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[3] Moreover, of the other two names, one was common to the whole family, as in the case of the Pompeii, the Manlii, or the Cornelii (just as a Greek might speak of the Heracleidae or the Pelopidae), and the other was a cognomen or epithet, given with reference to their natures or their actions, or to their bodily appearances or defects, Macrinus, for example, or Torquatus, or Sulla (like the Greek Mnemon, Grypus, or Callinicus). 1 However, in these matters the irregularity of custom furnishes many topics for discussion.

1 The full name of a Roman citizen consisted of a praenomen (the ‘ given ,’ or ‘ proper ’ name), a nomen designating his family or gens , and a cognomen , which was also hereditary. Women rarely had a praenomen , or ‘ proper ’ name, but bore the family name only.

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