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Re: Translation question

From:Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 6, 2000, 16:23
On Sun, 3 Jan 1999, DOUGLAS KOLLER wrote:

> > Sidebar -- is a cognomen is a cognomen is a cognomen? Or does "Caecus" > really refer to this particular family's ability to see?
Being something of a Rome buff, I actually know this. A cognomen was essentially a personal nickname used to distinguish a person from the many other people in his or her gens named the exact same thing (Romans were notoriously uncreative at naming, even resorting to numbers quite frequently). Thus, a cognomen does indeed refer to an individual's particular traits, but *not* a family's. These cognomens, incidently, when literally translated sound a bit like mob nicknames. "Tully the Fat." "Bruno the Ugly." Funny story, or at least amusing. Cicero was very proud of his cognomen (which means "chick pea" and refers to his rather large mole) and was *always* insisting that his acquaintances use it. He wasn't, however, a very popular man. Almost everyone insisted on calling him "Tully" instead. Can't you just imagine the dork? "No, call me chick-pea, everyone does." "Sure, Tully. Anyway, what were you saying about augury?" Source, I have no idea. A fellow Rome buff told me, and if it ain't true, it should be. --Pat --------------------------------------------------------------------- Living your life is a task so difficult, it has never been attempted before.