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ὄνομα). I. Greek. The Greeks had no names denoting family, and so corresponding to modern surnames (Pausan. vii. 7, 4). Hence the name of the new-born child was left to the free choice of the parents, like the Christian name with us. The child usually received it on the tenth day (δεκάτη) after birth, the occasion being a family festival. (See Amphidromia.) According to the most ancient custom, the son, especially the first-born, received the name of his grandfather, sometimes that of his father, or a name derived from it (Phocus=Phocion) or similarly compounded (Theophrastus=Theodorus). Girls, in like manner, received the name of the grandmother (Isae. De Pyrrh. Herod. 30). As a rule, a Greek had only one name, to which was added that of his father, to prevent confusion— e. g. Ἀλκιβιάδης (sc. the son) Κλεινίου. Sometimes, also, the name of the country was added in the form of an adjective—e. g. Θουκυδίδης Ἀθηναῖος. A great many names were compounded with the names of gods (Heracleitus, Herodotus, Artemidorus, Diogenes), or derived from them (Demetrius, Apollonius). Frequently names of good omen for the future of the child were chosen. Sometimes a new name was afterwards substituted for the original one; so Plato was originally called Aristocles, and Theophrastus, Tyrtamus. Slaves were usually called after their native country, or their physical or moral peculiarities. See Becker-Göll, Charikles, ii. p. 26.

II. Roman. The development of the Roman name was co-ordinate with the growth and development of the Roman State. In the early period, when, in the small community, the individual was all-important, the strictly personal name was prominent; but as the community increased in size and consequence, added importance was given to certain determinatives, which marked the individual as a member of society and distinguished him from his fellows. These determinatives probably belonged to the name in its early history, notwithstanding the statement, Varro simplicia in Italia nomina fuisse ait, found in the fragment De Praenominibus, assigned to Valerius Maximus by Julius Paris of the fourth century. This statement is there supported by reference to Romulus and Remus, names belonging to a mythology of late origin, but is controverted by reference to Rhea Silvia and Silvius Numitor. The first of these early determinatives was the word, indicating potestas, manus, mancipium, in the genitive case—e. g. Marcus Marci, Caecilia Crassi—followed later, as shown in the inscriptions, by filius) or f(ilia), uxor, or servus). The second early determinative was the word indicating the family (gens) distinguished from the other elements by the suffix -ius. Thus the three elements of the early name were the individual name, the name of the one in authority, and the name of the family. Among the Romans the order of the last two was reversed, while among the Greeks, Umbrians, and Volscians the original order was maintained.

In the course of time the necessity of still further identifying the individual led to the use of other elements, the name of the tribe and the cognomen, an additional personal name. The latter afterwards came to indicate the branch or family, stirps, of the gens. The name of a free-born citizen then consisted of a praenomen, nomen, cognomen, with the insertion in formal usage, before the cognomen, of the words denoting filiation and descent, followed by filius, nepos, pronepos, abnepos, adnepos, and of the name of the tribe. The order indicated—praenomen, nomen, cognomen—is violated in the inscriptions only for metrical reasons, or because of Greek influence or rustic usage. In literature the same order is observed in prose of the good period, even in Livy , when the praenomen is given; but if the praenomen is omitted the older order, that followed by Cicero, is cognomen, nomen; while the later order, that followed by Caesar, is nomen, cognomen. In social intercourse children, clients, slaves, addressed the master of the house by his praenomen, while strangers used his cognomen. In more formal address both nomen and cognomen were employed.

Praenomen.—The strictly personal name was conferred by parents upon their children on the dies lustricus, the ninth day after birth in case of boys and the eighth in case of girls. The assertion of Q. Scaevola, as given in De Praenominibus, to the effect that boys did not receive the praenomen until they assumed the toga virilis, or girls before their marriage, must refer to the formal conferring of the name, for the inscriptions of persons dying in childhood often contain the praenomina.

