11

In the Wikipedia article about brands, they give a few different examples of brands that existed in antiquity. A couple examples are given for ancient Rome, such as Umbricius Scaurus, a manufacturer of fish sauce in Pompeii, CE 35, and Ennion, a maker of glassware. The former is mentioned in the article as having been found all across the mediterranean, where I imagine his name/brand would have told anyone that this is some quality garum.

What are some other examples of "famous" or "known" brands in the Republic or Empire? It doesn't need to be specific to a person's name as long as it informed the Romans about qualities of the the product in the way a brand does.

5
  • 2
  • @Adam: If "scaurus" means "lame"; "club-footed", how did it work as a brand? Similarly, Marcus Licinius Crassus, of the First Triumvirate, so rich he was a "celebrity"-brand; nickname, "dives". What about his real name? "Ave Crassus." = "Good morning, Stupid."--how did that work?
    – tony
    Jan 10, 2022 at 11:43
  • @tony I am sure the ancients were as capable as us of looking past the literal meanings of proper nouns. And I don't think you represented the literal meanings fairly.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 10, 2022 at 14:49
  • My last name is a proper noun in English and a registered trademark of a manufacturing company. If he was teased as a child for the name, I doubt that he was teased later. ;)
    – Adam
    Jan 10, 2022 at 15:12
  • 1
    Well, there was Orange Julius smoothies, and Cornelian Flakes breakfast cereal and Et Tu Brute knives and Cato karate studios and the Nero torch and lighting company and the Claudian School of Speech franchise and Caesar Salads and Condiments and Progresso's 'INRI' brand of red wine vinegar and the Caligula shoe company among others. Oct 29, 2022 at 20:45

1 Answer 1

1

There is only one Roman products still made today that I know of: Pecorino Romano cheese.

There is a notable book about Roman economics called "The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire" by Michael Rostovtzeff (1926). A more modern book is "Roman Law and Economics: Institutions and Organizations" (Oxford Press).

In Rostovtzeff's book are mentioned various commercial organizations such as the Socii Talenses (a mining company). He mentions the brand of Fortis clay lamps and Navigius clay vases (p. 163); also, Aucissa safety pins (fibula), p. 69.

Note that there is a book "Ancient Pottery." Birch. London 1873, that lists in the appendix p. 603 all known Roman potters and their trademarks as discovered by archaeology.

In Pompeii were found amphora containing VESUVINUM wine. (This is significant because it shows that although elite Roman literature frowned on portmanteau and compound words, they were popular in vulgar speech, just like today.)

Aucissa fibula

An AUCISSA fibula.

enter image description here

Trademarked brick.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.