Collected Precedents of the S.C.A.: Roman

Name Precedents: Roman

Laurel: Date: ( Precedent:
François la Flamme 2004.02 This name is being returned for lack of documentation. The only documentation provided for this name on the LoI was:

Theron was the name of a tyrant of Akragas, overthrown in 489/88 BCE (

Andronikos appears in the Oxford Classical Dictionary (ref Livius),. Also in Lempriere (1801).

Neither of these sources are included in the Administrative Handbook in Appendix H, "Books That Do Not Require Photocopies to Laurel". Therefore, photocopies were required to be included as part of this name submission. However, they were not provided. Lacking these photocopies, the information provided on the LoI may not be considered as documentation for this submission.

In the case of the website referenced for Theron, the link no longer functions. We would remind submission heralds that this situation is one reason why copies are required for articles that are not resident on

Metron Ariston was able to confirm some of the documentation:

Theron is also documented from the Oxford Classical Dictionary (Second Edition, s.v. Theron). You also need to specify that the citation for Andronicus (the Latinized form) is from the Second Edition of the OCD.

Orle found that J. R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: A. D. 395-527, vol. 2 (p. 90 s.n. Andronicus) dates Flavius Andronicus to 439 A. D.

However, none of this information identifies whether Theron is a given name, a byname, or something else entirely. Further, none of it supports the submitted spelling Andronikos rather than Andronicus.

Additionally the issue of whether these elements combine in a documented construction pattern was not addressed. The normal structure of a Roman name is [praenomen] [nomen] [cognomen], as in Caius Iulius Caesar. In order to know what position Andronicus may be used for, its type (praenomen, nomen, or cognomen) must be identified. Then, combined with documentation that identifies what type of element Theron is, the combination of Theron and Andronicus may be evaluated to see if it follows a known naming pattern. [Theron Andronikos, 02/2004, R-Atlantia]

François la Flamme 2004.02 This name has several issues. The byname Tigres is improperly constructed; the Latin word for 'tiger' is tigris.

No evidence was presented that the Jaxartes River was known to the Romans, let alone that they used that name. However, the College was able to confirm that the name Iaxartes was found in the first century Roman geography of Pomponius Mela ( While evidence was presented of forming a cognomen like Germanicus and Britannicus from provincial names, no evidence was presented that a cognomen could be formed from river names. Moreover, the name Iaxartes is not of the same declension as the cited placenames, so even if a cognomen could be formed from Iaxartes, it might not take the form Iaxarticus. Barring evidence that a cognomen could be formed from the name of a river, this byname is not registerable.

The structure of this name raises issues as well. As submitted, it combines Persian and Roman name elements, an issue which the LoI did not address. Fortunately, the College was able to provide information that there was sufficient contact that the combination should be registerable, though with a weirdness. However, it combines a Persian given name with two Roman cognomen. Given that the majority of the name elements are Roman, the structure of this name must be judged in Roman terms.

The normal structure of a Roman name is [praenomen] [nomen] [cognomen], as in Caius Iulius Caesar. The elements Tigris and Iaxarticus are submitted as cognomens. Given names from other cultures do not map well to the Classical Roman trinomina system, but Darius could be considered equivalent to a nomen in the submitted name. A nomen followed by a cognomen, as in Iulius Caesar, is a normal use name in Classical Latin. There are many cases of Roman notables with multiple cognomens, such as Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, who was also sometimes identified with just the cognomens as Scipio Africanus. However, no evidence was presented that the a nomen followed by multiple cognomens would be a reasonable usename for Classical Roman. Barring such evidence, the name cannot be registered in this form. [Darius Tigres Jaxarticus, 02/2004, R-Outlands]

François la Flamme 2004.01 The submitter requested authenticity for 1st C A.D. Rome and allowed minor changes. The standard Roman tria nomina (three element name) is constructed as praenomen + nomen + cognomen. Evidence was found for both Sergius and Oppius as nomen and for Scaevola as a cognomen. Therefore, the submitted name has the form nomen + nomen + cognomen. No evidence was found that this a construction is plausible as a Roman name. Lacking such evidence, this name is not registerable. [Sergius Oppius Scaevola, 01/2004, R-Outlands]
François la Flamme 2003.12 The praenomen Odysseus was submitted using the justification that the Romans had a pattern of adopting an element from a famous leader's name. However, Odysseus is not a Latin name. Odysseus is the typical modern English spelling of the Greek name, which can be transliterated Odysseos. Metron Ariston adds:

The Latin form as Lewis and Short tell us is properly Ulixes with rare misspellings as Ulysses (hence the name of the Civil War general). The name in Latin sources, as far as I can determine, always refers to the hero of the Odyssey and Iliad and does not enter into common use in the Latin name pool in any position.

