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nomenculator). A sort of usher; a slave kept by great personages, whose business it was to make himself acquainted with the names and persons of every one who was in the habit of attending his master's levees, so that when the great man met any of them out of doors, the nomenclator, who accompanied him, announced their names, and enabled him to address them personally, or pay them some little appropriate compliment; for to pass a client without notice, even inadvertently, might be regarded as an affront, and possibly be resented at the next elections (Ad Att. iv. 1; Epist. i. 6, 50-52). In great houses, where the acquaintances and hangers-on were very numerous, the nomenclator arranged the order of precedence among the guests, announced the name of each dish as it was served up, and enumerated its peculiar excellences (Pet. Sat. 47, 8; Plin. Ep. 19; Pliny , Pliny H. N. xxxii. 21). The name is properly written nomenculator, as is shown on the evidence of glosses and MSS. See Mart. x. 30, 30; Suet. Aug. 19; Calig. 41; Claud. 34.

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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 19
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 32.21
    • Petronius, Satyricon, 47
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