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LIVIUS 93.71%
Livius Andronicus, the founder of Roman epic and dramatic poetry. He was by birth a Greek of Southern Italy, and was brought as a slave to Rome, after the conquest of Tarentuin in 272 B.C., while still of tender age. His master, a Livius, whose name he bears, gave him his liberty, and he imparted instruction in the Greek and Latin languages. This employment probably gave occasion for histranslation of the Homeric Odyssey into Saturnian metre; in spite of its imperfections, this remained a school-book in Rome for centuries. In 240 B.C. he brought on the Roman stage the first drama composed after a Greek model, and with such success that thenceforward dramatic poetry was well established in Rome. According to ancient custom he appeared as an actor in his own pieces. His dramatic compositions, tragedies, and comedies were faithful but undoubtedly imperfect translations of Greek originals. He attempted lyric poetry also, for he was commissioned by the State to write a march in honour of Iuno Regina Scanty remains of his works are all that have come down to us.
LIVIUS 52.99%
Titus Livius, the celebrated Roman historian, was born at Patavium, (59 B.C.), apparently of good family. He was carefully educated, and betook himself early (certainly before 31 B.C.) to Rome, where he soon became acquainted with the most distinguished men of the time. Even Augustus entertained friendly relations towards him in spite of his openly expressed republican convictions, for which he called him a partisan of Pompey. He does not seem to have taken public office, but to have lived exclusively for literature. Esteemed by his contemporaries, he died in his native town in 17 A.D. He must have begun his great historical work between 27 and 25 B.C.; it can only have been completed shortly before his death, as he did not publish the first twenty-one books until after the death of Augustus (14 A.D.). He recounts the history of Rome in 142 books, extending from the foundation of the city (whence the title Ab Urbe Condita libri) to the death of Drusus (9 A.D.). His own death must have prevented its continuation to the death of Augustus, as he doubtless proposed. He published his work from time to time, in separate parts. He arranged his material--at least for the first ninety books--as far as possible in decads (portions consisting of ten books), and half-decads; the division into decade was however first carried through in the 5th century, probably for convenience of handling so vast a series of books. There still remain only the first decad (to 293 B.C.), the third, fourth, and half of the fifth decad (218-167); of the remainder, with the exception of a fairly large portion of book 91, only inconsiderable fragments. We also possess from an unknown pen, summaries (periochoe) of all the books except 136 and 137, and a scanty extract from the account of the portents (prodigia), which appeared in 249 B.C. and following year; this is by a certain Iulius Obsequens, and perhaps dates from the 4th century. Livy's importance rests more on the magnitude of his patriotic undertaking and the style of his narrative than upon his thoroughness as a historic inquirer. His preliminary studies were inadequate, and his knowledge of Roman law, and still more of the military system of Rome, was insufficient. He was content to select what seemed to him the most probable and reasonable statement from the authorities which happened to be familiar and accessible to him, without regard to completeness, and without severely scrutinising their value,--a method which necessarily led to numerous inaccuracies and serious errors. Primarily, his great aim was not critical research into the history of his country. He desired rather by a lively and brilliant narrative, which should satisfy the more exacting taste of the time, to rekindle the flagging patriotism of his countrymen, and to raise his politically and socially degraded contemporaries to the level of their ancestors' exploits. And his narrative in fact deserves the fullest admiration, especially for its descriptions of events and the actors in them, and for the speeches which are inserted in the work. The latter show his rhetorical training in all its brilliance. His language is choice and tasteful, although in details it marks a decline from the strictly classical standard. Asinius Pollio, in allusion to the author's birthplace, charged it with a certain patavinitas. This can only mean a provincial departure from the peculiar language of the metropolis, which is to us no longer perceptible. Livy's work enjoyed the greatest renown down to the latest days of Roman literature, and has been the great mine of information for knowledge of the past to all succeeding generations.
