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On this page: Naiads – Namatianus – Names



appears to have been no mere translator of his Greek originals, but to have handled them with considerable freedom. It was in his comedies especially that he introduced his attacks on men and events of the day.

Naiads (Gr. Naiades). The Nymphs of rivers and springs. (See nymphs.)

Namatlanus (Claudius Rutillus). A Roman poet, by birth a Gaul and a pagan, who was prwfectus urbi under Honorius in a.d. 416. After the sack of Rome by Alaric, he returned to his native country, ravaged at that time by the Visigoths, and described his journey home in two books, dc Rldltu suo, of which the beginning of the first and the end of the second have perished. The poem is pure and correct in language and metrical form, and is interesting on account of its pathetic description of the misfortunes of the time.

Names. (1) The Greeks had no names denoting family, nothing corresponding to our surnames. Hence the name of the new-born child was left to the free choice of the parents, like the Christian name with us; the child usually received it on the seventh or tenth day after birth, the occa­sion being a family festival. According to the most ancient custom, the son, especially the first-born, received the name of his grandfather, sometimes that of his father, or a name derived from it(Phoc5s—Phocion) or similarly compounded (TheSphrastos— Th86dor5s). As a rule a Greek only had one name, to which was added that of his father, to prevent confusion, e.g. Thucy-dides (scil. the son) of Olorus. A great many names were compounded with the names of gods (Herakleitos, HfrSdOtOs, ArtSmldords, DidgPnes), or derived from them (Demetrlos, Apollnnlos). Frequently names of good omen for the future of the child were chosen. Sometimes a new name was afterwards substituted for the original one ; so Plato was originally called Aris-tocles, and Thfiophrastus Tyrtamus. Slaves were usually called after their native coun­try, or their physical or moral peculiarities.

(2) The Romans, in the republican times, had their names in the following order: prcenomeu ( — our "Christian name"), nSmen (name of race, gentile name), cogno­men (surname, denoting the family). The gentite name, which originally (always in patrician names) had for derivative suffix -ins (e.g. lunius, Cornelius, Tullius), was common to all those connected with the gens, men, women, clients, and freedmen. The prfenomen was given to sons on the

1 b.c. 8W,

third day after birth, the dins lustrlcus, and was officially confirmed when the toga vlrllis was assumed and the name was in­scribed on the roll of citizens. The original meaning of the prainomen, in which there was sometimes a reference to peculiar circumstances at birth (e.g. £«cras = born by day, Maniits = \>orn in the morning; Quintus, the fifth, Decimus, the tenth), came to be disregarded in the course of time, when the name was given. As a rule, the eldest son received the prcenomen of his father. Of these there was a comparatively limited number in the noble families ; some were employed only by certain gentes, even by certain families, as for instance Appius exclusively by the Claudii, and Tiberius especially by the Nlrones who belonged to this race ; while others were actually pro­hibited in certain families, e.g. Marcus in that of the Manlll.1 The pramomen was usually written in an abbreviated form; thus, A. stands for Aulus, C. for Gains, Gn. for Gnceus, D. for Decimus, L. for Luciua, | M". for Manius, M. for Marcus, P. for Pablius, Q. for Qtiintus, Ser. for Servius, S. or Sex. for Sextus, Ti. for Tiberius, T. for Titus.

The surname(cognomen), the use of which was, in early times, not customary among the plebeians, served to denote and distin­guish the different families of the same race, which often included several, patrician and plebeian. Thug the gens Cornelia comprised the patrician families of the SclpWnes, Sullai, etc., and the plebeian families of the Dnlabellce, Lentuli, etc. [It is true that some patrician families had fixed cognomina (e.g. Nero), but it was quite common for plebeians to take cognomina or to have them given: e.g. Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C. Asinius Pollio, and his son Asinius Gallus. Some plebeians never took a cognomen, e.g. the Antonii. But the Tullii are CicerOnes in the last cen­tury of the Republic. Cognomina, whether fixed or otherwise, are generally of the nature of nicknames, or, at any rate, add a description of some personal characteristic; e.g. Naso, Strdbo, Gallus, ScrOfa, Aslna, Rufus.}

To the surname there was sometimes added a second and even a third, in later times called the agnomen, to indicate a lateral branch of the family, for instance the Sclpiones Naslco?; or, in memory of some remarkable exploit in war (e.g. Sclplo Afrl-cdnuK, Aslatleus, etc.), or in consequence of a popular designation (e.g. Sclplo Naslca \ Slrdpio) or of an adoption. It was the ori-

Livy vi 20.

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