Beautiful Roman names for women and men: list, origin and features
In ancient Rome they took very seriously the names and their meanings. The Romans believed that in them lies the fate of man. They believed that if a detractor learns a name, he can take a person’s life with magic. That is why slaves were forbidden to pronounce the name of their master.
Interesting from history
Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, it was once the capital of the glorified Roman Empire. Residents of the city at that time can be divided into two groups: free and slaves. Meanwhile, each of these groups consisted of many other smaller communities. Free citizens could be both indigenous inhabitants of Rome, they are called patricians, and visitors from other areas of the empire are plebeians. Slaves received their status based on their origin and duty station.They could be private, public, prisoners of war, bought in special markets or born in a master's house. And what is most interesting, the Roman names were given depending on the status of the person, his origin and belonging to the genealogical tree.
The structure of the ancient Roman names
The history of the Roman names was quite confusing, because it evolved over many centuries. Finally, the system of names and their assignments, which were permanently entrenched in ancient Rome, were formed approximately in the II century AD. er - In the peak of the heyday of the powerful Roman Empire.
In those days, Roman names had a clear structure by which it was possible to determine to which gender a person belonged. Moreover, the Romans honored to give full names only to men, with women the situation is different. To fully understand these traditions, the division should be studied in more detail.
Roman names, male and priestly names, consisted of three parts. This system is a bit like our modern one: the first name is a prenomen (personal name), the second one meant belonging to a certain family - nomen (something like a surname) and, finally, the third name is cognomen,a person got it due to some signs in his appearance. Let's examine each of them in more detail.
The origin of male names
There were only a few personal male names: there are no more than 20. There are all the fact that the Romans had a tradition to accuse their eldest sons in honor of their father. It turns out that all the firstborn of the same kind wore the same name. Prenomen is a personal name that the boys received on the ninth day after birth. Resolution of the Senate - the main authority in ancient Rome, in the period of the 200s BC. er it was decided to name all the elder sons as the father's premena. That is why many emperors bore the names of their great-grandfathers, grandfathers, and fathers. Their children also continued the glorious tradition and named after their ancestors with unchanged names. But the Roman names (female) were given to daughters with some changes in the endings to indicate that it belongs to a woman.
The history of the origin of the second name is very interesting. Nomen is a generic name that means that a person belongs to a particular genus. The total number of generic names exceeds one thousand, according to the Roman encyclopedist and writer Mark Varro.The nomenes, unlike the premeno, were never abbreviated in writing, with the exception of only the most well-known generic names. For example, nomen Antonius could be written as Ant. or Anton.
Perhaps the most mysterious element is the cognomen (the third Roman names) - the men, who were considered optional. That is, they could be absent in some men. The essence of the Roman name in this case lies in the fact that the Roman received a nickname for some personal qualities in character or appearance. Later, new branches began to appear in the family, receiving their names in honor of the cognomen of their ancestor. The most famous are the Probus genera (in translation, honest, a nickname obtained for the truthfulness and integrity of a person), Rufus (red, obviously, it was obtained for external qualities), Severus (ruthless) and Lucro (glutton).
Beautiful names: Roman and Greek
It is not surprising that the Roman population was heterogeneous in its composition, because people of different classes came to the capital of the empire from all territories. For centuries, the inhabitants mingled with each other: the Romans entered into marriages with the Greeks, as a result, new names appeared, which eventually became firmly established in Roman society.Greek and Roman names have many similarities, because their culture is based on a common belief in the existence of ancient gods and similar mythology. However, despite these facts, the Greek names are very different from the Roman. For example, the Greeks called their children extremely good names that had a certain meaning. They believed that the child then receives the patronage of the gods. It is almost impossible to trace the history of each of them, so it is believed that many ancient Greek names may be of Roman origin. Here are the most beautiful and famous Greco-Roman names: Alexandros is the protector of the motherland; Andreas - warlike, brave; Archimedes - thinking, wise; Vasilis - of royal blood; Gregorayos - vigilant; Georgios - economic; Doraceos - the gift of the gods; Ioannis is good; Constantios - strong, unshakable; Nikias, Nikon - victorious.
