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)|
|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|
Ancient World index
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.
tekeli.li home|Onomastikon home