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Nephele

Surnames of the Porcii

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The Porcii were an aristocratic plebeian gens that had its origins in Tusculum. The name is derived from porcus, a Latin word meaning "pig," and most likely this was a metonymic name indicating that the earliest members of the gens were noted for keeping and breeding swine. The most distinguished branch of the gens was without a doubt the Porcii Catones, and the first member of the Porcii to obtain the consulship was M. Porcius Cato Censorius (Cato the Elder) in 195 BCE.

 

As I did with my Surnames of the Cornelii, Surnames of the Claudii, Surnames of the Valerii, Surnames of the Fabii, Surnames of the Aemilii, Surnames of the Servilii, Surnames of the Licinii, Surnames of the Manlii, Surnames of the Junii, Surnames of the Sempronii, Surnames of the Julii, and Surnames of the Livii, I have attempted here to list and define the various surnames used by the Porcii of the Republic, particularly those who served in magisterial positions during the time of the Republic as noted in Broughton's Magistrates of the Roman Republic. For the purpose of this list, I have included cognomina, adoptive cognomina, and agnomina under the collective term of "surnames."

 

...read the full article of the Surnames of the Porcii

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Thanks Nephele! This is wonderful -- I wonder if there are any connections between the Porcii Catones and other gens-mates. Also (and maybe I missed it in your article), Cato the Elder seemed to think that the Porcii were of Sabine origins, something he was strangely proud of, and also liked to think of M Curius Dentatus as having some sort of family connection. Did you come across anything like that in your sources?

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Thanks Nephele! This is wonderful --

 

Thank you!

 

I wonder if there are any connections between the Porcii Catones and other gens-mates.

 

Do you mean familial connections? The Porcii Catones were most likely related to the Porcii Laecae and Porcii Licini. M

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Happy to repost it. I'll look at expanding it to include the other Porcii, but I'm a bit dubious whether the sources will tell us how they're all connected.

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How significant are these connections in family names? Is it simply a family tree or does this reflect more than just ancestory? The Romans certainly indicate that breeding was everything, but a part of me suspects a certain amount of snobbery from wealthy and succesful families. More to the point, do these connections reflect a social order from before Rome was created, amongst the tribal raiders of the Tiber valley?

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How significant are these connections in family names? Is it simply a family tree or does this reflect more than just ancestory? The Romans certainly indicate that breeding was everything, but a part of me suspects a certain amount of snobbery from wealthy and succesful families. More to the point, do these connections reflect a social order from before Rome was created, amongst the tribal raiders of the Tiber valley?

 

As you know, the Romans created ties with families other than their own, through the act of adoption. Natural fathers would give over their sons to families with which they wished to establish ties, and the close association of some families thus became well recognized. Such as the connections between the plebeian Livii with the patrician Aemilii. And then there were the three princely clans of the Aemilii, Cornelii, and Fabii who affirmed their unification through inter-adoption.

 

I'm not certain as to when the custom of Roman adoptio and adrogatio started, or whether it went back to the time of the tribal raiders of the Tiber valley.

 

-- Nephele

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Thanks Nephele! This is wonderful I wonder if there are any connections between the Porcii Catones and other gens-mates.

Do you mean familial connections? The Porcii Catones were most likely related to the Porcii Laecae and Porcii Licini. M

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There is no ancient proof as far as I know that the three Porcii were related however Astin (Cato the Censor, pp. 9) seem to think that their rise to power at about the same time is a circumstantial evidence that they were indeed related and assisted each other in their political career.

 

Interesting book, Ingsoc. No, there's no ancient proof that the three Republican era branches of the Porcii were related, but it's highly probable that they were distantly related.

 

The Roman gens, in its earliest form, was a group of people claiming descent from a common ancestor. Members of the same branch of a particular gens were clearly more closely related to each other than to the general membership of the gens on the whole.

 

Freedmen and clients who customarily took the gens names of their former masters and patrons would be distinguished from the original family by adding a different cognomen of their own

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