Eighteen praenomina were employed by the patrician families: A. , Aulus; D., Decimus; C., Gaius ; CN., Gnaeus; K., Kaeso; L., Lucius; M'., Manius; M., Marcus; P., Publius; Q., Quintus; SER., Servius; SEX., Sextus; S., Spurius; TI., Tiberius; T., Titus; AP., Appius; MAM., Mamercus; N., Numerius. Certain of these were selected by the individual patrician families; thus, the Cornelii used A. , CN., L., M., P., SER., TI.; but the Cornelii Scipiones, CN., L., P. (see table given by Momm. Röm. Forschungen, p. 15). Other praenomina were employed, some of which fell into disuse at an early period, and are known from the fasti or from statements of authors, while others were of foreign origin and rare occurrence. Varro, in De Praenom. 3, names fourteen ancient praenomina not used at his time: Agrippa, Ancus, Caesar, Faustus, Hostus, Lar, Opiter, Postumus, Proculus, Sertor, Statius, Tullus, Volero, Vopiscus.

Cognomina were used at times as praenomina, particularly in Gallia Cisalpina—e. g. Maximus, Rufus; also in the imperial family in the employment of such names as Cossus, Drusus, and Germanicus. The word imperator in the time of Augustus became a praenomen in the imperial name. Nomina also served as praenomina—e. g. Aelius, Aurelius—after the middle of the second century, and even suffered abbreviation.

Nomen.—The second determinative in the early Roman name belonged to all members of the same family, and was at first identified with a certain locality. The nomina of the old Roman families ended in -ius and the closely related terminations -aius, -eius, -eus, -aeus. Nomina with other terminations may be assigned to the localities to which they originally belonged—e. g. -arna, -erna, -enna, -ina, -inna show Etruscan origin, while -as, -anas, -enas, -inas testify to Umbrian derivation. Other nomina are directly derived from names of places —e. g. Acerranus (Acerrae); Verres, of Roman origin, stands by itself, and may have been originally a cognomen.

Cognomen.—This last addition to the Roman name was first used as a strictly personal name employed as appropriate to the individual—e. g. Albus, Barbatus, Severus, Siculus. The position of the cognomen after the name of the tribe indicates a time of introduction subsequent to the Servian Constitution; and judging from its use in inscriptions the custom of writing cognomina dates back to the fifth century of the city, while its regular use may be assigned to the latter part of the seventh century. The cognomen afterwards served as an indication of the family of the gens, so of the gens Cornelii there were the Cethegi, Lentuli, Scipiones, while of the Scipiones there were the Nasicae; also as an indication of nobility, being employed by patrician families and certain of the plebeian. In the late republican period the cognomen was given to all free-born citizens and frequently to freedmen, and at this time served as an indication of freedom. The custom of using more than one cognomen became very common in the early days of the Empire, and prevailed generally in the second and third centuries. These additional cognomina were regarded by the grammarians after the fourth century as new elements, and were termed by them agnomina. Of this class were the cognomina ex virtute—e. g. Caudinus, Hispanus—and names, indicating the parentage of those adopted, made with the termination -anus—e. g. Aemilianus.

Names of Women.—The names of women in the early period consisted of an individual name, praenomen, followed by the nomen of the father and the genitive case of his praenomen, or by the nomen of the husband and the genitive case of his praenomen—e. g. Maior Anicia C. f(ilia). Subsequently the praenomen disappeared, and the female name consisted of merely the nomen gentile of the father or husband alone—e. g. Aemilia, or accompanied, when more formal, by the genitive of the praenomen of the father or husband—e. g. Acilia C. f(ilia); cf. also Curtia Rosci (uxor). At the close of the Republic cognomina were used with names of women —e. g. Caecilia Metella; and from the middle of the first century the custom prevailed generally —e. g. Furia Sabinia Tranquillina.

Names of Slaves.—The name of the slave originally consisted simply of the name of his master in combination with the word puer; as, Marcipor= Marci puer. In the republican period the slave was known by an individual name, often of foreign origin, followed by the nomen and afterwards the praenomen of his master, both in the genitive case. His servile condition was indicated by the word servus, abbreviated in the inscriptions S. or SER. Thus, Helenus Hosti Q. s.=Helenus, slave of Quintus Hostius. In the imperial period the name of the owner is given in full—as, Martialis C. Oli(i) Primi s(ervus). The transfer of a slave to a new master was indicated by the use of an additional name, made from the cognomen of his former master, with termination -anus—e. g. Epitynchanus Caes(aris) n(ostri) ser(vus) Candidian(us).