NAEVIUS 14.71%
A Roman epic and dramatic poet. Born apparently in Campania, about 270 B.C., be served in the Roman army during the first Punic War; and, settling after this at Rome, he brought his first play upon the stage in 235, i.e. soon after the first appearance of Livius Andronicus. Owing to the license and recklessness with which he incessantly attacked the Roman nobles, especially the Metelli, he was thrown into prison, and though liberated thence by the tribunes of the people, was afterwards banished from Rome. He died in exile at Utica about 200. His poetical account of the first Punic War (Bellum Poenicum), written in old age in the Saturnian metre, made him the creator of the Roman national epic. The work originally formed one continuous whole, but at a later time was divided into seven books by the scholar Octavius Lampadio. The fragments preserved give the impression of its having been little more than a chronicle in verse. Indeed, even in its plan, it bears a close resemblance to the prose chronicles of the Roman annalists: for here, as there, the real subject of the poem was preceded by an account of the early history of Rome, dating from the flight of Aeneas from Troy. Naevius also made an important departure in the province of dramatic poetry by creating a national drama. Besides imitations of Greek tragedies, of which seven alone are known by name and by extant fragments, it was he who first attempted to adapt the materials of his country's history to the dramatic form handed down by the Greeks. Thus, in the Romulus or Lupus, he treats of the youth of Romulus and Remus; and, in the play Clastidium, of a contemporary historical event. From the number of titles of his comedies still preserved (over thirty), and from the verdict of antiquity, we may infer that his forte lay in comedy: he appears to have been no mere translator of his Greek originals, but to have handled them with considerable freedom. It was in his comedies especially that he introduced his attacks on men and events of the day.
TRAGEDY 11.80%
ROMAN TRAGEDY was founded entirely on that of the Greeks. In early times there existed crude dramatic productions (see SATIRE), which provided an opening for the translation from the Greek dramas brought on the stage by Livius Andronicus. He was a Greek by birth, but was brought to Rome as a captive about 200 B.C. It is to him that Roman tragedy owes its origin. His dramas and those of his successors were more or less free versions of Greek originals. Even the tragedies, or historical plays, drawn from national Roman materials, called fabuloe proetextoe or proetextatoe, (see PRAeETEXTA), the first writer of which was his immediate successor Noevius (about 235 B.C.), were entirely modelled on the Greek. The most noteworthy representatives of tragedy under the Republic were Ennius (B.C. 239-170), Pacuvius (220-130), and Accius (170-104), besides whom only a few other poets produced any works about this time. It is true that the scanty fragments we possess of these dramas admit of no positive judgment as to their merit, but there is no doubt that they rank far below the original creations of the Greeks. It may also be clearly inferred from the fragments, that declamation and pathos formed a characteristic attribute of Roman tragedy, which was intensified by a studied archaism of expression. Moreover, the titles of their plays that have come down to us show that preference was given to subjects relating to the Trojan epic cycle; this is to be explained by the Trojan origin claimed by the Romans. Next to this the most popular were the myths of the Pelopidae, of the Theban cycle, and of the Argonauts. Euripides was the favourite model; after him Sophocles: rarely Aeschylus. Roman tragedy, like Greek, was made up of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters and musical portions called cantica (q.v.). On the chorus in Roman tragedy see CHORUS (near the end). In the time of Augustus the representatives of tragedy were Asinius Pollio, Varius, and Ovid; under Tiberius, Pomponius Secundus; under Nero and Vespasian, Curiatius Maternus, of whose works scarcely a line has been preserved. The only tragedies of Roman antiquity which we possess are those of the philosopher Seneca, which show great mastery of form and a fertile imagination, but suffer from an intolerable excess of rhetorical declamation. It is doubtful whether they were intended for the stage at all, and not rather for public recitation and for private reading.
