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[25] A really keen and intelligent teacher will inquire into the origin of names derived from physical characteristics, such as Rufus or Longus, whenever their meaning is obscure, as in the case of Sulla, Burrus, Galba, Plautus, Pansa, Scaurus and the like; of names derived from accidents of birth such as Agrippa, Opiter, Cordus and Postumus, and again of names given after birth such as Vopiscus. Then there are names such as Cotta, Scipio, Laenas or Seranus,1 which originated in various ways.

1 Sulla =? spindleshanks (surula). Burrus = red. Galba = caterpillar. Plautus = flat-footed. Pansa = splay-footed. Scaurus = with swollen ankles. Agrippa = born feet foremost. Opiter = one whose father died while his grandfather still lived. Cordus = late-born. Postumus = last-born, or born after the father's death. Vopiscus = a twin born alive after the premature birth and death of the other. Scipio = staff. Laenas from laena (cloak). Seranus = the sower. Cotta uncertain.

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