that a Roman's family name...the one we would think of as a surname...is the one in the middle, not the one at the end like in modern practice. So Lucius Cornelius Tiddlypus and Titus Cornelius Anonymus are related (same gens name), but Marcus Aurelius Tiddlypus is not kinfolk to either of 'em (even though his cognomen's the same as Lucius').

As for historically-accurate levels of formality, you are:
-- Marcus Minucius to your family and acquaintances (including business or political);
-- Minucius Audens to most of your friends;
-- just-plain-Audens to people who either like you very much (close friends/intimates) or thoroughly despise you (it's considered very casual/familiar);
-- and Marcus Minucius Audens only to your Paterfamilias and the law courts--and then only when you're in *Big* Trouble!!<g>

Of course, [the OP] is growing its own habits of name use, and we call each other by our cognomina (the third name or nickname) most of the time.

Clear as mud?
---


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Postby Quintus Servilius Priscus on Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:26 am

Salve,
Don't forget what Audens has done to his Gens name. It's Minucius-
Tiberius now. A hyphenated Roman Name! Gens Tiberia joined with
Audens Gens not to long ago and they combined them.

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:03 pm

I might point out here that "Tiddlypus" looks very awkward. The sequence <ddly> never existed in Latin. Many people forget that they sometimes enter vowel or consonant clusters in their names (taken from English, German, Russian or whatnot) that never existed in Latin.

Otherwise, there is also still the "Roman names for dummies" document which is linked to through the app form.

By the way, Lentule, in ancient Rome it was also possible for someone to belong to two gentes but then one of the gens names was added as a cognomen. In Audens' case this would be Marcus Minucius Tiberianus Audens. Hyphenated gens names did, to my knowledge, never exist. I once compiled a list of wrong or malformed names in the OP and found out that about 1/4 names over there are wrong and about 1/15 are so terribly wrong that they need to change entirely.

Valete!
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Lucius Tiddlypus

Postby Aldus Marius on Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:47 am

Avete, amici...

...et a special "Hail" to the Latin Inquisition, which thinks it has caught me out for only the second time since I made its acquaintance.

Yup, thinks. As Latin, "Lucius Tiddlypus" is indeed an atrocity. However, I wasn't trying to be Latin just then; I was trying to use a name which would be the Roman-ish equivalent of "Joe Blow" or "Alfred Bloggs". A specific equivalent. Colleen McCullough's equivalent, to be precise, and for all the same reasons--or Why come up with one of my own? Say what you like about Ms McCullough as a writer or as a Roman historian, the old gal did her homework, and those glossaries in the backs of her books are an education in themselves.

I was once Nomenclator of a certain Internet micronation. I have made one bona-fide Latin error since I began posting here. Of course "Lucius Tiddlypus" is not a proper Roman name; did anyone really think I didn't know this? So if I use it anyway, might it not be on purpose and for reasons of my own? Name me a famous writer of any kind who has not made the language dance to his tune, and not the other way 'round. Artists are like that.

Two kinds of people (at least) break the rules: The ones who don't mean to or don't know any better; and the ones who know exactly what they are doing and think it better that way. I belong firmly in Category B.

On Minucius-Tiberius, yes, that does earn a frown from me. And Mister M.-T. (I am no longer in touch with him) may still have a copy of the "OP Howlers" list I compiled shortly after obtaining the Citizenship there. If he did, he'd have more access to it than I do at present; that and other records having been sealed off from me by the failure of my original Laptop, the 386 that Ruled the Earth. I think between one-fourth and one-third of names were too screwed-up to be true even back then; sounds like they've improved, but only a little bit.

You've really never read Colleen McCullough's glossaries...??

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Postby ariadne sergia fausta on Mon May 24, 2004 10:22 am

I wonder why women on SVR all have a praenomen, women in roman antiquity only had a family name en cognomen
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon May 24, 2004 11:39 am

Salve Ariadne,

Because most women will feel discriminated if they can't have a first name. SVR is not rebuilding Rome and we'd certainly not like to take over its sexist flaws.

Incidentally, we recently had a discussion on this name topic in the Senate. Expect some legislation coming your way soon ;).

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Women with Names

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue May 25, 2004 3:54 am

Ave, Ariadne, et Salvete omnes...

Actually, Imperial women did have Praenomina in many cases, and the later in the Empire you go the longer their names got. (The mens' names were even lengthier!)

Roman Civilization spanned over twelve centuries. I try to be careful, in making statements, to specify at least what general period a given observation belongs to: Kingdom, Republic or Empire; Early, Mid- or Late. The breadth of our history gave plenty of time for naming practices (and everything else) to develop and change.

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The ladies

Postby Anonymous on Thu Jul 22, 2004 11:12 pm

Interesting question about female names...

Recent research by a colleague of mine seems to suggest that some women also had praenomina during the Republic. I do not have the exact reference in mind but I had a copy of a book that said just that.

If anyone is interested I'll dig up more details ;-)

Valete

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