GAMES 10.80%
(1) Public. Among the Romans public games were intimately connected with religious worship. (For the public games of the Greeks, see ISTHMIAN, NEMEAN, OLYMPIAN, PYTHIAN GAMES.) The Roman ludi, originally races, appear first in the worship of Mars and Consus, the tutelary deities of horses and mules. But it was also a very ancient custom to celebrate ludi votivi, or games vowed on special occasions, particularly in time of war. Such games were usually vowed to Jupiter, the greatest deity of the Romans. These exceptional celebrations were so often repeated that they at length passed into regular annual festivals (ludi stati). The number of these games gradually increased, and so did their duration. At the end of the republican period there were seven sets of games, which occupied 65 days; in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. 135 days were given up to them, and in 354 A.D. as many as 176. In old times the games only lasted part of the day; but they gradually began to take up the whole day from early morning onwards. At a later period they went on in many cases into the night, requiring artificial illumination. The Roman ritual was very strict, and it happened pretty often that in consequence of some accidental interruption or trivial oversight, an instauratio or repetition of the spoiled day, if not of the whole festival, would be ordered, lest the gods should have any cause for anger. The different collegia of the priests were responsible for superintending the games, prescribed in honour of their respective divinities. But in the case of festivities vowed by the State, this duty fell to the high magistrates; at first to the consuls, afterwards (and almost exclusively) to the aediles, and after Augustus to the praetors. The expenses were provided for by a certain sum of money paid over from the public treasury to the giver of italics>the games. For the Ludi Romani, the greatest of all the festivals, this sum amounted, during the period preceding the Punic wars, to about £1,800. After this period it reached some £3,000, and by 51 A.D. had risen to £8,750. At the same time the givers of the games had to make larger supplementary contributious. The demands of the public were so extravagant that in course of time the amount of this private expenditure increased enormously, especially in the last century B.C. Augustus, indeed, tried to check it; but he was obliged to allow his praetors to spend three times as much on the games as was paid for the public treasury. Under the Empire many enactments were issued to restrict the expenditure on the games by law, but no permanent effect was produced. Even after the 4th century A.D. the expense rose to as large a sum as from £50,000 to £150,000. The oldest games were those of the circus, consisting mainly of horse-races and chariot-races, with gymnastic contests, to which others were added in course of time. (See CIRCUS.) After 364 B.C. dramatic representations were introduced from Etruria. These were in 240 B.C., and onwards, exchanged for regular theatrical performances (See LIVIUS ANDRONIOUS). Contests of gladiators, also from Etruria, were fashionable after 264 B.C. But these were only exhibited, during the republican period, at funeral games, private and other entertainments (see GLADIATORES). The following regular festivities were introduced in the republican period, and continued in existence until the latest times: (1) The Ludi Romani. These were the oldest games of all, and were, in strictness, celebrated in honour of Jupiter by victorious generals at their triumphs; hence it was that they included, as a special feature, a procession (pompa) from the Capitol to the Circus; a part of the performance which seems afterwards to have been embodied in the other games of the circus. Originally they lasted only one day; but in course of time they absorbed more and more time, till in the Ciceronian age they went on for fifteen (September 4-19). After the death of Caesar another day was added in his honour. After the introduction of theatrical performances, several days were taken up with them. The curule aediles were, in the republican period, responsible for the management. (2) Ludi plebei. These originally lasted one day, but afterwards fourteen, November 4-17. They were given in the Circus Flaminius under the direction of the plebeian aediles, and early included dramatic entertainments. (3) Ludi Cereales, given under the direction of the plebeian aediles in honour of Ceres, the tutelary goddess of the plebs. The date was originally April 19, afterwards April 12-19. (4) Ludi Apollinares, or in honour of Apollo. These were