Lists of Roman Names

The Praenomen was a Roman's personal name, only used among family and close friends. There were very few praenomina in use during the time of the Republic.
Here are some of the common Praenomina and their abbreviations :

Abbrev.PraenomenMeaning
Man'sWoman's
A., AU., AUL.AulusAula
App.AppiusAppia
C., G.Caius, GaiusCaia, Gaiarejoicing, or devoted to Gaia the earth goddess
Cn., Gn.Cnaius, GnaiusCnaia, Gnaiabirth-mark ?
D.DecimusDecimatenth
L.LuciusLuciaborn during the day
M.MarcusMarcadevoted to Mars
M'.ManiusManiaborn in the morning
MAM.MamercusMamercadevoted to Mars (used only by the Aemilian Gens)
N.NumeriusNumeriacounted, numbered
PostumusPostumaborn after the death of the father
P.PubliusPubliagrowing up, coming of age
Q.QuintusQuintafifth
S. or Sp.SpuriusSpuria
Ser.ServiusServiasurviving the death of his mother
Sex.SextusSextasixth
T.TitusTita
Ti.TiberiusTiberiadevoted to Tiberis the river-god
V.VibiusVibia
VopsicusVopsica

Some praenomina showed the birth sequence, and might be indicated just by using numerals - although there are indications that in some families the naming of sons would start with "Quintus", then continue to Sextus, etc.

  1. Primus (I.)
  2. Secundus (II.)
  3. Tertius (III.)
  4. Quartus (IV.)
  5. Quintus (V.)
  6. Sext(i)us, Sestius (VI.)
  7. Septimus (VII.)
  8. Octavi(an)us (VIII.)
  9. Non(i)us (IX.)
  10. Decimus (X.)

The Nomen or nomen gentile was the second of the three names which a male Roman citizen usually had. It was inherited from his father, and showed clan affiliation.

List of Roman Nomina :

Acilius,     Aebutius,     Aelius,     Aemilius,     Albius,     Amatius,     Ambrosius,     Annaeus,     Anneius,     Annius,     Antonius,     Apollonius,     Arrius,     Artorius,     Asinius,     Atilius,     Atius,     Aurelius,     Autronius,     Caecilius,     Caedicius,     Caelius,     Calidius,     Calpurnius,     Cassius,     Claudius,     Cloelius,     Cocceius,     Cominius,     Cornelius,     Coruncanius,     Curiatius,     Curius,     Curtius,     Decius,     Didius,     Domitius,     Duilius,     Durmius,     Equitius,     Fabius,     Fabricius,     Fannius,     Flavius,     Fulvius,     Furius,     Gabinius,     Galerius,     Geganius,     Gellius,     Geminius,     Genucius,     Gratius,     Herennius,     Hirtius,     Horatius,     Hortensius,     Hostilius,     Iulius,     Iunius,     Iuventius,     Laelius,     Lartius,     Licinius,     Livius,     Lucilius,     Lucretius,     Manlius,     Marcius,     Marius,     Memmius,     Menenius,     Minicius,     Minius,     Minucius,     Modius,     Mocius,     Naevius,     Nautius,     Numerius,     Numicius,     Octavius,     Ovidius,     Papirius,     Petronius,     Pinarius,     Pompeius,     Pompilius,     Pontius,     Popillius,     Porcius,     Postumius,     Quinctilius,     Quinctius,     Rubellius,     Rufius,     Rutilius,     Sallustius,     Salonius,     Salvius,     Scribonius,     Seius,     Sempronius,     Sentius,     Sergius,     Sertorius,     Servilius,     Sextius,     Sicinius,     Suetonius,     Sulpicius,     Tarpeius,     Tarquitius,     Terentius,     Titinius,     Titurius,     Tuccius,     Tullius,     Ulpius,     Valerius,     Vedius,     Velleius,     Vergilius,     Verginius,     Vibius,     Villius,     Vipsanius,     Vitellius,     Vitruvius,     Volumnius

