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Republic (1899), passim ; Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Romer^ p. 365 f;
Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung\ft^, Wissowa), III 281 f, and C. Jullian,
in Daremberg-Saglio, Diet des Antiquitis\ also Wissowa on Fasti (1909) in the
new edition of Paul/s Real-Encyclopadie,

Digitized by









propatnius proauus

abauia abauunculus abmatertera


1 ; 1

proauia proauunculus promatertera


amita magna patruus magnus anas

.1 ; 1 1

auia auunculus magnus matertera magna

I —



soror soror


-H I

pater s mater

(maritus) i (uxor)




(c) sororis (d) sororis {a) fratris (i) filius = nurus
filius filius filius I


(/) fratris (/) nepos
nepos I


pronepos proneptis

abnepos abneptis

adnepos adneptis

trinepos trineptis

(i) {a) and {d) 9Xt fratres patrueles \ (c) and (d) 9xt frcUrn eonsobrini\ (a) and (r)
zxtfratres amitini ; (^) and (/) are sobrini ; (a) is propior sobrino to {/).

(i) Degrees of relationship between collaterals are reckoned by counting upwards
from the one person to the common ancestor, and thence downwards to the second, each
generation either way counting as a degree. Thus the VIR above is related to his
auunculus in the third degree ; {e) and {/) are related in the sixth degree. In the direct
line the degrees correspond to the number of generations.

(3) CognoH are those who are descended from a legally married pair. In the law of
inheritance only ecgnctti up to the sucth degree were considered.

(4) Adfinss are connexions by marriage, viz. the husband and his wife's cognati on
the one hand, the wife and her husbcmd's c<^naH on the other. Besides the terms given
in the above table the following may be mentioned s socw (father-in-law), socrus (mother-
in-law), priuignus and priuigna (step-son and stepdaughter), uitricus (step-father),
nouerca ^p-mother), leuir (husband's brother), glos (husband's sister).

(5)* The chief ancient aslhorities are : Justinian, ImU iii 6 ; D^» xxxviii 10, xo.

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222. In patrician or noble families under the Republic a man usually

bore three names, called respectively praenomen^ notnen^ and
cognomen] Q{uintm)FabiusMaximusmzyhtt2keii 2^ iyi^icaL
Of these names the nomm^ ending in -ius^ was the most important, as it
indicated the gens or house to which the person belonged. The praenomen
was the personal, or, as we should put it, the ' Christian ' name, given on
the dies lustrkus (see below, § 225). The number of praenomina in use
among noble families was, up to the time of Sulla, very limited. These
earlier praenomina were abbreviated, e.g. C. for Gatus^ Sp. for Spurius^
Sex. for Sextus^ etc., while the new or revived names adopted from Sulla's
time were written in full, eg, Faustus^ Cossus, etc The cognomen was
generally used in noble families under the Republic, less frequently in
plebeian. In origin it was evidently later than the other two names, and
does not appear in official documents till the age of Sulla. It is found,
however, on coins from the time of the Second Punic war. The cognomen
marked the family branch to which the individual belonged, though it has
been justly remarked that such cognomina as BarbaiuSy Longus^ Capito,
NasOy etc, were evidently derived from some personal rather than family
peculiarity. As the branches of a family became numerous, additional
cognomina were used to distinguish between them, and sometimes we find
as many as three in all, as in the case of P. Cornelius Scipio Nc^a
Corculum, When a cognomen was given by way of honour, e^. Africanus,
MctcedonicuSy Creticus, etc, it descended to the eldest son, but then
seems to have died out In formal and official style, the father's, grand-
father's, and great-grandfather's names and that of the individual's tribe
were given, e,g, M, TulUus M,f. M, n. M. pr{onepos) Cor(neIia trUm) Cicero.
Roman women were (in a legal sense) originally without name. In
early times they added the name of their father or husband
omen. .^ ^^^ genitive after their own, at first without, later with,
filia. Towards the end of the Republic the gentile name is often used
alone, e.g. lulia^ Tullia^ etc A praenomen is frequently found, a cognomen
practically never. In Imperial times women generally bore two names,
either the nomen and cognomen of the father (e.g, AemiUa Lepida) or the
combined names of the father and mother. Often a derivative in -inat -iUa^
or -uUa was employed, such as Agrippina^ Liuilla, Fahulla,

223. By adoption the person adopted passed out of his own gens and

entered that of his adopter. Accordingly, he assumed all
chmnffeof ^ the names of the latter, adding as cognomen the name of his
adoption."*'*' original ^ww, altered by the addition of the suffix -anus. A

familiar example is that of the son of Z. Aemilius Paulus
adopted by P. Cornelius Scipio ; he became P, Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus.
From Sulla's time deviations from this rule begin to occur. Thus M.