introduced during the Second Punic War, and celebrated originally on July 13, continuing afterwards from July 6-13. On the last day only were there any performances in the circus; the rest of the festival was given up to the drama. These were the only games for which, in the republican period, the praetor was responsible. (5) Ludi Megalenses, in honour of the Magna Mater, introduced 204 B.C. and held at first on April 4, afterwards from April 4-10. (See RHEA .) They included performances both in the theatre and in the circus. They were under the management of the curule aediles, and the same remark applies to (6) the Ludi Florales, from April 28 to May 3. (See FLORA.) During the imperial period the number of permanent festivals was largely increased. The birthday of Augustus, for instance (September 23), was regularly celebrated with ludi circenses, and the ludi Augustales (October 3-12) were instituted in honour of his memory. Side by side with the public games, private performances were often given by societies, families, and individuals on special occasions, such as those of births, marriages, or funerals. Sometimes the object would be merely to please the public: sometimes to raise money. The giver of the entertainment had, like the superintendent of the public games, the privilege of lictors and the toga proetexta. Charges for admission were made or not according to the occasion. But the admission to the public games was free, it being always understood that special seats were reserved for the magistrates, priests, senators, equites, and particular families and individuals. (See AMPHITHEATRE, CIRCUS, GLADIATORES, SEA-FIGHTS, THEATRE, WILD BEASTS.) Of social games the ancients, and especially the Greeks, had plenty. The cottabus, so popular at Greek banquets, the games of ball, of which both Greeks and Romans were fond, and the games with dice, are described in separate articles. A game of draughts (petteia) appears as early as Homer, and was said to have been the invention of Palamedes. But we have no knowledge of its nature and rules, and have very scanty information about the similar games played in later times. The "game of cities" seems to have resembled our chess or draughts. The board was divided into spaces, and movements made upon it with stones; the object being to get your opponent into check. The Romans had several games of the sort, among which the ludus latrunculorum, or game at soldiers, is to a certain extent known. This was a game of siege. The men (calculi) were divided into privates (mandroe) and officers (latrones), and the object was to take or to get your adversary's stones in check. In the ludus duodecim scriptorum, or game of 12 lines, dice were used. The dice-board was divided into 24 spaces by 12 parallel lines intersected by a line at right angles. Each side had 15 men, one set being black and the other white. Before each move the dice were thrown, and the move determined by the number which turned up. A very favourite game was Odd and Even (Gk. artiasmos, Lat. ludere par impar). You held out so many fingers, and put so many coins, pebbles, or nuts in your hand, and made your adversary guess whether the number was odd or even. The Roman children, and indeed their elders, were very fond of various games with nuts.
COMEDY 10.03%
Roman. Like the Greeks, the Italian people had their popular dramatic pieces; the versus Fescennini, for instance, which were at first associated with the mimic drama, first introduced in 390 B.C. from Etruria in consequence of a plague, to appease the wrath of heaven (see FESCENNINI VERSUS). From this combination sprang the satura, a performance consisting of flute-playing, mimic dance, songs, and dialogue. The Atellana (q.v.) was a second species of popular Italian comedy, distinguished from others by having certain fixed or stock characters. The creator of the regular Italian comedy and tragedy was a Greek named Livius Andronicus, about 240 B.C. Like the Italian tragedy, the Italian comedy was, in form and contents, an imitation, executed with more or less freedom, of the Greek. It was the New Greek Comedy which the Romans took as their model. This comedy, which represents scenes from Greek life, was called palliata, after the Greek pallium, or cloak. The dramatic satura, and the Atellana, which afterwards supplanted the satura as a concluding farce, continued to exist side by side. The Latin comedy was brought to perfection by Plautus and Terence, the only Roman dramatists from whose hands we still possess complete plays. We should also mention Naevius and Ennius (both of whom wrote tragedies as well as comedies) Caecilius, and