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Nephele

Roman Naming Practices During the Principate Period

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Another change was in the names of adopted children, for example when Augustus adopted Tiberius in 4 AD, Tiberius should have change his name to "Gaius Julius Caesar Claudianus" instead he chose to drop the fourth name which commemorate his original nomen and stick with his original praenomen and was named "Tiberius Julius Caesar".

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Another change was in the names of adopted children, for example when Augustus adopted Tiberius in 4 AD, Tiberius should have change his name to "Gaius Julius Caesar Claudianus" instead he chose to drop the fourth name which commemorate his original nomen and stick with his original praenomen and was named "Tiberius Julius Caesar".

 

Hmm. This may have been more to do with the Imperial family name, Ingsoc, rather than the general norm. Tiberius is perhaps not a good example. Compare Sejanus, who, as the son of Seius Strabo, and adopted by a man named Aelius, still retained his 'Sejanus' - by which history itself knows him.

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Another change was in the names of adopted children, for example when Augustus adopted Tiberius in 4 AD, Tiberius should have change his name to "Gaius Julius Caesar Claudianus" instead he chose to drop the fourth name which commemorate his original nomen and stick with his original praenomen and was named "Tiberius Julius Caesar".

 

Hmm. This may have been more to do with the Imperial family name, Ingsoc, rather than the general norm. Tiberius is perhaps not a good example. Compare Sejanus, who, as the son of Seius Strabo, and adopted by a man named Aelius, still retained his 'Sejanus' - by which history itself knows him.

 

You're right, Augusta, that the Imperial family frequently marched to their own drummer when it came to bestowing names upon their members. But the traditional appearance of names was changing for everyone by the time of the Principate, and this sometimes included adoptive cognomina.

 

For example, when Publius Caecilius Secundus (son of Lucius Caecilius Cilo and Plinia), was adopted by his maternal uncle, Gaius Plinius Secundus (through a testamentary adoption in 79 CE), rather than becoming known as Gaius Plinius Secundus Caecilianus (as might have been traditionally expected), he assumed the formal name of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus.

 

Granted, as in your Sejanus example, he still retained his birth father

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Nephele - do you think the dropping of the adoptive 'ianus' was in part influenced by Augustus himself, who had jettisoned his 'Octavianus'? After all, it is only history who refers to him as 'Octavian'. The name was not part of his official nomenclature, even during the triumviral years. The primary sources refer to him as 'Caesar'. I just wonder whether in ancient Rome, as was sometimes the case in Victorian England, the general population emulated the naming practices of the rulership.

 

Just a thought to throw in the pot. You may have better ideas.

 

As to 'Sejanus' not being an adoptive cognomen - again, I bow to your greater wisdom in these matters, but to me this seems to be exactly the adoptive form of 'Sejus' or 'Seius'. Surely the Latin would have ignored the double vowel, thus changing 'Seiianus' to Seianus' - or 'Sejanus', as we know him?

 

Strike the above, Neph - I think I've misread your last para - you are referring to Pliny, of course, and not Sejanus.

Edited by The Augusta

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Nephele - do you think the dropping of the adoptive 'ianus' was in part influenced by Augustus himself, who had jettisoned his 'Octavianus'? After all, it is only history who refers to him as 'Octavian'. The name was not part of his official nomenclature, even during the triumviral years. The primary sources refer to him as 'Caesar'. I just wonder whether in ancient Rome, as was sometimes the case in Victorian England, the general population emulated the naming practices of the rulership.

 

I think you're right -- the general population did tend to emulate the naming practices of the rulership, who were essentially the trend-setters of their time. And this contributed to the changes in naming practices during the time of the Principate.

 

-- Nephele

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Of course, it wasn't only the Imperial family who flouted convention in their naming practices. In a sense they were all just following Brutus' lead, weren't they?

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Of course, it wasn't only the Imperial family who flouted convention in their naming practices. In a sense they were all just following Brutus' lead, weren't they?

 

Aha! Are you referring to Marcus Iunius Brutus' sometime use of his adoptive name "Quintus Caepio Brutus" instead of the expected "Quintus Servilius Caepio Iunianus"? Yes, I suppose Brutus was a leader in flouting convention! Stabbing Caesar only added to his street cred. B)

 

-- Nephele

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Another interesting phenomenon in the late empire is hybrid names, for example the name of Constantine I nephew was Hannibalianus which is a Semit-Punician theophoric name (Hannibal) merged with the Latin suffix "ianus".

 

I suppose it's another evidence to the growing influence of the eastern provinces culture in the late empire.

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Another interesting phenomenon in the late empire is hybrid names, for example the name of Constantine I nephew was Hannibalianus which is a Semit-Punician theophoric name (Hannibal) merged with the Latin suffix "ianus".

 

I suppose it's another evidence to the growing influence of the eastern provinces culture in the late empire.

 

Good point, Ingsoc, regarding the influence of eastern provinces' culture on Roman naming practices. Examples of a hybridization of Latin names can even be found in the time of the republic, with Etruscan elements incorporated into the names of a number of prominent Roman families. In his work, The Latin Cognomina, Iiro Kajanto cites the following scholars who have also dealt with specific foreign elements found in Roman names: Bechtel (Greek), Holder (Celtic), and Krahe (Illyrian).

 

-- Nephele

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