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Roman Resources

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Okay once upon there was a mighty Empire and its fall in the West at least ushered in a period of lost records and chaos popularly known as the Dark Ages. Well recently Crux Forums has suffered its own Dark Ages Weeks and among the great monuments lost (blowing of own trumpets ;) ) was certain thread called Roman Resources.

The object of this thread is to help the many would be writers and other artist who desperately want their tales of Rome to be near accurate as can be humanly achieved. Thus this thread is reborn with the aim of being the place where those with useful tools, links, references materials etc can all share them to the benefit of all.

Last time I was overwhelmed by the kindness and useful knowledge that many contributors were good enough to share and so once again I start this thread.

As before my opening contribution is the link to the Orbis tool provided by Stanford University. This tool is primarily aimed at helping scholars understand the political-military-economic underpinnings of the Roman Empire but for most writers it would most likely be best used in calculating journey times for both individuals and groups. I have linked straight to the mapping tool but if you check out the headers you will be guided to pages that explain its use and the ideas behind it.

Welcoming all who come here

Sciurui PopulesQue Romanus

RR
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
oldromemap.jpg
A rather too cluttered map of Rome in Imperial times,​
we'll probably get a better one soon.​
The main slave-market, the Graecostudium​
(so-called because the slaves in the early Empire came mainly from Greece)​
was in the area marked Velabrum on this map of the central part​
central Rome.jpg
The Saepta, in the north-west of the city,​
near numerals 4 and 6 on the top map,​
became an up-market shopping mall and entertainment complex​
(gladiators etc.)​
and high-quality slaves were sold there.​
But the most valuable of all were traded privately.​
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
One thing I fear we've lost is a link I posted in the pre-crash thread for an on-line copy of Martin Hengel's
Crucifixion in the Ancient World, a very authoritative work. I can't find that now, it may have been taken down, though if you search through the various sale sites (Amazon, Abe etc) you may find a downloadable pdf. It's certainly worth seeking out for a full survey of the written and archaeological evidence and examination of why worshiping a crucified Lord seemed so shocking and crazy to the Romans.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Some Roman Girls' Names
First, a note about Roman personal names
(to be corrected and improved no doubt by Jedakk, Naraku et al.)

A free Roman man in the Imperial period had (at least) three names:

i) Praenomen the 'given name', boys and girls used this through childhood, and women often continued to use it, though adult men were likely only to use it at home, if at all.

ii) Gens name (nomen gentilis) A family name, or more like a Scots clan name, handed down through the male line, and implying a shared ancestry among all members of the gens, though ancestors may actually have only been followers, retainers, tenants or clients of the head of the clan. A girl could use a feminine form (quite often a diminutive, see below) of her father's gens name, and women quite often used this as their usual name as adults.

iii) Cognomen a nickname, or perhaps our 'user name' is closer, that a man acquired or gave himself and generally used has his everyday name in adult public life. High-class women in the Imperial period didn't have cognomina, they didn't have much presence in public life, though a woman's praenomen might be a feminine (and maybe diminutive) form of her father's or a notable ancestor's cognomen.

A slave would only have a single name, given by her owner. It might be a garbled version of her 'own' name, more likely a derogatory nickname or a mocking imitation of her speech (cf. more recent slave-names and racist stereotypes); often a slave's names alluded to the region she came from, that had to be stated by law on the titulus she wore on her neck when she was on sale in the market.

These are from my database of Virgin Martyrs, but I've left out ones that are obviously 'Christian'. They give an idea of the kinds of personal names girls of free status would have had during the 2nd – 3rd centuries

Position among her sisters
Secunda, diminutive Secundina
Quinta

Character, appearance, moral qualities etc.
Aurea golden (hair?)
Candida shining, bright white
Diana goddess of the moon and hunting
Donata, diminutive Donatilla, gift
Febrina diminutive of febris 'fever' (as a malign goddess, Febris) – perhaps an apotropaic (warding off ill-luck) name, or maybe she survived one? Or perhaps she was born in February, probably named from Febris.
Felicitas happiness
Felicula diminutive 'happy little girl'
Fusca dark
Januaria probably born in January, named from Janus, god of the threshold
Jucunda delightful
Justa, diminutive Justina, fair-minded
Leonis lioness
Margarita pearl
Marina 'of the sea', perhaps alluding to Venus/ Aphrodite (also Greek Pelagia)
Matrona motherly, perhaps 'old for her years'
Modesta restrained, unassuming (not necessarily sexually, that was pudens, though Modesta doubtless would have been pudens too!)
Olivia 'of olive', perhaps implying laureate, 'olive-wreathed'
Perpetua enduring
Pientia sense of duty
Potentiana diminutive of potentia 'power', 'little dymamo'
Regina queen
Rufina diminutive, 'little redhead' or 'ruddy'
Ursula diminutive, 'little she-bear'
Valentina diminutive, 'little strong one'
Victoria victory

