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Questions tagged [names]

For questions about personal names (Ancient and Modern) in the Latin language.

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In what contexts, exactly, did Augustus use the name Octavianus?

Wikipedia says Caesar Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, making his nomen Octavius and that nomen would have held sway prior to his ascension to emperor. Screenwriters, though, seem always to ...
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Do barbarians have nomina?

The word nomen means, literally, "name". But it also refers to the most important part of a Roman citizen's name, the part indicating which gens they belong to. Barbarian names were frequently ...
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Was the name “Sasan/Sassan” often spelled with a double S in Latin or Greek?

A question on ELU (“Sassanian” vs. “Sasanian”) brought up the fact that the name of Sāsān has often been spelled in English with a double S in the middle: "Sassan". (The same goes for related words ...
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Are there any relationships between the given name Pompeius and the city name Pompeii?

Are there any relationships between the given name Pompeius (like in Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) and the city name Pompeii (the city thas was destroyed in a volcanic eruption? What do they mean?
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Do plural names referring to a singular thing require a plural verb?

Another question related to my geography of the Roman Empire which I am writing has arisen: during the time of Trajan, 117 AD, there were several provinces which had names in the plural, especially ...
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Why didn't Byzantine emperors after Justinian II have a Latin name?

Justinian II had the Latin name Flavius Iustinianus Augustus and was the last Byzantine emperor from the Heraclian Dynasty, but his successor Philippikos Bardanes did not have a Latin name. Why didn't ...
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Is there a canonical list of Latinized names?

I'm not only talking about names that existed during the classical period, but also the standard Latinization of modern European names; for example hugo, hugonis is the standard medieval Latin ...
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How would one translate “The God-Machine”?

In the Chronicles of Darkness role-playing game, one of the major antagonists is called "the God-Machine": a machine so powerful it seems similar to a god. I know Latin generally prefers not to stick ...
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Latin transliteration of Ιησούς

Can someone please show me how the Latin Iesus came from Iesous? It sounds like a shorter form of it. Is it just because certain sounds from the Greek wasn't in Latin?
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Where did the name Ulixes come from?

He's Odysseus in Homer, but how did he become Ulixes/Ulysses when he arrived (so to speak) in Rome, where there were many people who knew him from the Iliad and the Odyssey? And was there a separate ...
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Napoleon/ Scipio [closed]

Students of North & Hillard will be aware that Ex. 229 is a passage about Napoleon. In the answer book Ex. 229 is a passage concerning Scipio. Does anyone know the refs for the Latin trans. of "...
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What is the etymology and origin of the name of Dido's sister Anna?

Dido's sister and confidante Anna has a name that I believe to be unusual in Latin. Where did this name come from? Is it perhaps Semitic and related to Hebrew Hannah and the derived name Anna? The ...
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How do we end up with three vowels at the end of Περικλέους? (Greek)

According to Wiktionary, the genitive of Περικλῆς, or Περικλέης, is Περικλέους; and similarly, that of Σοφοκλῆς, or Σοφοκλέης, Σοφοκλέους. Question: How do we end up with three vowels, εου, at the ...
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Inflections of Ζεύς

Διώνη is the name of a Titaness, a nymph, and Phoenician goddess. And according to the Wikipedia article on said Titaness, it's derived from the feminine form of the genitive of Ζεύς. And according to ...
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Feminine form of -ίδης

The Ancient Greek suffix -ίδης was used to form masculine patronymics - that is to say, one combines it with X to create a name meaning "Son of X". Examples: Ἀλκείδης ("son of Alkaios"), Ἡρακλεῖδαι ("...
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Creating a “fictional” last name, meaning “wild card”

I am on a quest to create a new last name for myself. I like the idea of "wildcard," particularly in the computing sense: as a placeholder for anything, however I want something that sounds more ...
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How did the popularities of Roman given names evolve over time?

When a new Roman was born, the parents would give their child a name (praenomen). Since there is a significant number of known names, there must have been variations in their relative popularities ...
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The Name Timedeus

In a previous question of mine (The Name Amadeus) a fine fellow (code name: "sumelic") conjectured that the name Amadeus comes from the phrase "Ama Deum" ("Love God") with the suffix -us added to ...
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The Names Amadeus, Amadeo, Amadei

Beloved Wikipedia says: Amadeus is a theophoric given name derived from the Latin words ama – the imperative of the word amare (to love) – and deus (god). As a linguistic compound in the form of a ...
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Hypocorism/diminutive name forms in Roman antiquity/Latin?

I'd originally asked this on SE:H, but it was suggested that here would be more appropriate. Triggered by recently reading about the history of English names with Anglo-Saxon roots and the ...
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Genitive of Sappho: Sapphonis or Sapphus?

As I posted on the Wiktionary Tea Room: Consulting Bergk's edition of Sappho, I have seem various instances of this genitive "Sapphonis" (e.g. «Sapphonis esse videtur») in the critical notes. This ...
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Did the Romans give names to instances of natural disasters?

It is common to name storms. For example, a hurricane called Harvey is now over Texas. On the other hand, ancient people named deities related to various places and natural phenomena. There might be a ...
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How did the Romans latinize foreign names (personal, place names)?

