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Three Names Were For The Very Posh.....

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So how did a 'new man' such as Cicero have the full three whilst certain members of the aristo's (like Mark Antony) have only two?

 

How did a family recieve/earn/buy a third name?

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I think is full name would be as his father: Marcus Antonius Creticus. We just commonly use Marcus Antonius, or Mark Antony probably since Shakespeare ingraned it in our heads heh.

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Ah! Wait until I get home and I can provide a whole explaination. It had to do with aristocrats and clan names, adoptions, ect. and the number in line you were for that name.

 

Mark Antony was born a pleb, so he only has two names. I will have a super explaination when I can get to my book later, so nabody better beat me to this! :unsure:

Edited by Antiochus of Seleucia

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My understanding was that the tria nomina were not related to NOBILITY (i.e. being a patrician or a plebian) per se.

 

Many of the cognomen related to physical features of some long dead forebear - Naso (nose) or Capito (head).

 

A military suffix (Creticus, Macedonicus) was usually an AGNOMEN rather than simply a cognomen, although no doubt it could be used as the latter.

 

So Cicero was a member of a distinct "clan" of the Tullii, even though he was a "new man" and only enobled his branch of the family by his consulship. He needed patronage and was, of course, famously an outsider - but he was never a complete nobody, even before scaling the heights of the cursus honorum.

 

Phil

Edited by phil25

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Wasn't Cicero just a cognomen, i thought it was latin for chick-pea, because his nose supposedly had a cleft in it just like a chick-pea has ???

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I have read that Cicero and Antony hated each other because Cicero could not understand how a person of breeding, such as Antony, could be so vulger and Antony couldn't abide a person of low birth, such as Cicero, being so snobby.

 

Antony's father had been the consul for 74BC. I believe that Marcus Antonius came from an established patrician family.

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Appendix "On Roman Names and Civil Rights" From-

C, Cherryh Legions of Hell. New York: Baen Publishing Enterprise, 1987.

 

A Roman patrician has three names: the personal name, of which each clan, or gens has only two or three (the Julian clan used Caius and Lucius), which are used in alternation through the inheriting males. Sons other than the heir are known by number-names such as Tertius, Quintus (three, five, ect.) which were, however, given for their pleasing sound or possibly to commemorate some reletive, and without much regard for sequence; or by names such as Ruus ("red") or Postumus ("son born after death of his father") or whatever nickname attached to them in the family- some of which stuck, and were bequeathed to sons in their own lines.

 

...

 

All Romans had a gens: name, or clan name, which in case of males usually ends in -ius... the surname is a name attached to a particular family of the clan to which one belongs, and when such a tag is added, it becomes inheritable. No one knows, for instance, the ancestor who added the name Caesar (lit. ling-hair): to clan Julia.

 

Plebians had only two names, as for instance Marcus Antonius; and even Gaius Octavius who became Augustus ... who was a commoner by birth, and only enobled by the adoption by his great-uncle Julius Caesar.

 

Women had two names that never changed in their lives even through marriage. Also stated is that Romans didn't own a name, they carried it, aquiring the burdens that came with the name.

 

Hope this helps. :P

Edited by Antiochus of Seleucia

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Plebians and Equestrians also had three names

 

Equestrians such as Marcus Livsanius Agrippa and Lucius Aelius Sejanus

 

Many Tribunes of the Plebs also had three names like Titus Annius Milo

 

Now were Equestrians technically Patricians?

or were they Plebians who were wealthy?

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Do you mean Marcus VIPSANIUS Agrippa?

 

Certain very ancient noble families were classed as "patrician" as against "plebeian" going back perhaps to the days of the kings or even before the establisment of Rome - to Alba Longa.

 

Certain positions (such as the Flamen Dialis) were only open to patricians, who also wore certain distinguishing clothing.

 

Senatorial or Equestrian rank was something different - based on the career path followed (ie you had to hold junior magistracies to enter the Senate) and on property/financial resources.

 

I suppose there could be equestrian branches of patrician families (must have been since not all sons would enter the senate). I seem to recall that Claudius - later princeps - was of equestrian rank until he entered the Senate under Gaius.

 

But there are other posters here who know far more than I about such matters.

 

Phil

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The Patrician only positions had an opposite in tyhe form of Plebian only positions. Goldworthy describes a Patrician being adopted into a Pleb family so he could be the Tribune of Plebs. He says the ceremony was made even more ridiculous because the man being adopted was far older than the man adopting him.

 

Goldworthy also states that Caesar was technically unsuitable to be Flamen Dialis due to his parentage being mixed Pleb and Patrician. To hold the Flamen Dialis a person must have total Patrician lineage.

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The tribune you refer to was almost certainly CLODIUS - a Claudian (but he used an alternative, plebian, version of the name).

 

Phil

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Yes. The same guy who, reputedly. dressed as a woman to gain entry to Caesars house during a women only religious ceremony (Bona Dea?) to sleep with Pompeia (Mrs Caesar number 2)

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Plebians and Equestrians also had three names

 

Equestrians such as Marcus Livsanius Agrippa and Lucius Aelius Sejanus

 

Many Tribunes of the Plebs also had three names like Titus Annius Milo

 

Now were Equestrians technically Patricians?

or were they Plebians who were wealthy?

 

These are entirely different hierarchies. Caste, class, and rank.

 

Caste was not a term that the Romans used, but it is a convenient term for this discussion. Patrician and plebeian status was hereditary and could only be changed by adoption, Reges, and Augusti. The distinction became largely meaningless in practical terms during the late republic, but there was always a special distinction accorded to patricians. You simply had higher birth.

 

Class refers to the five propertied classes that made up the Centuries in the comitia centuriata. Senators were invariably members of the first class, whereas knights were part of the first two classes. Those who did not fit into the five classes were the capite censi--their only mark on a census was that of their own person.

 

Rank refers to the social distinction granted by offices and magistracies. Senators and equestrians were included in this via property assessments and censorial additions. Being a nobile or a consular would probably fit as one of these distinctions as well.

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