Names of Freedmen.—Originally the freedman received the nomen of his patron, and selected his praenomen, which might be his early servile name. His former state was indicated, as shown in the inscriptions, by the word servus, following the genitive case of his patron's praenomen—e. g. C. Sextius V(ibi) s(ervus). In the seventh century of the city a freedman received his patron's nomen, a Roman praenomen (regularly that of his master), and used his former slave name as a cognomen. His former state was indicated, as shown in the inscriptions, by the word libertus, abbreviated L. or LIB. —e. g. P. Helvidius P. l. Hermes. When freedmen were liberated by the emperor, the expression Aug(usti) l(ibertus) or Caes(aris) n(ostri) l(ibertus) took the place of the praenomen of the patron. Freedmen of women took the nomen of their patroness and the praenomen of her father—e. g. M. Livius Aug(ustae) l(ibertus) Menophilus. Freedmen of a colonia or municipium formed nomina out of the word publicus, since they had been servi publici, or from the name of the colonia or municipium.

Bibliography.—Ellendt, De Cognomine et Agnomine Romano (Königsberg, 1853); Th. Mommsen, Römische Forschungen, art. Die römischen Eigennamen (Berlin, 1864); J. Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Römer, 2d ed. (Leipzig, 1886); Cagnat, Cours d'Épigraphie Latine, 2d ed. (Paris, 1890); E. Hübner, Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, vol. i. 2d ed. art. Römische Epigraphik (Munich, 1892).

Nicknames.—Nicknames were freely given by both the Greeks and Romans, based upon any bodily or mental defect or peculiarity, or upon some well-known circumstance of the individual's career. Thus Demosthenes, from his childhood, was called Βάτταλος, because of his stuttering (C. Timarch. 126, 141); and Aristophanes gives several names of birds that were used as nicknames (Arist. Av. 1291). Dionysius of Heraclea was popularly styled Μεταθέμενος, or “turn-coat,” from his abandonment of the Stoic philosophy; and Hegesias of Cyrené got the name of Πεισιθάνατος, or “Death's Advocate,” from his gloomy view of life. Epicrates was styled Σακεσφορός, from his large beard; and one of the Ptolemies Φύσκων, from his paunch. Collections of Greek nicknames are given by Athenaeus (vi. p. 242); and cf. Hellen. ii. 2, 31; Lucian, Symp. 6; and Athen. x. p. 436).

As already shown, many of the Roman family names were originally nicknames; as, Naso, “bignose”; Flaccus, “flop-ear”; Varus, “bandy-legs”; and Scaurus, “knock-kneed.” The Rufi were named from a red-headed ancestor; and the name Cicero is said to have been due to a wart like a pea (cicer) on the face. Some of the nicknames were accepted by their subjects as formal names, and hence passed into history, as Cunctator (“slow-coach”) and Caligula. The last emperor of the West, Romulus Augustus, was, because of his insignificance, styled Augustulus, just as Victor Hugo dubbed the Third Napoleon, Napoléon le Petit. Pompey was nicknamed “Sampsiceramus” by Cicero, after a petty prince of Emesa (Ad Att. ii. 14, 16). The bibulous tastes of Tiberius led the people to change his name from Tiberius Claudius Nero to Biberius Caldius Mero (from bibo, calda, and merum). Sometimes a whole phrase was applied as a nickname, as Cedo alteram (Tac. Ann. i. 23Tac. Ann. 41) and Manus ad ferrum (Lamprid. Aurel. 6), much as in modern times “Cœur de Lion,” “Rough and Ready,” and “Me Too” have been so applied. The Latin term for a nickname is signum or vocabulum (Capitol. Gord. iv. 8; Tac. Ann. i. 41).

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