Greek names fashionable in the Latin West

Barbara wild, uncivilised (!)
Basilissa diminutive, 'little princess'
Callista loveliest
Catharina diminutive, 'pure little girl'
Charitina diminutive, 'graceful/ gracious little girl'
Cyriaca ladylike
Demetria of Demeter, goddess of the earth and harvest
Dorothea given by God
Eulalia good speech
Eunomia good behaviour
Euphemia good omen, good fortune
Euphrosyne happy, cheerful
Eurosia of Eurus, the south-east wind (regarded as favourable)
Eutropia versatility, skill
Glaphyra smooth, polite
Glyceria sweetness
Irene peace
Sophia wisdom
Theodora, Theodosia gift of God
Theodula God's slavegirl
Zenobia foreign-born

Names based on father's 'clan' (gens) name
Antonia, diminutive Antonina, from Antonius
Aquilina diminutive, Āquilius, from their place of origin (not, though it looks like it, ăquilina 'eagle-like')
Caecilia Caecilius, 'blind', cognomen of their semi-legendary, plebian ancestor
Flavia Flavius
Julia, diminutive Juliana, Julius
Lucretia Lucretius
Marcia, diminutive Marciana, Marcius
Valeria Valerius

Other names probably based on father's or an ancestor's
'given' name (praenomen) or 'nickname' (cognomen)

Albina cognomen Albinus, a diminutive 'little white one' but maybe associated with Alba Longa, the city that preceded Rome
Adriana cognomen [H]adrianus, from the city of Adria or the Adriatic coast.
Ammonaria associated with Jupiter Ammon, Romanised form of a North African deity, probably from a male cognomen Ammonarius
Balbina diminutive from male cognoment Balbus 'stammerer'
Fausta cognomen Faustus 'lucky'
Lucia, diminutive Lucilla, 'brightness' from male praenomen Lucius
Martina diminutive, from cognomen Martius 'like Mars'
Messalina Messalinus, a cognomen of the gens Valeria
Prisca cognomen Priscus 'venerable'
Saturnina diminutive cognomen Saturninus, 'little Saturn'
 

admihoek

Administrator
Staff member
One thing I fear we've lost is a link I posted in the pre-crash thread for an on-line copy of Martin Hengel's
Crucifixion in the Ancient World, a very authoritative work. I can't find that now, it may have been taken down, though if you search through the various sale sites (Amazon, Abe etc) you may find a downloadable pdf. It's certainly worth seeking out for a full survey of the written and archaeological evidence and examination of why worshiping a crucified Lord seemed so shocking and crazy to the Romans.
how do you mean?:D
 

Naraku

Draconarius
First, let's get this out of the way: most crucifixions were carried out by professional executioners, not soldiers! The impression that the legionares handled all crucifixions comes from the Gospels & has been re-inforced by movies & TV. Jesus may well have been crucified by soldiers, because they would have been the ones resposible for carrying out Pilot's orders & not the local Jewish authorities. But, this was an exception, as were the rebel slaves of Spartacus. Most executions in Rome & the settled Provences would have been a local resposibility, Only in occupied regions, war zones, on the Frontier & within the Army itself, would the deed have been done by soldiers.

However, since the Roman Army does figure into a lot of crux fiction & art, here's a site that might be helpful in getting details correct. One of my pet pieves with film depictions, especially the Italian pelums I love so much, is the habit of having all Legionaries wearing red cloaks. Red dye was extremely expensive & the red cloaks were worn only by the elite Praetorian Guard. Others would have worn a brown cloak.
The weapons, armor, organization & composition of the Army changed over the centuries. Many soldiers, especially in later years, weren't even Italian. These are details often forgotten by writers & artist, so hope I this resource is helpful.
http://www.roman-empire.net/army/army.html
 
First, let's get this out of the way: most crucifixions were carried out by professional executioners, not soldiers!

Woah there :D without a source I think we do need to put this back in the way. The local authorities were not formalised as we understand them today and often lacked access to professional anything as we understand them in modern times.

What we do know is that many Governors (prefects and procurators not as sure for proconsuls etc) drew their staff from troops on secondment. We have a surviving personnel return from the Cohors I Hispania Veterana quingenaria noting that a, sadly undecipherable, number of troops were detached to the office of Latiniaus, Procurator of the Province.