The Cognomen could be hereditary, or might be given to someone as a nickname which then became hereditary. It indicated the branch of a clan to which a man belonged.
Some cognomina indicated the profession or occupation of a person, for example Pictor - Painter, Caprarius - goat-herd, Faber - carpenter
Geographical Cognomina referred to the place where someone came from, whether a city (eg. Collatinus, "from Collatia"), a region (eg. Campanus, "from Campania"), or a tribe (eg. Sabinus, "of the Sabines").
Scaevola - "Lefty" commemorates the sacrifice of his right hand to save the Romans, by C. Mucius Scaevola

Aculeo - prickly, unfriendly;     Agricola - farmer;     Agrippa - born feet first;     Ahala - armpit;     Ahenobarbus - red beard;     Albinus, Albus - pale, white;     Ambustus - burnt, scalded;     Annalis - relating to years;     Aquila - eagle;     Aquilinus - like an eagle;     Arvina - fat, lard;     Asellio - donkey keeper;     Asina - she-ass;     Atellus - dark-haired or dark skinned;     Avitus - grandfatherly;     Balbus - stutterer;     Barba - beard;     Barbatus - bearded;     Bassus - plump;     Bestia - like an animal;     Bibaculus, Bibulus - drunkard;     Blaesus - someone who mispronounces words, slurs his speech, stammers, or lisps;     Brocchus - toothy;     Brutus - stupid, dull-witted;     Bubulcus - cow-herd;     Bucco - fool, dolt;     Bulbus - bulb, onion;     Buteo - buzzard;     Caecus - blind;     Caepio - onion-seller;     Caesar - cut, cut out of a dying mother;     Calidus - hot-headed, rash;     Calvinus;     Calvus - bald;     Camillus - a child who helps during sacrifices;     Caninus - dog-like;     Canus - golden-haired or grey-haired;     Capito - big-headed;     Carbo - charcoal;     Casca - old-looking;     Catilina;     Cato - shrewd, prudent;     Catulus - puppy;     Celer - quick;     Celsus - tall;     Cethegus;     Cicero - chick pea, garbanzo;     Cicurinus - mild, gentle;     Cilo - big forehead or large lips;     Cincinnatus - curly-haired;     Cinna;     Cordus - born late;     Cornicen - military bugler;     Cornutus - horned;     Corvinus - crow-like;     Corvus - crow;     Cossus;     Costa - a rib;     Cotta;     Crassipes - club-footed;     Crassus - fat;     Crispinus, Crispus - curly-haired;     Culleo - leather bottle;     Curio - priest of a Curia;     Cursor - runner, courier;     Curvus - stooping, bent;     Dentatus, Denter, Dento; - toothy     Dives - rich;     Dolabella - hatchet;     Dorsuo - with a large back;     Drusus;     Figulus - potter;     Fimbria - edge of clothing, fringes;     Flaccus - floppy ears;     Flavus - blonde-haired;     Florus - light-coloured or blooming;     Fronto - prominent forehead;     Fullo - a fuller or launderer;     Fusus;     Galeo - helmet;     Gemellus - a twin;     Glabrio - a relative of Glaber;     Gracchus;     Gurges - greedy, prodigal;     Habitus - in good physical condition;     Helva - dun-colored hair;     Imperiosus - domineering, dictatorial;     Iullus;     Labeo - big lips;     Lactuca - lettuce;     Laenas - a woolly cloak;     Laenatus - wearing wool;     Laevinus;     Laterensis - person from the hills;     Lentulus - slow;     Lepidus - charming, amusing;     Libo;     Licinus - spiky or bristly-haired;     Longus - tall;     Lucullus - from lucus (grove)?;     Lupus - wolf;     Lurco - gluttonous, greedy;     Macer, Macra - thin;     Macula - a spot or blemish;     Malleolus - hammer;     Mamercus;     Marcellus;     Merenda - afternoon snack;     Maro ;     Mergus - sea-gull;     Merula - blackbird;     Messalla;     Metellus - army follower;     Murena - eel;     Mus - mouse, rat;     Musca - fly;     Nasica, Naso - big-nosed;     Natta - artisan;     Nepos - grandchild;     Nero;     Nerva - vigorous;     Niger, Nigra - black-skinned or black-haired;     Novellus - new;     Ocella - small-eyed;     Pacilus;     Paetus - squinting or blinking;     Pansa - splay-footed;     Papus;     Paterculus - little father, daddy;     Paullus - small;     Pavo - peacock ;     Pera - shoulder-bag;     Pictor, Pictrix - painter;     Piso - pea;     Plancus, Plautus - flat-footed;     Postumus - born after the father's death;     Potitus;     Praeconinus - related to a herald;     Praetextatus - young (wearing the toga praetexta);     Priscus;     Proculus - born during father's absence?;     Pulcher, Pulchra - attractive;     Pullus - child;     Pulvillus - small cushion;     Purpureo - wearing purple or with a purplish complexion;     Quadratus - stocky, squarely built;     Ralla - a tunic of fine fabric;     Regillus, Regulus - prince;     Rufus - reddish, ginger-haired;     Ruga - wrinkly;     Rullus - uncultivated, boorish;     Rutilus - reddish-gold hair;     Salinator, Salinatrix - Salt-harvester;     Saturninus - dedicated to Saturn;     Scaeva, Scaevola - left-handed;     Scapula - shoulder-blade;     Scaurus - lame, swollen-ankles;     Scipio - rod, staff;     Scrofa - sow;     Seneca - elderly;     Severus - strict, severe;     Silanus - nose, water-spout;     Silo, Silus - snub-nosed;     Stolo - shoot of a plant;     Strabo - squinty;     Structus;     Sulla;     Superbus - haughty;     Sura - calf of the leg;     Taurus - bull;     Triarius - a type of soldier;     Trigeminus - a triplet;     Trio - one of the seven stars of the Plough / Big Dipper / Ursa major;     Tubero, Tubertus - having a tumour or swelling;     Tubulus - little tube;     Tuditanus - mallet;     Tullus     Turdus - thrush;     Varro - block-head;     Varus - bow-legged;     Vatia - knock-kneed;     Verres - pig;     Vespillo - Person employed to bury people too poor for a funeral;     Vetus - old;     Vitulus - calf or young cow;     Volusus

