Mark Anthony

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jgoldsmith
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Mark Anthony

Post by jgoldsmith » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:55 pm

My name is John and I am a 60 year old Englishman who is trying to revive the classics of his childhood.

Can anyone tell me the cognomen of Mark Anthony, friend of Caesar and triumvir?

Marcus Antonius ?

Thanks,

John

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perispomenon
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Post by perispomenon » Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:23 pm

As far as I know, 'Marcus Antonius' is all there is. No cognomen there.

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Post by IreneY » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:55 pm

Hello and welcome jgoldsmith :) . Marcus Antonius is one of the few Romans who hadn't acquired one nor had his family as a whole .

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Post by jgoldsmith » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:33 pm

Surely every Roman citizen would have been registered with their three names. Mark Anthony may not have come from the sort of patrician family like Julius Caesar, but he must have been a citizen.

Is there any evidence of any other leading Roman not having three names? I imagine mark Anthony's cognomen must have just been forgotten. I need convincing that he never had one at all!

John

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Post by ingrid70 » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:37 pm

Gaius Marius comes to mind.

Ingrid

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Post by PoetaCaecus » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:06 pm

I dont think Pompey had a cognomen besides the honorary Magnus, either, did he?
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Post by Interaxus » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:31 am

Hi,

This is what Wikipedia says:

A member of the Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome, around 83 BC. His father was his namesake, Marcus Antonius Creticus, the son of the great rhetorician Marcus Antonius Orator executed by Gaius Marius' supporters in 86 BC.

Cheers,
Int

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Post by Interaxus » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:49 am

Sorry, my mistake. The 'Creticus' part was for his dad only, I guess. :oops: Here's the answer to your question in German:

"Einige prominente Römer besaßen keinen Cognomen wie z.B. Gaius Marius und Marcus Antonius." Ingrid70 - you're brill!

Here's the German site:

http://www.lateinservice.de/referate/in ... menref.htm

Cheers,
Int

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Post by jgoldsmith » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:08 am

Thanks for Gaius Marius; but surely even he must have had the three names otherwise he would not have been a citizen and would not have qualified as any sort of magistrate.

Perhaps a clue to the answer may lie in Cicero who usually refers to Gaius Julius Caesar as Gaius Caesar. If these references had been the only existing ones to Caesar, we would be asking the same question about him! Perhaps one day a new document will turn up which may fill this lacuna.

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Post by IreneY » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:12 pm

I might be wrong since I haven't dusted off my Roman History for a while but I think it was only later, during the Imperial times that a cognomen became "necessary". Before that it was only used to tell one Roman named John Smith from another Roman named John Smith.

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Post by Gonzalo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:22 pm

Irene, "necessary" or legal?

John, welcome to this forum.

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Post by perispomenon » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:44 pm

jgoldsmith wrote:Thanks for Gaius Marius; but surely even he must have had the three names otherwise he would not have been a citizen and would not have qualified as any sort of magistrate.
I studied ancient history and never heard of this prerequisite for citizenship or for magistrature. That doesn't mean it wasn't there ofcourse. Do you have a source?

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Post by jgoldsmith » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:27 pm

Thanks for pointing out to me that regulations under the empire need not necessarily have been the same as under the republic.

I am still inclined to stick to my guns however.

Both Anthony and Marius were figures of the late republic and therefore it is not unreasonable to assume that many regulations were unchanged in the shortish time between their lives and the empire.

Rome had quite recently been engaged in the Social Wars with her neighbours; and was very touchy about who was in and who was out so far as citizenship was concerned. Official registration of some sort must have been important; and you have to go back a long way to find Romans having two instead of three official names. All of Marius' and Anthony's contemporary Romans seem to have had the full three names.

Of course the regulations may have been modified by one of the early emperors. I too would like to know if there is any evidence for or against. Such books as I have consulted suggest the three names were an essential part of citizenship registration, but whether this refers to imperial or republican practice (or both) I do not know.

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Post by perispomenon » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:07 pm

This certainly caught my attention :-)

I am on a holiday right now, but when I get back home, I will dig into this some more.

Could you please give me the titles of the books you consulted? Thanks!

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Post by jgoldsmith » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:15 pm

Apologies for taking so long over my reply.

I'm afraid the books I consulted were mainly schoolboy textbooks which gave no great detail. The only one worth mentioning was the Oxford Classical Dictionary which however threw no new light on the problem.

Wikipedia gives quite a detailed article and assumes that Plebeian families in the late republic did not need the third name.

The best article I have been able to consult has been William Smith's Dictionary on the Lacus Curtius site. It is however very old. He gives two other instances of two-named Romans - Quintus Sertorius and Gn Pompeius (although I thought he was Strabo like his father). I hope I am not misrepresenting him, but it seems to me he does not give us chapter and verse concerning the law at the time of the late republic.

In other words we are left we started!

Please, someone, do give us the definitive answer, if there is one.

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Post by IreneY » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:54 pm

Well, this is not in any way a definite answer but perhaps you will find this and this interesting

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Post by tjnor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:40 pm

For what it's worth this seems to be an authoritative site:

www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/roman_names.htm

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Post by tjnor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:43 pm

There is an underscore between "roman" and "names" in this url, thus:

www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/roman_names.html

Tim

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Post by perispomenon » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:38 pm

jgoldsmith wrote:Please, someone, do give us the definitive answer, if there is one.
Well, I haven't found any source yet that states that the cognomen was compulsory for a Roman citizen. I only found one reference stating that having a cognomen was a prerogative of a Roman citizen.

That's from browsing the net, I confess I didn't go to the library to browse through Roman legislation.

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Post by Bert » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:24 am

Adelheid; By the looks of your avatar you study Greek while enjoying a glass of wine during your vacation.

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Post by ingrid70 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:08 am

Ha, I was already sure it wasn't Mijdrecht on Adelheid's avatar ;-)

Ingrid

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Post by perispomenon » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:49 am

ingrid70 wrote:Ha, I was already sure it wasn't Mijdrecht on Adelheid's avatar ;-)
The picture was taken in Agios Gordis, on Corfu.

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