Latin Names

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Bing, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Ok, allow me to show all of you how little I know about Latin. Most of the coins we share here we identify with names, i.e., Tiberias, Domitian, Hadrian, Geta, Aurelian, etc. When I look up a name I generally see a list of names belonging to one of these emperors. By which name were they addressed? For example, Lucius Domitius Aurelianus we refer to as Aurelian(us). But how was he addressed by his subjects, his friends, or his family? Lucius, Domitius, or Aurelian? My curiosity just gets the better of me sometimes. Thanks for any response. And to make this about coins, how about a coin of Aurelianus (or Lucius). Aurelian 10.jpg
    AURELIAN
    Pre-reform Antoninianus (AE20)
    OBVERSE: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG; radiate, cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: ROMAE AETERNAE; Emperor togate stg. r., receiving Victory from Roma std. l. on shield holding a long sceptre (or a spear) in l. hand, EXE: Q
    Struck at 4th officina, Milan mint, autumn 271 – autumn 272AD
    3.80g, 20mm
    RIC V-1 142
    EX. Marc Walter, Vienna, Austria
     
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  3. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    That's a really good question, Bing. I've been wondering it myself. And what about nicknames? Did anybody every call him, to his face, "Caligula"? His sisters, maybe?

    It'll be interesting to see if anybody can shed some light on this matter (sorry I cannot).
     
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  4. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Whew! I thought maybe I was the only one who didn't know the answer to my question. At least I know I have company in my ignorance.
     
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  7. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    :) It probably changed over time.

    For the Republic and early Imperial period I think a good way of finding out would be by look at the personal letters of Cicero. How did he refer to his friends? Even Caesar's Gallic and civil war writings would help but you'd have to see how the oldest copies were written in latin. Some translations might not be so literal.
     
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Just a guy making his way in the universe

    Even after taking Latin courses I'm still not sure. Did they call Caligula "Gaius"? Aurelius "Marcus" and so on. How about Caracalla? Marcus as well?
     
  9. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ......Caesar...:p
     
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  10. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    giphy-5.gif
     
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  11. alde

    alde Always Learning

    I've always liked Mel Brooks take on it in History of the World.
    download.jpeg
     
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  12. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Well, there's always Monty Python's Life of Brian take on Latin names...not sure of the historical accuracy, but it is pretty funny.

    Life of Brian.jpg

    Didn't post a link - it is a bit naughty.
     
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  13. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Right you are BIGVS...
     
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I watched that clip on YouTube and was laughing so hard last night I scared the cat. But(t) it is spelt with two Gs - Biggus. Or is that BIGGVS?

    And don't forget his wife, Incontinentia B...
     
  15. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    He's got a wife, you know....
     
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  16. Nyatii

    Nyatii I like running w/scissors. Makes me feel dangerous

    Auri?

    Don't feel bad. I took 2 years of Latin in high school and about the only thing I remember is how to count to 20. That and Picus Nicus. Something my Latin teacher made up for Picnic. Oh...and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Latin.......
     
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  17. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Eight semesters of Latin, high school and college. And this is about it:

    Semper Ubi Sub Ubi: "Always wear underwear." (Always where under where).

    Sorry.
     
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  18. Nyatii

    Nyatii I like running w/scissors. Makes me feel dangerous

    Wouldn't it be - "Semper Utetur Mundus Sub Ubi"?

    Always wear clean underwear.
     
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  19. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    One note. In Latin, when one person addresses another, the vocative form of the name is used. Typically this isn’t a translation problem since the vocative case is often the same as the nominative, except for names ending in —us and -ius, which have vocative endings of -e and -i, respectively. So if you wanted to say “Hello Anna,” you’d simply say, “Ave, Anna.” But if you wanted to say, “Hello Marcus,” you’d say, “Ave, Marce.”

    I doubt anyone called an adult Caligula “Caligula” to his face. But it’s possible that some Praetorian said, “Ave, Gai” before stabbing him in a Palatine alleyway.
     
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  20. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    But did anyone, family member or friend, call him Gaius?
     
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  21. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Good question. That I don’t know. It’s an interesting question—how formal or informal such addresses might be among an emperor’s associates. Not sure what kind of sources would’ve recorded that kind of private interaction.
     
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