Turpilius, with whom, towards the end of the 3nd century B.C., this style of composition died out. About the middle of the 2nd century B.C. a new kind of comedy, the togata, (from toga) made its appearance. The form of it was still Greek, but the life and the characters Italian. The togata was represented by Titinius, Atta, and Afranius, who was accounted the master in this kind of writing. At the beginning of the 1st century B.C. the Atellana assumed an artistic form in the hands of Pomponius and Novius; and some fifty years later the mimus, also an old form of popular farce, was similarly handled by Laberius and Publilius Syrus. The mimus drove all the other varieties of comedy from the field, and held its ground until late in the imperial period. The Roman comedy, like its model, the New Comedy of the Greeks, had no chorus, the intervals being filled up by performances on the flute. The play consisted, like the Roman tragedy, partly of passages of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters, partly of musical scenes called cantica. (See CANTICUM)
SATIRE 8.77%
The word properly denotes a medley of heterogeneous things, and in particular a kind of dramatical farce, which consisted of a mixture of speech, song, music, and dancing. (See FESCENNINI.) Before the rise of an artistic type of Roman drama, these farces were performed on festive occasions by itinerant minstrels, the representation taking place upon the public stage erected at Rome in 390 B.C. After the introduction of the Greek drama by Livius Andronicus, 240 B.C., the saturae sank to the position of after-pieces (exodia) which were improvised by masked Roman youths after the conclusion of the performance proper; in this shape they lasted until they were entirely supplanted by the Atellanae. As an artistic composition the satura is wholly undramatical, and designates in the first instance a collection of miscellaneous pieces of poetry of heterogeneous contents and metres; in this form it seems to have been first introduced into literature by ENNIUS. A definite impress, fixing its character for all future time, was given to the satura in the 2nd century B.C. by LUCILIUS, who made it essentially what we now understand by satire, and is therefore designated by Horace [Sat. ii 1, 62] as the inventor of this branch of literature. Even his satires, as may be gathered from the fragments that survive, were of a very miscellaneous character, as regards matter and as regards form. All possible aspects of the life of the time were made the objects of a discussion, which might be serious, jocular, or censorious, as occasion required. It was composed in the form sometimes of an essay, sometimes of a letter, sometimes of a dialogue, and in the conversational style in vogue at the time. In his earlier poems he made use of various metres, afterwards almost exclusively of the hexameter. The significant example of Lucilius invited emulation all the more, because the prosaic and didactic element in satire was in the most thorough accordance with the Roman character and poetical capacities. Accordingly a number of imitators are mentioned reaching down to the end of the Republic, though, in the judgment of Horace, their endeavour to attain the level of their model was a vain one [Sat. i 10, 47]. A revival and development answering to the more refined taste of the time was given to the Lucilian saturo by Horace, who, however, confined himself to social and literary life, and used the hexameter alone. In the, latter respect his example was followed by PERSIUS and JUVENAL; but these treated the contrast between the ideal and the actual, which provokes the satire, not with the humour of Horace, but with bitterness and severity. An ancient (or pre-Lucilian) style of satura was revived towards the end of the Republic by the "most learned of the Romans," Terentins VARRO, with his Menippean Satires, in which, following the example of the Cynic Menippus of Gadara, he treated serious subjects in humorous fashion and in a mixed form of prose and poetry. This mixed form was also adopted in the time of Nero by PETRONIUS in his satirical romance of manners, and by SENECA in his satire on Claudius, as well as in later times by the emperor JULIAN in his Caesares, written in Greek. The satire is a thoroughly Roman species of poetry [Quintilian, x 1 § 93: Satura quidem tota nostra est]; for though there is much in the poetry of the Greeks which, in regard to subject-matter, corresponds in some degree to the satire, still they were never able to produce a literature of this kind stamped with a definite character of its own, and described by a distinctive name.