Certainly soldiers drawn from formal units seem to have served as the local equivalent of police forces manning way stations, referenced as acting as riot police in Alexandria and also on a rather nebulous "plain clothes duties" which I tend to understand as either secret police or intelligence work for my stories though it may have been something entirely different.

Also thanks to the work of Dr Adrian Goldsworthy and others we have a fabulous body of missives sent to locally stationed centurions who seem to have been often the most important local official acting rather like a district officer in the British Colonial Service.

Now it is worth stating that the greater part of the Roman Army such as I Hispania were auxiliary formations not legionaries but still they were soldiers.

The above said, however as Naraku points out the Roman Republic, Principate and Dominate represent a vast spread of history and terrain. There are also still very extensive gaps in what we do actually know as opposed to having the most tenuous grasp upon.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I think we're agreed that the sight of a 'Roman legionary' wearing the regalia of the Praetorian Guard, or anything like the conventional portrayal, would have been as rare outside Rome itself as the sight of a British guardsman today in a bearskin hat and red coat. Crucifixions, whether they were done by legionary soldiers or auxiliaries recruited from all corners of the Empire, foederati (essentially mercenaries in tribal bands from across the frontier) or local conscripts, would have been messy, scruffy affairs. In hotter parts the executioners were probably almost as naked as their victims, in colder ones they'd have worn whatever was the local equivalent of modern-day fatigues, overalls or farm-hand jeans, heavy-duty workwear.
 

arber1456

Executioner
as ever, Asterix gives good, reliable information on how Romans blew their own (various) trumpets:​
This photo is out Asterix as gladiator (Asterix als Gladiator). In this story the romans capture Troubardix, the gaul singer, to make Caesar as present. Asterix and Obelix follow the romans to Rome to liberate Troubardix. At the end of the comic Troubardix get the chance to sing in front of 250.000 visitors in the Circus Maximus. When he started to sing all visitors including the lions escape out the Circus Maximus.

Troubardix don´t sing realy good.
 
.

Troubardix don´t sing realy good.

See I grew up knowing him as Cacofonix (Brit) :D Still can't sing though by any name

French name : Assurancetourix
German name : Troubadix
Dutch name : Kakofonix
Spanish name : Asurancetúrix
Italian name : Assurancetourix
Portugese name : Cacofonix

English Asterix Encyclopedia entry
 

admihoek

Administrator
Staff member
here is the dutch page of the story meant by arber, but it is not the last page................
De Gladiatoren - R. Coscinny en A. Uderzo - Page 41.jpg

the lastt page is always the same and always a festive meal

De Gladiatoren - R. Coscinny en A. Uderzo - Page 48.jpg
 

arber1456

Executioner
See I grew up knowing him as Cacofonix (Brit) :D Still can't sing though by any name

French name : Assurancetourix
German name : Troubadix
Dutch name : Kakofonix
Spanish name : Asurancetúrix
Italian name : Assurancetourix
Portugese name : Cacofonix

English Asterix Encyclopedia entry

Hello RacingRodent!

You are right, the names of the persons in Asterix are in every country other. I forgot the english name for Troubadix = Cacofonix.

Okay, the quality of his singing is very limited. But the Normannen learn after a concert from him the fears.

Then we have: Unhygienix (english) or Verleihnix (german). Verleihnix=Don´t borrow anything. His fish should be not so good.

Then we have: Getafix (english) or Miraculix (german). He makes a lot of drinks.

Then we have: Majestix (german). His english Name is Vitalistix (I think so). He is the chief of the gauls, but at his home is Gutemiene (good face) the chief. I don´t know her english name.

I forgot the other english names of the persons from Asterix.
 

arber1456

Executioner
here is the dutch page of the story meant by arber, but it is not the last page................

the lastt page is always the same and always a festive meal

Thank you, admihoek, for posting the sides of this comic. In the german version Cacofonix sings two other songs. At first he sings "Mein Latein ist zu Ende=my latin is at the end" and than he sings "humba, humba, taeteraeae, taeteraeae", a old Colonian carneval song.
 

admihoek

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you, admihoek, for posting the sides of this comic. In the german version Cacofonix sings two other songs. At first he sings "Mein Latein ist zu Ende=my latin is at the end" and than he sings "humba, humba, taeteraeae, taeteraeae", a old Colonian carneval song.
in english celebrate carnival go to mardi gras and it is in every tongue approximately the same and also happened with their names.

orginal it is written in the French language

have them all
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I meant what songs did he sing in the English and French ones?​
Not sure what the English (or Scots) equivalent of Humba Humba would be,​
but I'm sure the Ancient Britons would have sung -​
 
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