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Nephele

Surnames of the Cornelii

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Without a doubt the Cornelia gens contributed the greatest number of magistrates to the Roman Republic, perhaps making the connected families of the Cornelii the most influential gens of the Republic.

 

The different families (both patrician and plebeian) of the Cornelii were distinguished by their hereditary cognomina -- with some families further distinguishing themselves with the addition of agnomina (nicknames and titles of honor).

 

...to the full article Surnames of the Cornelii

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Excellent list Neph... this sort of thing really helps humanize the ancient world. I'm sure this took some time to compile, but I hope you found it interesting enough to consider similar lists for other prominent gens.

 

I have what may be a tough question... do we know of any cases where a cognomen/agnomrn was dropped by a family because it was perhaps considered embarrassing?

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Excellent list Neph... this sort of thing really helps humanize the ancient world. I'm sure this took some time to compile, but I hope you found it interesting enough to consider similar lists for other prominent gens.

 

I have what may be a tough question... do we know of any cases where a cognomen/agnomrn was dropped by a family because it was perhaps considered embarrassing?

 

Thanks, PP! Yes, I do plan to make a series of this, and research the cognomina of other noble families of Rome.

 

As for a family possibly having dropped a cognomen/agnomen due to embarrassment... There are instances of families no longer using certain praenomina (usually by Senatorial decree) due to the infamy of an ancestor bearing that praenomen. But the Romans generally took the apparently pejorative nature of some of their cognomina in their stride. Not even the meaning of "Brutus" ("dimwit") seemed to faze Marcus Junius Brutus. So, I'm not aware of any Romans changing their cognomina for that reason, but I'll research this, as it's a good question!

 

-- Nephele

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Niger - Meaning "black," and referring to the color of the individual's hair, or to a dark complexion.

 

Hi Neph,

 

I may be wrong but didn't the cognomen "Niger" also indicate that who ever carried this nickname was also looked upon as the 'black' sheep of the family i.e. a bad lad, a bit of a rogue etc?

 

By the way, excellent list Nephele, can't wait to see the next in the series!

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Niger - Meaning "black," and referring to the color of the individual's hair, or to a dark complexion.

 

Hi Neph,

 

I may be wrong but didn't the cognomen "Niger" also indicate that who ever carried this nickname was also looked upon as the 'black' sheep of the family i.e. a bad lad, a bit of a rogue etc?

 

Hahaha! You're remembering that "Hidden Roman Name" I blanagrammed for you over a year ago -- "A. Flavius Niger"! You've got a good memory!

 

I admit I was being a bit of a tease with you at the time, explaining your cognomen by calling you the "black sheep" of the Flavii. (I can picture you as a bit of a rogue. :ph34r:) But, actually, it's more likely that "Niger" referred to the physical characteristic of hair color or complexion, in the same way that the cognomina "Rufus" (red, ruddy) and "Albus" (white, fair) did.

 

By the way, excellent list Nephele, can't wait to see the next in the series!

 

Thanks, GPM!

 

-- Nephele

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Any chance of a similar list for the Julii? There must have been more cognomen for that gens than just 'Caesar'.

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Any chance of a similar list for the Julii? There must have been more cognomen for that gens than just 'Caesar'.

 

There were a lot of Julian magistrates during the Republic with the cognomen of "Caesar," but there were other cognomina, too. I'm currently working on the Valerii, but I'll turn my attention to the Iulii soon.

 

Thanks for your interest!

 

-- Nephele

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Any chance of a similar list for the Julii? There must have been more cognomen for that gens than just 'Caesar'.

 

There were a lot of Julian magistrates during the Republic with the cognomen of "Caesar," but there were other cognomina, too. I'm currently working on the Valerii, but I'll turn my attention to the Iulii soon.

 

Thanks for your interest!

 

-- Nephele

 

No pressure, Lady Nephele. Lordy, woman, do you sleep?

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