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Pomponius Atticus, when adopted by his uncle Q, CaeciUuSy was named Q.
Caecilius Pomponianus Atticus, thus retaining his original cognomen. The
case of the younger Pliny shows a further deviation. His first name was
P, Caecilius L.f, Secundus, On his testamentary adoption by his uncle C
Plinius Secundus he was called C, Plinius JL f, Caecilius Secundus. Not
only did he thus retain his own gentile name (without alteration) as a
cognomen^ but he also called himself the son of his real and not of his
adoptive father {Lucii filius^ not Gaii ftlius). This was contrary to all
Republican precedent. The truth is that under the Empire the importance
of the family declined, with the result that the old system of nomenclature
came to be disregarded. Later on under the Empire the heir simply added
the names of his adoptive father to his own.

224. In the early period slaves were generally called by a name ending
in 'pory such as Marcipor^ Lucipor, Quintipor, These were
abbreviations for Marci puer, etc Later on a fuller form

came into vogue, e^, Nicomachus AUn^ Marci seruus ; this is the name of
the slave together with his master's nomen and praenomen in the genitive.

The earliest custom was for the manumitted slave {libertinus) to take
his master's nomen^ at the same time choosing z praenomen at
will and retaining his original name as cognomen. Thus the * "**°'

poet Z. Liuius Andronicus was the freedman of M, Liuius Salinator,
From about 50 b.c, however, freedmen took both praenomen and nomen
from their master. M* Tullius Tiro, Cicero's freedman secretary, will serve
as an instance. Freedmen of a woman took the nomen and praenomen of
the father of their /a/r^;Mi, e^. M, Liuius^ Augustae libertuSy Ismarus,

Smith, Diet of Ant\ s.v. Nomen\ Mommsen, Rom. Forsch,^ i i — 68 ; id. in
Hermesy iii 62 — ^^ (with especial reference to the adoption of the
younger Pliny) ; Marquardt and Mau, PrvucUleben der Romer^ * ograp y.
7 — 27 ; Pauly and Wissowa, Real-Encyclopddie^ s.v. Cognomen ; Ox^ in Rhein.
Mus.y lix (1904), 108 AT (for names of slaves) ; and Egbert, Introduction to the
Study of Latin Inscriptions (revised ed. 1908), 82—1 13 ; also W. Schulze, Zur
Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen^ 646 pp., 1904 (mainly linguistic).

A general reference may here be given to the most recent books on the
subjects dealt with in this chapter, viz. H. W. Johnston, T?u Private Life of the
Romans^ Chicago, 1905, W. Warde Fowler's Social Life in the Age of Cicero^
(908, the Guide to the newly arranged 'Room of Greek and Roman Life' in
the British Museum, 1908, and H. Bltimner, Die rbmischen PHvataltertUmer
(Miiller's Handbuch^ iv 2, 2'), 191 1.


225. MiDwivES (pbstetrices) are occasionally mentioned in Latin litera-
ture and inscriptions. They appear as a rule to have been
freedwomen. We find a Valeria Berecunda at Rome claim-
ing to be the best midwife of her district. Immediately after birth, the infant
was washed. This is depicted on a design found painted (as it is said) on
the ceiling of the Thermae of Trajan at Rome. The newly-born child has

Digitized by



just been washed, and a man, probably the father, runs forward to lift it up.
In this we may probably recognise that symbolic act whereby the father
signified his intention of rearing his offspring {tollere or suscipere liberos).
Exposure of female or deformed infants was not uncommon, hence the
existence of a special goddess Liudna, whose function it was to prompt this
act of raising from the ground Besides this goddess there were numerous
shadowy deities destined to watch over the child's early days — the dea
Humina, Potina, EdOca^ Ossipdgo and the diuus StatdnuSy Fabultnus^
Fartnus, LocuHus — deities whose different spheres of operation are
sufficiently indicated by their names. On the ninth day after birth (or
on the eighth, in the case of a girl) the child was solemnly purified (dies
lustricus)y and received, in all probability, its praenamefu At this ceremony
the goddess Nundlna was supposed to preside. Presents in the form 01
small metal figures, often representing implements, such as axes, sickles,
swords, etc., were made by the parents, relations, and household slaves.
These figures were strung together into a kind of necklace for the child.
They were called crepundia^ and were believed to possess the power of
averting the evil eye. As we learn from the comic poets, lost or exposed
children were frequently identified by means of these crepundia. On the
day of lustration the bulla^ or circular capsule containing an amulet, was
also suspended from the neck of the freebom child. This capsule was
made of gold, if the parents were well off; of bronze or leather, if poor.
It was worn by boys till their assumption of the toga uiriiis (at 14 — 17 years
of age), by girls probably till marriage. Up to the time of M. Aurelius
there seems to have been no system of birth registration at Rome.
Aurelius ordered that registration should be made by the father within
thirty days of birth, at Rome with the praefecius aerarii^ in the provinces
with the tabularii publici,

