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About Cadenicus

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  1. Cadenicus

    Romans afterwards, and forgetfulness

    This has been the question that has vexed me endlessly. I would give my left nut to have a time machine to go back and follow a few random families to see at what point they actually lose their Roman names and either forget them or decide on some other name. Surely Romans kept having sex and reproducing even after they no longer thought they *were* Roman. And speaking of forgetfulness - I intend to do an experiment wherein I tell my children (and make sure they remember) that their great grandfather fought in World War II. I'll ask my sister to tell her children that as well. Then when they're a bit older we'll get them to tell their kids, etc. Involvement of an ancestor in such a monumental war should be remembered, no? So why does not a single modern person (not a single one) get told that their ancestor fought Hannibal, for example? Yes, yes - I know that we wouldn't expect many folks to remember - but NOBODY?
  2. Anyone know (or have good theories) on what became of roman families as Rome "fell" or faded away? I think I've asked this question around here before, but more in terms of why *nobody* today has a family memory of ancient rome. But if you took a time machine back then and watched, say, a reasonably well-off but not currently famous (non-Julii, etc) family, what would you see happen? If you fast-forwarded to the fall of rome, then 20 years later, then followed the descendents of each child in that sample family, and each child of each child, up to current times, at what point would you notice that the children had literally forgotten their family name? At what point would they not even know they had descended from Romans? Were there ANY romans families (even *one*?) that carefully instilled their family history in their children for as long as, say, into medieval times? Or is it simply impossible for lines to cohere that long?
  3. Cadenicus

    Roman Families, Where They Went

    Exactly. There MUST be folks running around Italy who descend from a famous Roman family or even a non-famous senator or other mover-and-shaker. The problem is they don't remember. I suppose the sheer numbers of descendents of Romans had me fooled into thinking that (even with low odds) *someone* would have gotten a piece of their family story passed down to present times. But I guess the answer is that the odds are FAR too against it. Which leaves me with an interesting excercise to do: I will try to make sure (somehow) some of my descendents in the future remember that they descend from someone who fought in WWII (my grandfather). When that's truly ancient history, THAT will be something to brag about.
  4. Two related questions (and moderators can decide if these are different enough to split): Where did the patrician (or even famous pleb) families GO? Yes, I know that Rome fell, but it didn't fall by everyone dying. If I had time-machine cameras magically attached to the descendents of some particular Roman family of note, what would I see? Would I see them ALL dying off? Or would I simply see that they would gradually forget the family line they came from, stop speaking Latin, etc, right up to today where I find that I AM the descendent of a bastard son of Sulla and his German wife (or whatever)? Bonus question: Why does NOBODY (literally, I assume) have a family history they can remember going back to Roman times? I'm not stupid - I know that good records were NOT kept - but you'd think with all the people on the planet SOMEONE would have heard their grandfather tell them orally that they descend from this guy named Marcus Whatever who was a minor backbencher senator. You know - some tidbit of oral tradition just happening to survive, and nothing too grandiose.