Names in the 6th/7th Century
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Common Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the 6th and 7th Centuries

Berret Chavez, aka
Bardas Xiphias,
Mists, West

Jump to Later Byzantine Era

The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (PLRE) is a directory, a tool one can use to find primary source material for a given individual who was connected with the Roman Empire between AD 260 and AD 641. To list and reference all such individuals would be an enormous and impractical task. As it is, the PLRE has taken over forty years to produce, with twenty years passing between the publication of the first and last volumes. So, the PLRE is limited by three criteria: geography, class, and catholicity.

Geographically, the PLRE includes the area surrounding the Mediterranean. In class, its scope is rulers, those who held high office or title (both civilian and military), and men of learning. Those excluded are low office holders, "other" office holders, and ordinary civilians (who number enough to warrant their own prosopography, should someone decide to take up the task). Also excluded are those who would be included in the Christian Prosopography, a French project under the direction of H. I. Marrou.

From the perspective of name research, the PLRE presents a couple of problems.

First, the names during the period covered by the PLRE were written in Latin or Greek. As a research tool, the PLRE has normalized and Latinized them. Usually, though not always, the original language rendition is included in the entry. One should be careful, however, when analyzing the text. Because the original language references are direct quotes, often the names are given in genitive case. Attention to context should be observed.

Second, there are far fewer entries dealing with women than with men. This is, of course, typical of medieval onomastics.

In creating this index, I pruned the names in two ways: I excluded anyone and any name which was clearly indicated as not Roman in origin; for masculine names, I included only those which were"common"- that is those which were shared by at least two people. Since the sample was so small and so biased, I included all feminine names of Roman origin. I have included frequencies for all the names I list. This number includes the total number of entries and cross references for the given name. The number for Ionnes (John), by the way, is no mistake. There were 327 entries (some things never change...)

This index covers the third volume of the PLRE, published in 1992 in two parts. Volume three covers AD 527 to AD 641. I hope this index can serve as a useful quick reference and guide to those interested in names of upper class Romans in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Masculine Names

Feminine Names

Martindale, J. R., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, volumes IIIa and IIIb, Cambridge University Press, 1992