Marquardt and Mau, Privatleben^ %2 f[ \ Becker and G611, Ga/IuSy ii 64 if;

Bibii h Daremberg et Saglio, Diet, des Ant., s.v. Bulla, Crepundia ;

ograp y. pauly and Wissowa, s.v. Bulla, Crepundia ; Schreibcr and

Anderson, Atlas of Class. Ant., pL Ixxxii, fig. 3 ; Blumner, Privatalt. 299 f.

aa6. There were several special forms of Roman marriage. A broad
line can be drawn between (i) marriage bringing the wife

*^*'*' into the manus or absolute power of her husband, and
(2) marriage sine in manum conuentione. The latter can be dismissed very
briefly. It was brought about by mere consent on the part of the husband
and wife, and did not involve any special rites or ceremonies. It was rare
in the early history of Rome, but became increasingly common as time
went on. Marriage which brought the wife into the manus of her husband,
ie. put her into the position of a daughter to him, could be effected in one
of three ways — by confarreatio, by coemptio, or by usus. The confarreate
marriage was confined to patricians, and was essentially a religious
ceremony. It was performed in die presence of the Pontifex Maximus,

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226] MARRIAGE t77

the Flamen Dialis, and ten witnesses, and derived its name from the pams
farreus, or c^ike of spelt, either eaten or offered at the marriage. Another
feature of the ceremony was that the bride and bridegroom had to sit side
by side upon two stools covered with a sheepskin. Marriage by coemptio
was probably at first a plebeian ceremony. The essential part of it was the
figurative selling of the bride to her husband (and possibly of the husband
to the bride) in the presence of a scale-holder \libripens) and five witnesses.
Marriage by usus was accomplished by a year's uninterrupted cohabitation.
If the wife absented herself for three nights in the year, this was suflftcient
to deprive the husband of his manus over her.

But apart from these special forms there were certain rites common
(though not essential) to aU modes of marriage. They may be described
under four main heads, viz. (i) Betrothal; (2) Preliminary preparations;
(3) The wedding ceremony ; (4) The escorting of the bride to the house
of the bridegroom.

(1) Betrothal {sponsalia) was negotiated by the respective fathers or
guardians, unless the man was independent (sui iuris). To the question
spondesne f the father of the woman, if he approved the match, answered
spotideo. The man then gave his fiancee a pledge {arra)^ which generally
took the form of a ring. Fig. i is an example of a gold betrothal-ring of
about the third century A.D. The clasped hands are expressive of the
plighted troth. Ordinarily, betrothal by consent could be dissolved at
will by either side (repudium renuntiare or remittere). In late Imperial
times, however, betrothal became a more serious matter ; written contracts
were introduced, a feast was given, and presents were made to the fiancee.

Fig. t. Gold betrothal-ring in the British Museum.

(2) Certain days and seasons of the year were avoided as unfavourable
for marriage. Such were March, May (the month which saw the purifica-
tory ceremonies of the Lemuria and the Arget), and the first half of June,
as well as all the Kalends, Nones, and Ides, with the days succeeding them.
On the day before the wedding, the bride laid aside her toga praetexta, and
dedicated it with her toys to the Lares of her father's house- Her bridal
dress consisted of a tunica recta — a robe woven vertically after the ancient
fashion and girt with a woollen girdle {cingulum), a veil of flame-colour
(flammeum), and safiron-coloured shoes {socci lutei). Her hair was divided
into six locks {sex crines) by a spear-shaped oomb known as the hasta

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caelibaris. Beneath her veil she wore a chaplet of flowers phicked by her
own hands.