Barring evidence that Greek names were used by Romans in this way, no spelling of Odysseos can be justified using this Roman naming pattern.

In addition, Metron Ariston and others observed that the names of famous generals were not used as praenomina. Therefore, this pattern cannot be used to justify the use of an element in that position. Finally, no evidence was presented for the use of the names of legendary figures, such as the hero of the Odyssey. Barring evidence of such a pattern, Ulixes is not registerable in this position either. As the submitter does not allow major changes, we were unable to drop the problematic element Odysseus in order to register this name. [Odysseus Titinius Maximus, 12/2003, R-Calontir]

François la Flamme 2003.10 Submitted as Alastar Marcellius, the submitted requested authenticity for 6th C Irish/Roman and allowed any changes.

Since the submitter requested authenticity, there are several points that should be addressed.

In the 6th C, the language used in Ireland was Oghamic Irish. Very few examples of Oghamic Irish inscriptions remain and it is not possible, with the information provided in the LoI and that found by the College, to postulate any form of the submitted name in Oghamic Irish.

The combination of "Irish/Roman" is problematical. There was significant Roman occupation and influence in the area that is today England. However, no definite archaeological evidence has yet been found that Romans invaded or settled in Ireland as a group, though the "coastal site of Drumanagh, 15 miles north of Dublin ... 'may well have been (and probably was) a major trading station linking Ireland and Roman Britain. It was probably populated with a mixture of Irish, Romano-British, Gallo-Roman, and others, doubtless including a few genuine Romans as well'" ( This article notes that Roman coins found at this site date to the 1st and 2nd C A.D.

An additional issue is that Roman influence in Britain ended well before the submitter's desired time period of the 6th C. By this time period, Romano-British as a culture had mostly faded as well, though a few Latin names continued in use.

From this information, the culture that come closest to the submitter's desired 6th C Irish/Roman is a Romano-British man who lived before the 6th C and who could have visited or traded with Ireland.

The submitted given name Alastar is an undated Gaelic form of the name Alexander. The name Alexander was in use among Romans, though no evidence was found that it was used among Romano-British.

The name Alexander came into use among Scottish Gaels sometime after Alexander I ruled Scotland (reigned 1107-1124). This Alexander was a son of Malcolm III "Canmore" and his Anglo-Saxon wife Margaret. All of Malcolm and Margaret's children were given non-Gaelic names: Edward, Edmund, Ethelred, Edgar, Alexander, David, Matilda, and Mary.

The name Alexander was in use among Scottish Gaels by the end of the 13th C. It first appeared in the forms such as Alaxandar, and Alaxandair. The first diminutive form of this name to appear was Alasdrann, which is found in reference to Scottish Gaels who died in the mid to late 15th C. Annals of Connacht (, entry 1522.6, note a man from Scotland with the name Alusdur. The spellings that appear in the Annals of Connacht are not typical for Early Modern Gaelic (c. 1200 to c. 1700). Alasdar and Alasdair would be forms more typical for Early Modern Gaelic.

The first known instance of a Gael in Ireland with the name Alaxandair is a man whose sons are mentioned in annals entries for the years 1504 and 1508. No evidence has yet been found of any Irish Gaelic man in period whose name was any form of the diminutive Alasdar.

No documentation was submitted and none was found to support Marcellius as a period variant of the documented Marcellus. Lacking such support, we have changed this element to the documented form Marcellus in order to register this name.

The form of this name closest to being authentic for the submitter's desired time and culture would be the Latin Alexander Marcellus. It is an authentic name for a Roman who would have lived somewhat earlier than his desired time period. Though surviving records show no sign that the name Alexander came into use among Romano-British, it is a possibility. If it did, Alexander Marcellus would be a plausible name for a Romano-British man who could have visited or traded with Ireland. Therefore, we have changed the submitted name to this form to partially meet the submitter's request for authenticity. [Alexander Marcellus, 10/2003, A-Ansteorra]

François la Flamme 2003.07 Submitted as Maximus Furs, the submitter requested authenticity for "Early Roman (4th Century)" and allowed any changes. He indicated that the meaning of 'thief' (Furs) was most important.