I am looking for references to linguistic work on latinization of foreign names by the Romans from the earliest days to the early centuries AD. As this is perhaps quite a wide topic, some field review ...
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How to render “'Fun is Good' -Dr. Seuss” in Latin?

"is good" is fairly easy, some form of bŏnum with the verb of being, but I'm having more trouble with the word for "fun". Part I: "Fun" Lūdus was my first thought because it refers to play in the ...
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What was Sappho's name?

I've seen the name of the famous Aeolian poet written as both "Ψαπφω" and "Σαπφω". The latter seems universal in Attic, and hence she's known as "Sappho" in English. Which of these names is "more ...
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Etymology of Nausicaa?

There was an interesting question on Lit regarding a proposed meaning of Nausicaa as "burner of ships". Although I don't have an issue with the ναῦς/κάω hypothesis, I suspect κάω is more likely used ...
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Dioscuri and Discord

I'm trying to explore if there is any plausible connection between these words. I find them to be somewhat similar in English, where one might carelessly drop the initial "o". I believe there is ...
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What declension is the name, Aeneas?

How would you decline this noun? It can not be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd declension. Also, how would you say "of Aeneas", which is genitive case?
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Which is the logic behind “Aloysius” Latinisation?

Wikipedia states that Aloysius is: ... a Latinisation of the names Louis, Lewis, Luis, Luigi, Ludwig, and other cognate names (traditionally in Medieval Latin as Ludovicus or Chlodovechus), ...
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Is it acceptable to translate these names in this manner?

After reading this question, I wondered what I could do to some names vital to my translation of D. Gray-Man, a recent project. Some names are fine, such as Allen becoming Alenus, Moa easily remaining ...
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What is the meaning of Satanas?

Satanas is a name I have encountered on several occasions, such as when hearing of a lost silent movie of this name by F. W. Murnau. What is the meaning of the as ending in Satanas?
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What is the difference between Iesus and Jesu?

In the Latin version of the Gloria, the name Jesus is rendered as "Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe". However, in the Latin Vulgate, the name of Jesus is rendered as "Iesus". What is the name of ...
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Is *Numidius* an Ancient Roman name?

Is Numidius an Ancient Roman name (probably a nomen gentilis) or is it spurious and caused by corruption of other names? What I have found so far: The name Ummidius (that is clearly and unmistakably ...
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Pronunciation of “Priapus”

How is the name Priapus pronounced in Classical Latin? I don't know if the primary stress is on the first syllable (Pri) or the penultimate (ap).
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Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I asked this on the HistorySE site, without much luck, so thought I'd try here. If it's inappropriate for this forum, please let me know and I'll delete it. I have just been reading this which is ...
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Mother Earth in Latin - Personification

I'm looking for a Latin equivalent to the personification 'Mother Earth'. Does Matris Orbis or Mater Terram do the job? Do they translate in the same way?
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Does “Sum faber” necessarily mean “I am a craftsman,” or can it mean “My name is Faber”?

I understand that a legitimate, though perhaps uncommon, way to introduce oneself in Latin is: [Ego] sum Iulius I also know that in Latin, as in English, people's names are often connected to ...
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Is there a John or Jane Doe in Latin?

In English, John Doe or Jane Doe is understood not to be an actual name of a person, but to be some kind of a placeholder name or mean an average citizen. There are many variants of this name in ...
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What is the vocative of Gnaeus?

I would like to know how to decline the name Gnaeus in vocative. I see three options: Gnaee (regular declension) Gnai (would make sense by analogy to Gai if the name is pronounced /gnaius/) Gnaeus (...
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Did the Romans derive verbs from names?

I know the Romans did derive verbs from nouns (laudare, finire, lucere…), but did they ever derive verbs from names? The Greeks did, for example forming homerizein (ὁμηρίζ&...
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Is there a plural of Jesus in Latin?

The name Iesus has peculiar declension in Latin. The declension of this word in every source that I have seen only gives singular forms. However, I can imagine situations where a plural is needed: a ...
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Why is Jesus inflected in such a way?

The name Iesus is declined in a very peculiar way in Latin, and no other word seems to follow similar declensions. Why is this so? Is there a way to put this broader declension in context to make some ...
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Why does Parthenope refer to Naples?

Vergil's tomb bears the inscription: Mantua me genuit; Calabri rapuere; tenet nunc Parthenope; cecini Pascua, rura, duces. Why does "Parthenope" refer to Naples?
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General principles for translating non-Latin names into Latin

I am engaged in several translation projects on the side which often involve translating names that do not have a Roman equivalent. Certain names obviously come from or have obvious equivalents in ...
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How would a servus publicus be named - using the nominative or the genitive?

I was reading this encyclopedia entry on Roman naming, and it discusses the naming of Roman slaves. Originally, slave's name was the name of his master + "puer". During the age of the Roman Republic, ...
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The many forms of William?

In my genealogical research in England I have come across many different spellings of the name William in Latin documents: Gulielmus, Guglielmus, Wilhelmus, Willelmus, to name just a few. I know that ...