Roman. Among the Romans the father was free, when the new-born child was laid before him, either to expose it, or to take it up, as a sign that he meant to rear it. He bad also the right of selling his children, or putting them to death. It was not till the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. that the exposure of children was legally accounted as murder, nor did the evil practice cease even then. If the child was to be reared, it was named, if a boy on the ninth day after birth, if a girl, on the eighth. The day was called dies lustricus, or day of purification. A sacrifice in the house, accompanied with a feast, gave to the child's life a religious dedication. A box with an amulet was hung round the child's neck as a protection against magic (see BULLAe). Official lists of births were not published until the 2nd century after Christ. In earlier times, in the case of boys, the name was not formally confirmed until the assumption of the toga virilis. The child's physical and moral education was, in old times, regularly given at home under the superintendence of the parents, chiefly of the mother. The training was strict, and aimed at making the children strong and healthy, religious, obedient to the laws, temperate, modest in speech and actions, strictly submissive to their superiors, well behaved, virtuous, intelligent, and self-reliant. The girls were, taught by their mothers to spin and weave, the boys were instructed by their fathers in ploughing, sowing, reaping, riding, swimming, boxing and fencing; in the knowledge necessary for household management; in reading, writing, and counting; and in the laws of their country. The Romans did not, like the Greeks, lay stress on gymnastics, but only carried physical exercises to the point necessary for military service. The contests and exercises took place in the Campus Martius, which, down to the time of the Empire, was the favourite arena of the youths. The state took as little care of mental as of physical education. If a man could not educate his children himself, he sent them to a master. From an early time there were elementary teachers (litteratores) at Rome, corresponding to the Greek grammatistoe. These were sometimes slaves, who taught in their masters' house for his benefit. Sometimes they were freedmen, who gave instruction either in families, or in schools, (schola or ludus) of their own. They received their salary monthly, but only for eight months in the year; no instruction being given between June and November. Boys and girls were taught together. The elementary instruction included reading, writing, and arithmetic; arithmetic being, as among the Greeks, practised by counting on the fingers. In later times grown up boys learned arithmetic with a special master (calculator), who was paid at a higher rate than the, litterator, With the duodecimal system in use, arithmetic was regarded as very difficult. The reading lessons included learning the Twelve Tables by heart. After the Second Punic War it became usual, at first in single families, and afterwards more and more generally, to employ a litterator, or grammaticus, to teach Greek. The chief element in this instruction was the explanation of Greek poets, above all of Homer, whose writings became a school book among the Romans, as among the Greeks, At the same time higher instruction was given in Latin as well, the text-book being the Latin Odyssey of Livius Andronicus, Terence, and in later times Vergil, Horace, and others. The exposition of these authors gave an opportunity of communicating a variety of information. Girls were educated on the same lines. The highest point in Roman education was attained by the schools of the rhetoricians, which came into existence before the end of the republican age. In these schools, as in those of the grammatici, Greek was at first the only language taught. Since the time when Greek literature became the highest educational standard, boys, and sometimes girls, were taught Greek from their earliest years. They were put into the hands of a Greek poedagogus, or a Greek female slave, and learned the first rudiments from Greek schoolmasters. As the range of subjects widened, so as to include, among other things, music and geometry, more importance came to be attached to scholastic education. This tendency was strengthened by the increased demand for Greek culture which manifested itself under the Empire throughout the length and breadth of the Western provinces. Education was carried on on stricter lines as the old system of home training disappeared, mainly owing to the diffusion of an effeminate refinement, and the parents' habit of putting their children into the hands of Greek slaves. After the time of Vespasian the higher public, instruction began to be a matter of imperial concern. Vespasian paid away as much as £850 annually to the Latin and Greek rhetoricians in Rome. Hadrian founded the Athenaeum, the first known public institution for the higher education, with salaried teachers (see ATHENAeUM). After his time philosophers, rhetoricians, and grammarians were publicly appointed to lecture in all the larger cities of the empire. They were maintained partly at the expense of the respective communities, partly by the emperors, and enjoyed in all cases certain immunities conferred by the State. The ordinary educational course generally concluded with a boy's sixteenth or seventeenth year, though rhetorical instruction was sometimes continued far beyond this limit. And towards the end of the republican age, young men of intellectual ambition would often go to Greece to enlarge their sphere of culture. On the 17th March, the festival of the Liberalia, boys who had reached the age of puberty, or their fifteenth year, took off, in the presence of the Lares, their bulla and toga proetexta, or purple-edged toga, and put on the unadorned toga virilis. They were then, after a sacrifice at home, taken by their fathers or guardians, accompanied by friends and relations, to the forum, and enrolled in the lists of citizens. The boys were from this time, in the eyes of the law, capable of marriage, and bound to military service. They now entered upon their tirocinium, which was regarded as the last stage of education. (See TIROCINIUM.)