Female Roman Names: Origin and Features
In principle, the social order of the Romans can be considered patriarchal with elements of some amendments in favor of women. The fact is that the position of a resident of Rome was determined by the social status of her father.If the girl was of a noble and rich kind, then the surrounding treated her with respect. Such a person had relative freedom: she could appear in society, had the right to physical integrity, that is, even her husband could not force her to love.
And even despite this, for some reason, women were cheated by their personal names. They were nicknamed only by the generic names of the fathers, albeit by slightly changing the ending, so that other Roman names were obtained (female forms were formed with the help of the ending -ia). For example, the favorite of the daughters of Gaius Julius Caesar was called Julia, and the eldest daughter of Publius Cornelius Scipio was called Cornelia. That is why all women of the same kind had the same name, which differed only in premeno.
According to tradition, when other daughters were born in a family, a family name was added to their generic name, the nomena, which was determined depending on her age. The sisters were called by their personal names in the order of birth, for example, the Major called the eldest, Secunda was the second, Tertila the third, and the Minor was the pre-domain of the youngest sister.
Names of married women
When a girl was getting married, her husband’s cognomen (nickname) was added to her name.Everyone turned to a married woman, calling her full name. For example, Julia (nomen of the father - Julius), who married Tiberius Sempronia Gracchus, received the name Julia, daughter Julia, (wife) of Gracchus.
Writing also indicated the full name of the woman. The most famous inscription "Caeciliae, Q (uinti) Cretici f (iliae), Metellae, Crassi (uxori)" carved on the tomb of the wife of the triumvirate Mark Licinius Crassus.
Women from very noble families who married an influential man had the right to inherit not only the clan name, but also the cognomen of their fathers. For example, the full name of the spouse of the commander Crassus was Cecilia Metellus, received from her father, whose name was Lucius Cecilius Metellus Dalmatic. He was a warlord who defeated the Dalmatians, for which he subsequently received his fourth name from the Senate - agnomen.
Archaic form of slave names
The system of names for slaves was formed as a result of the extensive distribution of slavery: all official names of slaves were to be included in official documents, which were invariable attributes of the political structure of ancient Rome.
Usually, slaves had names of Greek origin, for example, Antigonus, Filonik, Deadoumen or Eros.Slaves were considered property, so legally they were not subjects, but objects, this explains their complete lack of rights and dependence on their masters. Many of them received Roman names consisting of a gentlemen's nomenon, nomen or cognomen of fathers and the additional word puer (son, boy).
In the Roman Empire, the fate of slaves was very difficult, but this did not affect their names: on the contrary, many got nicknames that sounded positive, for example, Felix - happy, joyful.
Over time, the names changed under the influence of a change of historical eras. Most of the ancient Greek names survived to this day. True, many of them have a slightly different form, which differs only in endings. The root of modern European names and the ancient Greek - the same.
Many Roman names in a converted form are still used in some European countries. It is believed that Latin - the language in which the Romans wrote, became extinct. However, this is not entirely true, because almost all European languages are continuers of Latin. Here is a complete list of Roman names (male and female) that are still relevant today:
- Alexander and Alexandra;
- Augustine and Augustine;
- Aurelius and Albina;
- Benedict and Bella;
- Hector and Hella;
- Gasper and Hermione;
- Gommer and Gaia;
- Dimitri and Daphne;
- Hippolytus and Irena;
- Castor and Cassandra;
- Leo and Laida;
- Maya, Melissa and Melanie;
- Nestor and Nick;
- Rhea and Selena;
- Timofey, Tikhon and Tia;
- Theodore, Philip, Frida and Florence (Flora).
These Roman names have almost lost their original meaning, now people so name their children, guided mainly by aesthetic whims. After all, these names sound very beautiful and have an interesting origin history.