6

Latin has some "epicene nouns", like canis "dog", which can be either masculine or feminine: a good dog could be either a canis bonus or a canis bona, depending on the dog in question.

Are there any epicene names? That is, are there any attested names in Latin that could be used by either a man or a woman, without changing the form at all? (Names like Julius/Julia don't count, because the ending has to change along with the gender.)

  • 2
    Just to clarify, are you specifically asking about praenomina, or do you want to include nomina and cognomina as well? – brianpck Mar 18 at 13:05
  • @brianpck Any of the three. – Draconis Mar 18 at 14:30
5

I could find two such examples, both cognomina.

  • Sulla: Sulla's daughter was called Cornelia Sulla.

  • Cotta: Julius Caesar's mother was called Aurelia Cotta, probably daughter of the Lucius Aurelius Cotta mentioned by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum. It belongs to the first declension, as this excerpt shows:

Est enim et philosophi et pontificis et Cottae de dis immortalibus habere non errantem et vagam ut Academici, sed ut nostri stabilem certamque sententiam.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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