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Changing NamesTradition and Innovation in Ancient Greek Onomastics$
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Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266540

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266540.001.0001

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The Diffusion of Roman Names and Naming Practices in Greek Poleis (2nd c. BC–3rd c. AD)

The Diffusion of Roman Names and Naming Practices in Greek Poleis (2nd c. BC–3rd c. AD)

(p.217) 10 The Diffusion of Roman Names and Naming Practices in Greek Poleis (2nd c. BC–3rd c. AD)
Changing Names

Jean-Sébastien Balzat

British Academy

A survey of the epigraphic material of Greece and Asia Minor shows that the adoption of Roman names by locals was a negligible feature of the onomastics of the Late Hellenistic poleis, whereas, from Caesar’s dictatorship onwards, the spread of Roman citizenship to provincials triggered an unprecedented diffusion of Roman names. This article aims at revealing the main differences in the way citizens of the poleis adopted Roman names and naming practices between these two periods. The question arises whether the onomastic situation of the Late Hellenistic period has to be interpreted as a sign of resistance towards Rome. With the Empire citizens of the poleis began to receive tria nomina upon the grant of Roman citizenship, and Roman names acquired a new socio-political value. It will be shown that this opened the door to wider Roman influence on local naming practices, so that by the beginning of the 2nd c. AD the onomastic landscape of many poleis had been profoundly transformed.

Keywords:   Roman names, tria nomina, Roman citizenship, Atticus, nomina nuda

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