NAMES 5.70%
The Romans, in the republican times, bad their names in the following order: prcenamen (= our "Christian name"), nomen (name of race, gentile name), cognomen (surname, denoting the family). The gentile name, which originally (always in patrician names) had for derivative suffix -ius (e.g. Iunius, Cornelius, Tullius), was common to all those connected with the gens, men, women, clients, and freedmen. The prcenomen was given to sons on the third day after birth, the dies lustricus, and was officially confirmed when the toga virilis was assumed and the name was inscribed on the roll of citizens. The original meaning of the prcenomen, in which there was sometimes a reference to peculiar circumstances at birth (e.g. Lacius=born by day, Manius=born in the morning; Quintus, the fifth, Decimus, the tenth), came to be disregarded in the course of time, when the name was given. As a rule, the eldest son received the prcenomen of his father. Of these there was a comparatively limited number in the noble families; some were employed only by certain gentes, even by certain families, as for instance Appius exclusively by the Claudii, and Tiberius especially by the Nerones who belonged to this race; while others were actually prohibited in certain families, e.g. Marcus in that of the Manlii.[1] The prcenomen was usually written in an abbreviated form; thus, A. stands for Aulus, C. for Gaius, Gn. for Gnceus, D. for Decimus, L. for Lacius, M'. for Manius, M. for Marcus, P. for Publius , Q. for Quintus, Ser. for Servius, S. or Sex. for Sextus, Ti. for Tiberius, T. for Titus. The surname (cognomen), the use of which was, in early times, not customary among the plebeians, served to denote and distinguish the different families of the same race, which often included several, patrician and plebeian. Thus the gens Cornelia comprised the patrician families of the Scipiones, Sullce, etc., and the plebeian families of the Dolabellce, Lentuli, etc. [It is true that some patrician families had fixed cognomina (e.g. Nero), but it was quite common for plebeians to take cognomina or to have them given; e.g. Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C. Asinius Pollio, and his son Asinius Gallus. Some plebeians never took a cognomen, e.g. the Antonii. But the Tullii are Cicerones in the last century of the Republic. Cognomina, whether fixed or otherwise, are generally of the nature of nicknames, or, at any rate, add a description of some personal characteristic; e.g. Naso, Strabo, Gallus, Scrofa, Asina, Rufus.] To the surname there was sometimes added a second and even a third, in later times called the agnomen, to indicate a lateral branch of the family, for instance the Scipiones, Nasicoe; or, in memory of some remarkable exploit in war (e.g. Scipio Africanus, Asiaticus, etc.), or in consequence of a popular designation (e.g. Scipio Nasica Serapio) or of an adoption. It was the original custom for the adopted son, on passing from one gens to another, to add to the prcenomen, nomen, and cognomen of his adoptive father the name of his own former gens with the termination -anus. Thus the full name of the destroyer of Carthage, the son of L. Aemilius Paulus adopted by one of the Scipios, was P(ublius) Cornelius Scipio Africanus Emilianus. After about 70 A.D. there were many irregularities in the way these names were given,the tendency being to give very many. Women originally had only one name, the feminine form of the gentile name of their father, e.g. Cornelia. In later times they sometimes had prcenomen also, which they received on marriage. It was the feminine form of the husband's prcenomen, e.g. Gaia. Sometimes they had both names, e.g. Aula Cornelia. The prcenomen went out of use for a time during the later Republic, and it was afterwards placed after the nomen like a cognomen (e.g. Iunia Tertia). Under the Empire, they regularly had two names, either the nomen and cognomen of the father (e.g. Caecilia Metella) or the nomina of father and mother (e.g. Valeria Attia, daughter of Attius and Valeria). Slaves were originally designated by the praenomen of their master, e.g. Marcipor = Marci puer (slave of Marcus). Later, when the number of slaves had been greatly multiplied, it became necessary to give them names chosen at random. Freedmen regularly took the nomen, afterwards the prcenomen also, of the man who freed them (or of the father of the woman who freed them), while they retained their previous name as a cognomen; thus the name of the well-known freedman of Cicero was M. Tullius Tiro, and of a freedman of Livia (the wife of Augustus), M. Livius Ismarus.
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