An Agnomen was an additional name given under certain circumstances.
An Adoptive Agnomen was used when a child was adopted into another family - the original nomen was changed to an adjective and included in the name.
For example P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus adopted P. Aemilius L. f. Paulus ( f. means filius, "son" ), whose name was then changed to P. Conelius P. f. Scipio Aemelianus.

A Matronymic Agnomen might be used to indicate to indicate a person's matrilinear affiliation.
For example, M. Porcius Cato was married twice. His first wife was Licinia, his second, Salonia. Each wife bore him a son. The sons were both called M. Porcius Cato. To distinguish between them, one was called M. Porcius Cato Licianus, the other, M. Porcius Cato Salonianus.

An Honorific Agnomen or "Conomen ex virtute" was awarded (or in the case of later Emperor's, taken) to commemorate some great achievment, particularly a military conquest or victory.
For example, P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus had led the Romans to victory against the Carthaginians in Africa.
The Emperor Trajan took the name "Traianus Germanicus Dacicus Pharticus" to commemorate his victories over the Germanic, Dacian and Phartian peoples.

Other agnomina were :

Aegypticus - victor in Egypt;     Asiaticus - victor in Asia;     Britannicus - conqueror of the Britons;     Hispanicus - victor in Spain, Hispania;     Magnus - great;     Maximus - greatest;     Pius - dutiful;     Sapiens - wise, prudent.

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Dr. Rollinson

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Last Updated: July 26, 2010

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