Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Post 84. Were There Surnames Before 1,000 AD?

Tim/Eddie, greetings!
"Aid me oh Muses,
as I here aim at,
of names and sunames
to spin the tale,
that of glories past elicited
the memory and fame
of mighty and sundry
women and men alike
"The man you know about, when making his statemnt that before 1,000 AD there were no surnames in Europe, forgot about our dear anscestors the Romans who had, when of the aristocratic classes, three names. He seems to be a typical product of revolutionary France, in opposition to any elected Leader and any attempt at maintaining Law and Order ( with 6 million Moslems in Paris), where only peasants and workers count, all the rest having ended under the guillotine in 1779. "Gaius Julius Caesar" for example, the father of the famous Caesar with the same names, in ca. 100 BC, the times of "Gaius Marius" ( who only had two names, being of celtic origins like Ferrerix/Ferrarix, my hypothetical gallic anscestor, and could not aspire to belong to the aristocracy of Rome ( divided in 16 patrician tribes), who opposed these in the Popular Party and was opposed by them in turn, led by "Lucius Cornelius Sulla" the butcher of Rome. And Romans with three names existed an survived until long toward the end of the first millennium, admittedly very few, but there nevertheless.It is easy to see therefore, that any Gaul worth his/her salt in the Roman Empire would at least have two names like our above mentioned "Gaius Marius".The latter could not have a distinctive gentilicial name, a "nomen" or "gens's" name since he did not belong to a roman tribe, being, like my Ferrerix/Ferrarix of Celtic origins. Maybe this objector is referring to Barbarians such as the Franks who invaded France in the middle of the consudered millennium, but, in so doing he is not doing justice to the better people in the France of those times.The roman name consisted in fact of-: (1) A " praenomen". (2) A "nomen', or gentilicial name. (3) A "cognomen', or "surname", or "last name", or "distinguishing name".In "Gaius Julius Caesar" for example, only the "cognomen" generally had a meaning, most of the times a ridiculous one like in a nickname given t someone by friends . The high sounding surname of Caesar meant i fact the rather diminutive and deflating "a fine head of hair"!!!!!!!!So-: Africanus= of AfricaAgelastus= never smilesAhala= ?????Ahenodarbus= red or bronze beardedAlbinus=whitishAugur=an augurBalearicus=of the Balearic IslandsBambalio=??????Bestia=the beastBrocchus= buck-toothedBrutus=animal stupidityCaecus= blindCaepio= the onion vendorCaesar=a fine head of hairCaesoninus=????? ( the cheese-like one?)Caldus=lukewarmCalvus=baldCamillus=????????It appears to me that the Romans of the Patrician Class valued even ridiculous or cursing nicknames for the sake of popularity and acceptance with/by the populace of Rome, whose affection they courted for the sake of Public Office.As exemplified by the great "Gaius Marius", it is not improbable, nay even possible that my theory of an appropriation of a roman curse as a surname, or second name as a badge of honour, by a gaulish anscestor of mine, such as the hypothetical Ferrerix/Ferrarix, may be acceptable at least, as an hypothesis. I was wrong in hurriedly and too prematurely mentioning the word Clan to thi fellow, as the Clan arose later on in an unrecognised and dispersed way as all these related families spread all over France, Spain and England. I am gathering a Clan together to-day on the basis of heraldic evidence provided by the knowledge of ancient Heralds at Arms who were profound and vastly knowledgeable historians of their times, possessing resources unavailable even to the grantees of the Coat of Arms themselves. All this insistence and focusing on names deriving from iron mines and works and localities, etc.. Yes, they are there as possibilities too, but there are also possible exceptions in the higher categories of people in the Roman Empire and in the Dark Ages.

Bibliographical Note-: Most of the above information was extracted from

Colleen McCullough work "The First Man In Rome",

Arrow Book, London, 1990.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home