(3) On the wedding morning the auspices were taken and the wedding
contract (tabulae nuptiales) was signed. The next step was the bringing
together of the bride and bridegroom by the pronuba or matron-friend of
the biide, and the solemn clasping of hands {dextrarum iunctio). This is a
scene frequently represented on Roman sarcophagi^ where the pronuba
places a hand on the shoulder of each, and the man grasps in his left hand
a scroll, perhaps the wedding contract. A prayer was then offered by the
auspex nuptiarum to Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Diana, and Fides, and the prayer
was followed by a sacrifice in honour of Jupiter. This latter ceremony is
shown in the illustration (Fig. 2). The bridegroom is seen pouring a
libation over a fire burning upon a tripod. Opposite him stands the bride,
and behind the pair is Juno Proniiba. On the left are seen Venus and
Cupid, Hymenaeus with the torch, and the three Graces ; on the right are
Victory, a boy with flowers, a camillus^ and two attendants with the ox
ready for sacrifice. The ceremony ended with the expression of good
wishes {filiciterl) on the part of the guests, who partook of a banquet
{cerui) in the house of the bride's father.

Fig. a. Marriage sacrifice. From a relief on a sarcophagus at
St Petersburg {Mottummti delt Jmtituto, iv pi. 9).

(4) At nightfall came the escorting {deduciio) of the bride from her
father's to the bridegroom's house. The most graphic description of this
procession is given in the famous epithalamium of Catullus in honour of
Manlius und Vinia. The bride was symbolically torn from her mother's
arms, a reminiscence of rude and violent times. The procession was
headed by torch-bearers and flute-players, and was generally accom-
panied by a considerable crowd of people, among whom the boys were
particularly prominent, chanting Fescennine verses and importuning the
bridegrooni for nuts, the last-named probably an omen of fertility. The
bride was attended by three boys, whose lathers and mothers were still
living. One preceded her, carrying a torch of white-thorn (spina aiba)^ the

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other two walked one on either side of her. She herself carried three coins
(asses), destined one for the bridegroom, another for the Lares familiares
(the deities of her new home), and a third for the Lares compitales (the
deities of the nearest crossways). When she reached the bridegroom's
house, she anointed the door-posts and decked them with fillets, both acts
symbolic of dedication to a god. To avoid the ill-omen of stumbling, she
was carefully lifted over the threshold, after she had uttered the simple but
significant expression of devotion to her husband : uH tu Gains, ego Gaia,
The bridegroom received the bride with a present of the elements in-
dispensable to the mistress of a house, viz. fire and water. On the day
following, the bride sacrificed at her husband's altar, and in the evening a
banquet known as repotia took place.

Muirhead, Historical Intr. to the Private law of Rom^ ; Smith, Diet, of
Ant\ s.v, Matrimonium : Rossbach, Untersuchun^en iiber die «„ „
riimUche Ehe, and Rom. Hochzeits- und Ehed^nkmiOer -, Mar- «"»»««?•«'•
quardt and Mau, Privatleben, 28if ; Becker and G611, Callus, ii 12 ff; Samter,
Fandlienfeste der Griechen u, Romer ; Baumeister, Denkmdler, s.v. Hochzeit ;
Dareroberg et Saglio, s.v. Matrimonium : Pauly and Wissowa, s.v. Coemption
Confarreatio ; for illustrations, see Wiener Vorlegebldtter, 1888, pi. 9 ; A. H.
Smith, Cat. of Sculpture in Brit, Mus,^ iii, No. 2307 ; Rom, Mitt,^ iv, pL 4,
Z()^{coemptio scene from early Etruscan monument). Bliimner, Privatalt, 341 ff

227. We are told that the Romans laid their dying (hence called

depositi) upon the ground, probably that they might die in

contact with that earth, beneath which they were soon to pass. biLlaJ. *°**

At the moment of death it was the custom for the nearest

relative to catch, as it were, with his lips the last breath of the dying.

