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Deus_vult

Patrician Families

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I know it's sort of a strange question but I've always wondered what happened to the famous families of rome. The Claudii, the Fabii, Cornelli (If I'm using the pluras right). I think there were 15 or so who showed up time and time for a thousand years and I wonder what ultimately happened to them. Anyone know of late writings on them? Ever hear of any claimants to the families in later history? Who was the last to call himself a Julian or a Servillian or Fabian?

Thanks

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Gregory the Great, pope beginning in the 590's, was from the ancient gens of the Anicii. I can't think of another great Roman family surving later than this period.

 

"Gregory was born probably a year or two before the death of St. Benedict. The son of the Roman senator, Gordianus, and a scion of the noble house of the Anicii, he inherited vast possessions in the Roman Campagna..."

 

See:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_...ogues_intro.htm

Edited by Ludovicus

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Deus - I certainly have no knowledge of the great families surviving as such, but something that has always struck me as interesting is the number of Italian forenames still in use today that are obviously taken from the names of the great Patrician families:

 

Claudius - Claudio

Fabius - Fabio

Julius - Giulio

Valerius - Valerio

 

are a few examples. Although my own genealogical studies have never caused me to delve into Italian surname patterns, I do find that I am curious as to when exactly the above forenames came into general use in Italy. If it was very early, then it may point to some descent from one of the big families - but that is purely speculation, and I may well be talking through the top of my head.

 

I don't know if this is something that either Docoflove or Nephele could help us with?

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Most of the real patrician families was beginning to die out at the time of Caesar (The struggles of the last two centuries had been going hard on the noble families). Under Augustus I believe there were (Just about the first time they did it) new families that gained patrician rank (New men, I can't spell the Latin term). In the end most of them faded away in time, childless, murdered, killed in wars or executed by the emperors etc.

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In my opinion it was inevitable that the Patrician clans would eventually die out, the Patricians believed that their blood was so much better than the so called lower class of citizen such as the Plebeians and because of this many of the Patrician families refused to inter marry with the Plebeians, preferring to marry their off spring to other noble Patrician families. As these Patrician families slowly started to disappear then the choice of suitable spouses grew thinner and thinner until eventually they were left with a choice of either lowering their standards or eventually expiring altogether.

 

I suppose you could call it "class suicide".

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Deus - I certainly have no knowledge of the great families surviving as such, but something that has always struck me as interesting is the number of Italian forenames still in use today that are obviously taken from the names of the great Patrician families:

 

Claudius - Claudio

Fabius - Fabio

Julius - Giulio

Valerius - Valerio

 

are a few examples. Although my own genealogical studies have never caused me to delve into Italian surname patterns, I do find that I am curious as to when exactly the above forenames came into general use in Italy. If it was very early, then it may point to some descent from one of the big families - but that is purely speculation, and I may well be talking through the top of my head.

 

I don't know if this is something that either Docoflove or Nephele could help us with?

 

Augusta, those names you cited owe their continuing use today more to their having been borne by Roman Catholic saints, than by Roman patrician families.

 

Claudio, the Italian form of Claude, became a popular given name during the 7th century, due to it having been borne by the saint and bishop of Besan

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Augusta, those names you cited owe their continuing use today more to their having been borne by Roman Catholic saints, than by Roman patrician families.

 

Claudio, the Italian form of Claude, became a popular given name during the 7th century, due to it having been borne by the saint and bishop of Besan

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I was pretty much going to say the same thing, adding only that the forms you gave, Augusta, tend to be first-name forms, not so much last name/family name forms. In many of the Medieval documents that I've seen in Spain, for example, many last/family names end in -ez, which is most probably connected to the Latin genitive, and means 'son of' or the like. I would imagine that this would be applied not only to blood relations, but freed slaves (or even kept slaves). Of course, this form for the last name continues to this day.

 

Yep. The -ez -- and also -es -- ending on Spanish surnames indicates a patronymic. For example, the name "Gonz

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I was pretty much going to say the same thing, adding only that the forms you gave, Augusta, tend to be first-name forms, not so much last name/family name forms. In many of the Medieval documents that I've seen in Spain, for example, many last/family names end in -ez, which is most probably connected to the Latin genitive, and means 'son of' or the like. I would imagine that this would be applied not only to blood relations, but freed slaves (or even kept slaves). Of course, this form for the last name continues to this day.

 

Yep. The -ez -- and also -es -- ending on Spanish surnames indicates a patronymic. For example, the name "Gonz

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Yep! L
Edited by Nephele

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Cool, Nephele...that makes much more sense. 'Wad' is the Arabic word for 'river' (or, it's a corruption of it), so any Spanish name of a river that starts with 'Guad' (the Spanish adaptation of 'wad') is of Arabic extraction; this is used also by the Conquistadores who names rivers in the New World.

 

To really go off topic: The cult of Mary of Guadalupe--the Spanish one, not the Mexican one--is powerful. The Marian cults in general of western Europe had a big influence on religious-based literature, so for 'Guadalupe' to be so 'popular' a name isn't surprising. There, I won't go off topic more!

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Is there any information on when the different original patrician family's finally died?

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With the exception of a few, the majority of the old Patrician order died out under the late Republic and early Empire. Some, like the Valerii, continued into the middle empire; however, by the time of the third-century crisis pretty much all of the old Patricii were gone. Under the later Empire the title "Patrician" became more of an honorary thing the emperor bestowed on a person.

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A goodly part of the problem was that the Principate was not a regular office within the Roman constitution. By and large you became a Roman emperor ad hoc, and hoped the title stuck. Every Roman emperor had a nervous moment or two at succession for this reason.

 

This lack of established criteria meant that any member of the old noble families (and this applied also to plebeians such as the Gracchi) were potential rivals for the purple. As a result, people like Nero spent a lot of time bumping them off. (And even then he was succeeded by a noble of ancient lineage called Sulpicius Galba).

 

Also, replacement rates in Rome were negative. The city was so unhealthy that it needed constant replenishment from outside. Patricians tended to live in the city. As a result, some like the Horatii don't even make it to the mid-republic. Bear in mind that a Roman woman needed on average six children to keep the replacement rate stable, and you can see how even a minor point (such as a paranoid emperor) can tip a family into extinction.

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