During the commentary period, Hund contacted the submitter regarding the authenticity of his name for his desired time period. Here is the information relayed by Hund in his commentary:

This submission consists of two cognomen or bynames and no given name as required. A properly constructed Roman name, even as late as requested by the submitter should have at least a family name (nomen) preceding the cognomen and the knightly noble class would also have a p[er]sonal given name (praenomen). On having this pointed out to the submitter, he requested from the list of praenomen used after the 2nd century (only 18 names), Decimus. Also, from Cassel there is the nomen Furius. Thus combined to give Decimus Furius Maximus, which should be the form registered.

The request to modify the submitted name to Decimus Furius Maximus came in late enough in the commentary period that not all members of the College had an opportunity to comment on this form before the end of the primary commentary period. As this new form is dramatically different from the submitted form, we are pending the modified submission in order to give the College an opportunity to comment on the new form of this name. [Decimus Furius Maximus, 07/2003 LoAR, P-Lochac]

François la Flamme 2003.06 Submitted as Serena Iustina Bryenrissa, the submitter requested authenticity for 6th to 11th C Roman-Byzantine and allowed any changes. Serena was documented only from a Web site of dubious quality and there is some doubt that this name was actually used by Romans. Metron Ariston explains:

The mention of the empress Serena, as wife of Diocletian or as mother or aunt of Saint Susanna is somewhat suspect since it mainly derives from some rather dicey hagiographic works of the early Christian period. There is no doubt that in the West by the high middle ages Serena was considered a saint and Withycombe (Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, s.n. Serena) n[o]tes on[e] instance of the name in thirteenth century England, but I am a bit leery of assuming its use [i]n the Eastern church. Also the cited source gives the dates for for Iustina as between AD 527 to AD 641 while the byname dates to at least five or six centuries later. Finally, following the same rules that are given in the article and the Letter of Intent, the byname should be Bryennissa not Bryenrissa.

No documentation was presented and none was found to support two given names in Byzantine names. Therefore we have dropped Serena, which is dubious for the submitter's desired time and culture, and corrected the byname in order to register this name. [Iustina Bryennissa, 06/2003 LoAR, A-Trimaris]

François la Flamme 2003.01 Diana is the name of an ancient Roman goddess. No documentation was presented and none was found that Diana was used as a Roman name except for this goddess. Lacking evidence that it was used as a given name for humans in the Roman period, it is not registerable as a Roman name. The only evidence presented of Diana used by humans in period is from Withycombe (p. 40-41, s.n. Diana), which lists Diana Luttrell as being born in 1580. So we have evidence of Diana as a name used in late 16th C English. Spartene was submitted as the feminine form of the masculine byname Spartenos, which is dated to 1246 in Bardas Xiphias's article "Personal Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the Later Byzantine Era" (

Therefore, the submitted name mixes an English given name dated to 1580 with a Byzantine Greek byname appropriate for 1246. Because these elements are dated more than 300 years apart, this name has a weirdness for temporal disparity. No evidence was presented that England and the Byzantine Empire had significant contact in period. Lacking such evidence, a name mixing English and Byzantine Greek is not registerable.

Were such evidence found, this lingual mix would be a weirdness, and this name would have two weirdnesses, one for temporal disparity and one for the lingual mix. And so, having two weirdnesses, this name would still have to be returned. [Diana Spartene, 01/2003 LoAR, R-Calontir]

François la Flamme 2003.01 Submitted as Valeria Tertia of Alexandria, the submitter requested authenticity for the 1st C A.D. and allowed any changes. We have changed the byname of Alexandria to the Latin form that would appear in a woman's name in order to meet the submitter's request for authenticity. [Valeria Tertia Alexandrina, 01/2003 LoAR, A-Caid]
François la Flamme 2002.09 Listed on the LoI as Decimus Claudius, this name was submitted as Decius Claudius and changed at Kingdom because documentation was only found for Decius as a gens and SCA names are required to have a given name. Sommelier found support for Decius as a praenomen as well as a gens. Therefore, Decius can fulfill the requirement for a given name in this submission. We have, therefore, returned the name to the originally submitted form. [Rio de Las Animas, 09/2002 LoAR, A-Caid]
François la Flamme 2002.05 This name was originally submitted as Phoebus Alexander Craythorne. Lacking solid documentation for Phoebus as a given name, it was dropped at kingdom. The documentation provided by the submitter for Phoebus was from Weidenham, Male Christian Names, which lists Phoebus as an Antiochan martyr. The problem is that Phoebus was a descriptive byname. Lacking firm evidence that it was this martyr's given name, we must assume it was his byname. Metron Ariston explains:

Phoebus [...] is the usual name for the sun god in Roman mythology, sometimes alone and sometimes attached to the Greek name of the god (i.e., Phoebus Apollo). This name was well-known through the medieval and Renaissance period, which is why its adoption as a byname by Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix, is generally considered a somewhat hubristic move. I suspect the "martyr" mentioned by the submitter is to be associated with that Phoebus excommunicated by the Council of Seleucia (, but several other names in that listing are bynames and it is known that Phoebus was used in antiquity as a byname, though relatively rarely.