Those who stood around the bed raised a loud cry {conclamatio), originally

perhaps with some idea of calling back the departing spirit. The eyes

of the dead were closed by the nearest relation. The death-scene is found

sculptured on sarcophagi, where the father, mother, and other members of

the family are grouped round the bed in attitudes of grief. The body was

next taken and washed with warm water. Application was then made to

the libifinarii, professional undertakers, who were to be found at the

temple of Venus Libitina, These supplied slaves caXXtd pollinctores, whose

duty it was to carry out the various details connected with the preparation

of the corpse for burial. The deceased was fully dressed either in the

toga or in the special garments becoming his rank in life, and was laid out

in the atrium of the house on a couch {lectus funebris) with his feet turned

towards the door. This ceremony was called collocatio. Crowns were

placed on the heads of persons who had earned this distinction, a custom

evidenced by the gold crowns, imitating oak, laurel, and other leaves,

which are so often discovered in tombs. The above-mentioned rites are

well illustrated by a relief (Fig. 3) found near Rome on the uia Labicana,

and probably belonging to the family monuments of the Haterii. The

deceased, a woman, is seen lying fully clothed on a lofty bed placed in


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the atrium of a house. At the corners of the bed four large torches are
burning. A man, perhaps the pollinctor, is in the act of placing a garland
upon the head of the corpse; on his right stand two hired mourning
women {praeficae). Below, the family of the dead walk in sad procession.
In the three figures at the head of the bed we may possibly recognise
three female slaves who wear the pointed cap called, pilleus in token of
their liberation by the dead woman's will. The rule that the newly freed
slave should have his head shaved, may very likely not have applied to
women. A coin was frequently placed in the mouth of the corpse as
a kind of passage-money to the other world, a custom which is attested- by
discoveries made in Roman tombs. Before the house a branch of pine
or cypress was set, mainly to warn the passer-by against ceremonial


1 i v.-'l''' i

r • -^ i ^ i.

iV' ' '^^^ • — ^-^ ' J

Fig. 3. Lying in state. From a relief in the Lateran Museum,
Rome (Monufttenti delP Institute^ v pi. 6).

The Romans made a distinction between an ordinary funeral {fiinus
translaticium) and a public funeral of a distinguished person (Junus in-
dictivum) ; to the latter the people were invited by a public crier {praeco)
in a set form of words; alius Quirts leto datus; exequias ire quibus est

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commodum^ iam iempus ; ollus ex aedibus effertur. The following is a
general description of a Roman funeral procession ; details of course
varied according to the rank and wealth of the deceased

In early times funerals took place by night, but subsequently this custom
was restricted to the cases of poor persons (whose relations could not afford
to make the usual display) and young children (acerba Junera), A survival
of the original custom is, however, to be found in the practice of carrying
lighted torches, even when the funeral took place by day. The funeral of
an important personage was marshalled by a designator. The illustration
(Fig. 4) shows the funeral procession of some provincial magnate of
about the Augustan period, as depicted on a sculptured stone relief At
the head are four tuidnes, two comicines, and a RtUen^ ranged in two files ;
then come two hired mourners {praeflcae), who are probably singing dirges
{naeniae). Next follows a litter borne by eight men and apparently
steadied by the designator. On it rests the funeral- bed, backed by an
elaborate screen; upon the bed is laid the deceased person, reclining in
the attitude of one still living. The litter is followed by several members
of the family. We can well understand from this scene Horace's allusion
to the noisiness of Roman funerals. Other occasional features besides
those mentioned were the presence of a mimus or mummer, imitating the
gestures of the dead, and of a train of men wearing the imagines or
portrait-masks of his ancestors. The goal of the procession was ^^ forum ^
where, in the case of distinguished persons, a panegyric {laudatio) was pro-
nounced. After leaving the forum the funeral procession wended its way
to the place of burning {ustrina)^ which in historical times was always
outside the city-walls. The body was placed on a pyre {rogus), and a
light was applied by one of the relations with averted face. The ashes,
after being cooled with water or wine, were collected by the nearest
relatives and placed in an urn {olla or uma). On the day of the funeral
a purificatory feast (Jeriae denlcales) was held in the house of the deceased,
and another banquet {silkemium) took place at the tomb itself. A period
of nine days' mourning followed, terminating in an offering of food {sacrifi-
cium navemdiaie) at the tomb. Every year offerings of water, wine, milk,
oil, eta were made by members of the family on the anniversary of the
day of death, and the tomb was decked with flowers.

Inhumation preponderated at Rome up to the sixth century B.a In the
XII Tables (450 B.C.) -both inhumation and cremation are recognised, but
thenceforward the latter was almost universally adopted, except in the
case of certain families, notably the Cornelii. Infants also were buried
unbumt. A reminiscence of early times, when inhumation was the
universal practice, is to be found in the custom of cutting off a finger
from the corpse {bs resectum) and giving it solemn burial in earth.
The practice of cremation went out under the influence of Christianity.
By the time of the Antonines, burial in sarcophagi had become very

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228] MONUMENTS 183

Online LibrarySir John Edwin SandysA companion to Latin studies → online text (page 26 of 112)