Cognomen

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Related to cognomens: agnomen, cognomina

COGNOMEN. A Latin word, which signifies a family name. The praenomen among the Romans distinguished the person, the nomen, the gens, or all the kindred descended from a remote common stock through males, while the cognomen denoted the particular family. The agnomen was added on account of some particular event, as a further distinction. Thus, in the designation Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Publius is the proenomen, Cornelius is the nomen, Scipio the cognomen, and Africanus the agnomen. Vicat. These several terms occur frequently in the Roman laws. See Cas. temp. Hardw. 286; 1 Tayl. 148. See Name; Surname.

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But the main thrust of his chapter on the cognomens gives a strong sense that the union is a unique historical moment, for the prevalence of the cognomens is connected to the exile, and, he tells us, when the shekhinah returns to her proper place, Israel en masse will be gathered into the bedchamber.
When Gikatilla switches from the terminology of clothes to the terminology of erasable and inerasable names, he suggests that we cannot remove the last of the cognomens. But it remains the case that the desire evoked by the cognomens is the desire to strip them off.
Although Agnes may not have been Greek, the shoemaker-in-training, Fingenu, certainly was, to judge by her cognomen and first name together.
A woman's identity is described either by her first name followed by her cognomen, as in "Maria Corner," or by her first name and her marital status, as in "Marchesina, wife of Marco Corner." The incidence of either of the two styles does not seem to be entirely haphazard.
Agapito is a Greek cognomen, but Andrea was a given name that could be found among both Latin and Greek families.
As was discussed earlier, by the middle of the fourteenth century given names no longer served as reliable guides to membership in either the Latin or the Greek community.(77) Furthermore, it is worth recalling at this juncture that after the end of the thirteenth century a Greek cognomen indicates a Greek person more reliably than a Venetian cognomen indicates a person of Latin origin.
Therefore, other information is needed before we can proceed on the assumption that Call was as Greek as her cognomen suggests.
Unlike the common cognomen Catellano, the name de Arigonibus was unusual enough at the time that it can be taken as a toponymic.
We then turn to the problem of the Latin cognomen or third name, which in republican times was practically restricted to the senatorial class, and yet was commonly an insulting epithet suggesting physical deformity--Varro (knock-kneed) or Verrucosus (warty).