Lacking documentation of the existence of Phoebus as a given name in period, it is not registerable as a given name. [Alexander Craythorne, 05/2002, A-Middle]

François la Flamme 2002.05 As originally documented, this name was not registerable due to excessive temporal disparity. Deodonatus was dated to 1205 in England (Withycombe, s.n. Deodatus). Cervarius was documented as the name of a Roman knight who conspired with Piso against Nero (Lemprire's Classical Dictionary, p. 156). Since the two elements had a temporal disparity of over a millennium, this name was not registerable with the submitted documentation. Metron Ariston found that "the byname is a relatively common Latin adjective meaning 'of or pertaining to deer'. One Fernandus Cervarius apparently signed a document relating to the monastery at Sarria in Spain in the year 1219 (" This information eliminates the temporal disparity between the two elements in this name. [Deodonatus Cervarius, 05/2002, A-Caid]
François la Flamme 2002.03 This name is being returned for lack of documentation of the construction, since the submitted name does not fit classical Roman naming patterns. Metron Ariston summarizes the situation:

In theory and to a great extent in practice all the daughters in a family would go by the feminine form of their father's nomen. That is where you get Claudia, Julia, Caecilia, Cornelia, etc. If you had two daughters they would be Claudia Maior and Claudia Minor (the older and younger). If you were unlucky enough to have more, they'd be numbered: Julia Tertia, for example. In the Republic women usually did not get cognomina of their own, but not infrequently would use an inherited one. Thus, Caecilia Metella, the wife of the Roman dictator Sulla, was the daughter of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus. Lucius was his given name. Caecilius was the primary clan name. Metellus was an inherited clan cognomen. [...] Dalmaticus was apersonal cognomen referring to his military victories in Dalmatia. His daughter used the feminine forms of the primary nomen and the inherited cognomen. [...]

Fausta derives from the masculine cognomen Faustus, Cornelia from the nomen Cornelius and Rutilia from the nomen Rutilius. Therefore the name is cognomen + nomen + nomen which is not documented.

Given this information, Cornelia Fausta and Rutilia Fausta would be registerable forms of this name. However, as the submitter does not allow major changes, we were unable to change the name to one of these forms in order to register the name.

Additionally, the LoI listed Roman women who had names that contained three elements. In both cases, the women were the wives of emperors, and names of members of the imperial family were often more elaborate than was typical for the time. At this time, the use of three element names for women, while largely limited to imperial women, does not seem to be exclusive enough that use of this construction, on its own, would be considered presumptuous. However, as with any name, three element names must follow a documented construction. The submitted Fausta Cornelia Rutilia has the construction cognomen + nomen + nomen, which is not a documented construction pattern. [Fausta Cornelia Rutilia, 03/2002, R-Caid]

François la Flamme 2001.09 Submitted as Michelina Cenomani da Trento, Cenomani is documented as the name of a Roman-era Celtic tribe. No evidence was provided that the name of a Celtic tribe would have been used in a personal name. Even if such a construction is plausible, this name has two weirdnesses: one for lingual mix and one for temporal disparity. Michelina da Trento, 09/01, A-Æthelmearc]
Jaelle of Armida 1999.06 [Erin Amazonia the Tall] The documentation for Amazonia comes from Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki Leon, which while amusing to read, is not noted for its scholarship, and therefore is not a reliable source. [Name returned for combination of issues.] (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR June 1999, p. 9)
Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme 1992.09 The name Aurora "occurs as a Christian name in inscriptions of the Roman Empire." (Dunkling & Gosling, p.36) (Aurora Gillybary, September, 1992, pg. 28)
Karina of the Far West 1979.06.30 There was only one Macsen, ne' Maxim[u]s, Roman general in Britain, briefly Roman emperor, killed by the Byzantines and transmogrified into a Welsh folk hero. There were plenty of people named Maximius, and you could be Maximius N without infringing. (KFW, 30 Jun 79 [25], p. 78)