Roman Names


This was the first of the three names of a Roman citizen. It was the personal name used only by members of the family. Praenomina were only borne by men and there were only about twenty altogether with only a dozen common ones. These were often written as initials or abbreviations (shown in brackets). Brothers were often given the same praenomen but would have a different cognomen.

Amulius Appius (App)# Aulus (A) Caius (C) Cnaeus (Cn) Decimus (D)
Domitius Flavus Gaius (G) Galerius Gnaeus Gneo
Julius Kaeso Lucius (L) Mamercus* Manius (M') Marcus (M)
Numerius (N) Olus~ Oppius Publius (P) Quintus (Q) Servius (Ser)
Sextus (Sex) Spurius (Sp) Tiberius (Ti) Titus (T) Vibius  

* only used by the Aemilia Lepidii

# only used by the Claudii

~ rare form of Aulus

Sometimes a certain patrician gens or clan would only use certain praenomina so somebody with a different one was not likely to be a genuine member of a patrician family but may have been descended from a freed slave who had taken the family nomen.

Cornelii Gnaeus, Lucius, Publius
Julii Gaius, Lucius, Sextus
Licinii Lucius, Marcus, Publius
Pompeii Gnaeus, Quintus, Sextus
Servilii Gnaeus, Quintus

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This collection of names compiled by Kate Monk. Copyright January 1997, Kate Monk. Last updated September, 98. Copies may be made for personal use only. home|Onomastikon home