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Viggen

Romans first to use surnames?

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...from a question i got via email:

 

...who were the first tribe or  nation to use family or surnames?  My immediate thoughts were the Roman Empire but perhaps you can advise otherwise....

 

 

...anyone chipping in?

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Gleaned the following from Wikipedia: The oldest gentes originated before the foundation of Rome (let's say 753 BC), and claimed descent from mythological personages as far back as the time of the Trojan War (let's say 1184 BC). However, the establishment of the gens cannot long predate the adoption of hereditary surnames. The nomen gentilicium, or "gentile name," was its distinguishing feature, for a Roman citizen's nomen indicated his membership in a gens.

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Chinese Emperor Fu Xi in 2852 BC started it.

 

This being said, Fu Xi was a half fish, borrowed culturally from Mesopotamia, so it might of been a really early invention of Iraq.

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