by Max Barry

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Aurean Names

The official and native language of all provinces of Pax Aurea is Latin. Despite the multiculturality of the nation, Aurean names tend to be predominantly Latin as well.

During the Roman era, Aureans followed the traditional Roman naming conventions. Names consisted of three (sometimes four) parts. These were:

  • praenomen: first name (Gaius)

  • nomen: house or "clan" name (Iulius)

  • cognomen: family name within the house (Caesar)

  • agnomen: epiteth, nickname, honorific (Africanus)

Gradually during the Early Middle Ages (c. 500 - 800 AD), this naming tradition started to fade into obscurity among the average citizens. It became more commonplace to have but two names: praenomen and cognomen. Many clan names became family names. To the commoners, it wasn't rare to have but a praenomen and an agnomen depicting birthplace or lineage ("son of Brutus", "of Pacifica", etc.). In Patrician families, however, three-part names were given as before.

Today, most Aureans have a two-part name -- first name and last name. Occasionally, three-part names with praenomen, nomen, and cognomen are still seen. This is usually a sign of a noteworthy pedigree. