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Catilina Cognomen

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Salve, Lady N!

 

Some questions for you, about the cognomen Catilina:

 

What does it mean?

 

Where did it come from?

 

Was LSC (the conspirator and Cicero's enemy) the only one who used it?

 

And if so, why?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Salve, Lady N!

 

Some questions for you, about the cognomen Catilina:

 

What does it mean?

 

Where did it come from?

 

Salve, Asclepiades! According to classical scholar and foremost Roman cognomina maven, Iiro Kajanto, the cognomen of "Catilina" falls into that category of Roman cognomina which were obtained from the names of dishes and meals (e.g. Arvina, Canina, Merenda, Porcina, etc.), most likely because "the original bearers of these cognomina may have had a particular liking for the relevant kind of food."

 

Considering that "Catilina" is in all probability derived from the Latin word catulina, meaning "dog's flesh" (which is backed up by classicist Max Niedermann in a 1936 issue of Mnemosyne: A Journal of Classical Studies), one might blanch at what the conspirator Catiline's ancestors might have enthusiastically dined on to merit that cognomen.

 

Was LSC (the conspirator and Cicero's enemy) the only one who used it?

 

The cognomen Catilina isn't exclusive to the infamous conspirator of that name, as it is a recorded cognomen of the patrician Sergia gens, and so was used by other members of that branch of the family.

 

-- Nephele

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Salve, Asclepiades! According to classical scholar and foremost Roman cognomina maven, Iiro Kajanto, the cognomen of "Catilina" falls into that category of Roman cognomina which were obtained from the names of dishes and meals (e.g. Arvina, Canina, Merenda, Porcina, etc.), most likely because "the original bearers of these cognomina may have had a particular liking for the relevant kind of food."

 

Considering that "Catilina" is in all probability derived from the Latin word catulina, meaning "dog's flesh" (which is backed up by classicist Max Niedermann in a 1936 issue of Mnemosyne: A Journal of Classical Studies), one might blanch at what the conspirator Catiline's ancestors might have enthusiastically dined on to merit that cognomen.

The cognomen Catilina isn't exclusive to the infamous conspirator of that name, as it is a recorded cognomen of the patrician Sergia gens, and so was used by other members of that branch of the family.

 

-- Nephele

Gratiam habeo, Lady N.

 

IOU another.

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It's interesting to note that the father of Catiline the Conspirator was named Sergius Silus (his praenomen is unknown). Additionally, the cognomen of "Silus" was also borne by Catiline's grandfather and great-grandfather -- both named Marcus Sergius Silus.

 

Why Catiline bore a different cognomen from his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather might be explained as something of Catiline's own choosing, as cognomina were not always and necessarily hereditary. Except that we know from Smith's that "Catilina" was a pre-existing cognomen of the Sergia gens, to which Catiline belonged.

 

Does anyone know the name of Catiline's son, which Catiline supposedly murdered to appease his paramour? It would be interesting to see whether Catiline's son bore the same cognomen as the father.

 

-- Nephele

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Does anyone know the name of Catiline's son, which Catiline supposedly murdered to appease his paramour? It would be interesting to see whether Catiline's son bore the same cognomen as the father.

 

Sallust doesn't give his name however he write that he was actually his stepson (The War With Catiline, 15.2) so I think he possesed his real father's cognomen rather than that of his stepfather.

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Does anyone know the name of Catiline's son, which Catiline supposedly murdered to appease his paramour? It would be interesting to see whether Catiline's son bore the same cognomen as the father.

 

Sallust doesn't give his name however he write that he was actually his stepson (The War With Catiline, 15.2) so I think he possesed his real father's cognomen rather than that of his stepfather.

 

Ah, this is where I find it a bit confusing. Depending on the translation one reads, it sometimes appears that the son is Catiline's, and that it was Aurelia Orestilla who would have had the stepson after marriage to Catiline.

 

LacusCurtius gives a Loeb Classical Library translation of: "At last he was seized with a passion for Aurelia Orestilla, in whom no good man ever commended anything save her beauty; and when she hesitated to marry him because she was afraid of his stepson, then a grown man, it is generally believed that he murdered the young man in order to make an empty house for this criminal marriage."

 

Yet Forum Romanum provides a different translator's rendering of that passage as: "...it is confidently believed that because she hesitated to marry him, from the dread of having a grown-up step-son, he cleared the house for their nuptials by putting his son to death."

 

And also Smith's Dictionary appears to state that the son was Catiline's by his first wife, and it was Aurelia Orestilla "who objected to the presence of a grown-up step-child."

 

Here's the passage in the original Latin (taken from the LacusCurtius site) -- anyone care to translate?

 

Postremo captus amore Aureliae Orestillae, cuius praeter formam nihil umquam bonus laudavit, quod ea nubere illi dubitabat, timens privignum adulta aetate, pro certo creditur necato filio vacuam domum scelestis nuptiis fecisse.

 

-- Nephele

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It's seem that another source, Appian, state that he was Catiline son

 

"Gaius Catiline was a person of note, by reason p233of his great celebrity, and high birth, but a madman, for it was believed that he had killed his own son because of his own love for Aurelia Orestilla, who was not willing to marry a man who had a son." (Appian, BC, 2.2)

 

Of course you can wonder if Appian got it correct since he made a mistake in writing Catiline's praenomen.

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