Brill’s New Pauly

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In Roman and middle Italian personal names, the cognomen is the most recent part of the name and is usually placed last; it only came into general usage at the end of the Republic. In terms of its origin and character, the cognomen is an individual name which initially extends the  praenomen in its designation function and then, since the beginning of the imperial period, it increasingly replaces it. The word cognomen, in Plautus mostly still cognomentum (e.g. Persa 60), as a ‘means to recognize identity‘ is derived from cognoscere and only in a secondary development …

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Rix, Helmut (Freiburg), “Cognomen”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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