Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

OT Roman names

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Monday, June 12, 2006, 12:35
Michael Adams wrote:
> But it is a model for conlang and conculture family relations > and names. > > I suspect it was often patrilineal,
The use nomina or cognomina?
> but what if your mothers > family was of a higher social class, like Eqestrien or > Senatorial rank? But fathers family was Pleben or ..
As far as the 'nomen' was concerned, you were born into you father's _gens_ (clan). When a woman married, she was adopted out of her birth _gens_ into her husband's. It's true that in the earliest period there were problems; mainly because marriage between patricians & plebeians was illegal! But when connubium between patricians & plebeians was granted, plebeian _gentes_ were established. So the system continued working as before. As for cognomina, these, as I wrote in my last mail, were far less permanent and, I suppose, might be changed to take account of wife's origin - but I know of no examples of this happening. One must remember that we are dealing with a society in which women, in theory, had always to have a male representing her legally. It's true that some women in the Senatorial & Imperial ranks did wield great authority - but nominally even they had to have male representation and their position was always precarious, as the example of Nero's Mum makes only too clear. While indeed the Romans were class conscious, male chauvinism was an even more potent force. ============================================ Andreas Johansson wrote: > Quoting R A Brown <ray@...>: >>within a clan from another. It does not seem that everyone bothered with >>a cognomen; AFAIK the cognomen, if there was one, of the young Gaius >>Octavius is unrecorded. Also, although they were inherited, it seems >>they could also be changed - i.e. the were less permanent than our surnames. > > > I don't know if there's statistics or ancient statements to back it up, but it's > often said that cognomina were chiefly used by the upper echelons of society. It could well have been so - but it seems that by the end of the Republic, the custom of having a cognomen had become fairly universal and that they generally inherited from the father. > Another high-profile Roman without one is Gaius Marius. A man of the people :) I forgot to add in my original mail that freed slaves were enrolled into their master's _gens_ and normally, out of respect for their master, would also adopt his praenomen. The name by which they had formerly been known would become the cognomen. A similar thing happened when citizenship was granted to non-Romans. For example, when the emperor Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka Claudius) gave Cogidubnus, king of the British 'tribe' known as _Regnenses_, citizenship, the latter became 'Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus', a member of the Claudian _gens_. -- Ray ================================== ================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760


Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>