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On this page: Nodus – Nomen



Patrician was of secondary importance. It would seem unlikely that there was any patrician gens existing in the year b. c. 133, or, indeed, long before that time, the families of which had not enjoyed the highest honours of the state many times. The exceptions, if any, would be few.

In reading the Greek writers on Roman history, it is useful to attend to the meaning of the political terms which they use. The Svvaroi of Plutarch (Tib. Gracch. 13, 20), and the ir\ovfftoi, are the Nobilitas and their partisans ; or as Cicero, after lie was made consul, would call them the Optt- mates. In such passages as Dion Cassius (xxxviii. 2), the meaning of §vvasroi may be collected from the context. [G. L.]

NODUS, in a special sense, was applied to the following parts of dress : — I. The knot used in tying on the scarf [chlamys] or other article con­ stituting the amictus. This was often effected by the aid of a brooch [fibula], a ring, or some jewel (Virg. Aen. i. 320, vi. 301, xi. 776 ; Claud. de Rapt. Pros. ii. 40) ; but frequently in the method shown in the woodcut of Diana at p. 276. II. The knot of hair (ko'/w^o?, KpwSuXos), either at, the top or at the back of the head adopted by both sexes in fastening their long hair, which was turned upwards or backwards for the purpose (crine rursus adducto revocare nodo, Seneca, Oedip. ii. ; Virg. Aen. iv. 138 ; Hor. Epod. xi. 28). Ex­ amples may be seen in the woodcuts at pp. 329, 597. III. The knot of leather worn by boys of the poorer classes at Rome instead of the golden BriLLA. [J. Y.]

NOMEN (twtyia), name. 1. greek. The Greeks,'as is well known, bore only one name (Paus. vii. 7. § 4), and it was one of the especial rights of a father to choose the names for his children, and to alter them if he pleased. (Demosth. c. Boeot. i. p. 1002, 1006, c. Macart. p. 1075, £c.) It was customary to give to the eldest son the name of the grandfather on his father's side. The history of Greece contains many instances of this custom, and Sositheus (ap. Demosth. c. Macart. I.e.) says, " I gave to my eldest son, as is just (&<nrep Kal $iKai6v ecm), the name of my father." (Compare Eustath. ad II. v. 546.) What custom was generally followed in regard to the other children may be inferred from the same passage, for Sositheus goes on to say, that he called his second son after the name of his wife's father, the third after a relation of his wife, and the fourth son after his own grandfather on his mother's side. Mothers seem also sometimes to have assumed the right of giving the names to their children (Eurip. Phoen. 58), and it may be that, as in the case described by Aristophanes (A%6. 60, &c.)% sometimes a quarrel arose between the parents, if they could not agree upon the name to be given to a child. A boy also sometimes received the name of his father, as in the cases of Demosthenes and Demades, or one similar to that of his father. Nausinicus thus called his son Nausiphilus, and Callicrates called his son Callistratus. (Bb'ckh, ad Find. Pytli. iv. p. 265.) A similar method was sometimes adopted :n the names of several brothers ; thus two brothers in the speech of Lysias a.gainst Diagiton are called Diodotus and Diogiton. In some cases lastly, the name of a son was a patronymicon, formed from the name of the father, as Phocion, the son of Phocos.

The day on which children received their names


was the tenth after their birth. (Aristoph. Av, 922, &c.) According to some accounts a child re* ceived its name as early as the seventh or even fifth day after its birth. [amphidromia.] The tenth day, called ^ewcm?, however, was a festive day, and friends and relations were invited to take part in a sacrifice and a repast, whence the ex­pressions deKaryv Sveiv and SeitdTyv ^crnav. If in a court of justice proofs could be adduced that a father had held the SeKar^, it was sufficient evidence that he had recognised the child as his own. (Demosth. c. Boeot. i. p. 1001, c. Boeot. ii. p. 1017 ; Isaeus, de Pyrrh. Iiered. p. 60.)

The fact that, every Greek had only one name rendered it necessary to have an innumerable variety of names, and never has a nation shown more taste, ingenuity, and invention in devising them than the ancient Greeks. But however great the number of names might be, ambiguity and con­fusion could not be avoided ; and in reading the works of the Greeks we are not always certain whether the same name in different passages or writers belongs to one or to several persons. The Greeks themselves were aware of this, and where accuracy was of importance they used various means to prevent mistakes. Sometimes they added the name of the father in the genitive case, ag 'AA/cj§iaS?7s 6 KAeiz/iov,TIAe«TTpai'a£ 6 Hav<raviou: sometimes they added the name of the place or country in which a person was born, in the form of an adjective, as ©ovKvo'ib'iis 6 'AOyvouos., 'Hpodoros 'AKiKapvafftreits, XapjAajsTtdris Tlaiavievs, AiKaiap-Xos 6 Mecro-^fos, &c. ; sometimes they added an epithet to the name, expressing either the occupa­tion or profession which a person followed, or in­dicating the school to which he belonged. Instances are of such frequent occurrence that it is superfluous to quote any. The custom of adding the father's name was called irarpoOev oj/ojua£e<70cu. (Paus. vii. 7. § 4; Xenoph. Oeconom. 7. § 3.)

In common life the Greeks had yet another means of avoiding ambiguity, and this was the frequent use of nicknames, expressive of mental or bodily peculiarities and defects. Thus Demos­thenes was from his childhood called JBdraXos. (Aeschin. c. Timarc/i, pp. 139, 142 ; Demosth. de Coron. p. 288.) Aristophanes (Av. 1291, &c.) mentions several names of birds which were used as nicknames ; other nicknames are preserved in Athenaeus (vi. p. 242).

(Compare Becker, Chari/des, vol. i. p. 23, &c.)

2. roman. In the earliest history of Rome there occur persons who are designated by only one name, such as Romulus, Remus, and others, while there are many also who bear two names. The Romans of a later age were themselves un­certain as to the legitimate number of names borne by the earliest Romans ; and while Varro (ap. Vol. Max.) Epitome de Nominum Ratione)^ Ap-pian (Rom. Hist. Praef. 18), and others, stated that the earliest Romans used only to have one name, their opponents adduced a great many in­stances in which persons had two. This question will perhaps be placed in a more proper light, and become more satisfactorily settled, if we consider separately the three distinct elements of which the Roman nation was composed in its origin, and it will then be found that both Varro and his op­ponents are right or wrong according as their as­sertions are applied_to one or to all of the three tribes.

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