What's in a Name? A Survey of Roman Onomastic Practice from c. 700 B.C. to A.D. 700

  title={What's in a Name? A Survey of Roman Onomastic Practice from c. 700 B.C. to A.D. 700},
  author={Benet Salway},
  journal={Journal of Roman Studies},
  pages={124 - 145}
  • B. Salway
  • Published 1 November 1994
  • History
  • Journal of Roman Studies
Perusal of over a thousand years of the fasti of the Romans' eponymous magistracy is sufficient to demonstrate that Roman onomastic practice did not stand still. Why, then, is there a tendency to see the system of three names (tria nomina, i.e. praenomen, nomen gentilicium, and cognomen) as the perfection and culmination of the Roman naming system rather than as a transitory stage in an evolutionary process? The simple answer is probably that usage of the tria nomina happens to be typical of… 


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