One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The second personal name of a citizen of ancient Rome, indicating the gens to which he belonged, for example, Marcus Tullius Cicero.
- ‘Maecenas is his nomen or family name.’
- ‘A freed slave generally assumed his former master's praenomen and nomen.’
- ‘I'm not complaining - I'm just wondering why some Roman names (many of the nomens, a few of the praenomens) have gotten so popular in Western Europe and America, while others have been completely forgotten.’
Latin, literally ‘name’.
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