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FLavius Valerius Constantinus

How Were Twins Treated

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I'm not sure, how ever twins would be even rarer than they are today, becuase twins are often a result of fertility drugs or other things of that type etc. However, I'm sure the Romans simply chose the one born first within the 1 minute or however long for politics and second one along for the military, however I wonder what they'd do with triplets...

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Mark Golden's "Children and childhood in classical Athens" is a really comprehensive treatment of the subject, but he doesn't say anything about twins. My bet is that twins would be viewed as something marvelous if for no other reason than that a mother managed to deliver them safely at all. Infant mortality back then was very, very high. It was so common that many Romans didn't even bury their infants.

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here's a thought...what did they call twin girls to differentiate between them...I don't suppose we know but it just occurred..any ideas anyone?

 

Maior and minor would seem to be out

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here's a thought...what did they call twin girls to differentiate between them...I don't suppose we know but it just occurred..any ideas anyone?

 

Maior and minor would seem to be out

 

I don't believe there would be any difference between twins and other daughters. If born of the Claudian gens for example, they would both be named simply Claudia as any other daughters would be. Perhaps they might be designated with a Primia or Secundia praenomen, but I believe even siblings could be named major and minor and this wasn't reserved only to designate people of differing generations?

 

Of course in the later imperial period, most bets were off and we see women with both the standard gens name from the paternal side and additional agnomen. It actually gets quite muddled especially within the imperial families.

 

For example, Marcus Aurelius (born Marcus Annius Catilius Severus, and later Marcus Annius Verus and later still Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), had 6 daughters with Annia Galeria Faustina.

 

Some proper full names are missing but we can assume that they were each the same (essentially beginning Annia Aurelia):

 

Fadilla (seems to have been nicknamed for a maternal aunt or older ancestor)

Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla (proper 'Annia' coupled with imperial Aurelia, maternal Galeria and nickname Lucilla -- Galeria was also paternal through adoption)

Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina (see above, nicknamed also for maternal side which was also paternal through adoption... Faustina was the wife of Antoninus Pius)

Domitia Faustina (Domitia was the paternal grandmother and Faustina the mother)

Cornificia (named for a paternal aunt)

Vibia Aurelia Sabina (Vibia Sabina was the wife of Hadrian so technically Marcus Aurelius' grandfather through adoption... Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius who adopted Marcus Aurelius in turn)

 

Fun stuff... more imperial stemmatas for those so inclined

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