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Praenomen
(445 words)

[German version]

An ancient name for individuals, the praenomen takes the first position in a Roman or central Italian personal name (esp. in the masculine), before (prae) the nomen, the gentile. It is usually written in abbreviation; the Latin sigla had been introduced by the 6th century BC (as can be seen in K = Kaeso,  = Manius, C = Gaius). After the introduction of the family name (Gentile), the number of praenomina to choose from decreased considerably, in Rome to eleven (seven more in some noble families), in Etruscan Perusia to five. In this way the praenomen indicates citizen…

Cite this page
Rix, Helmut (Freiburg), “Praenomen”, 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 02 June 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1007260>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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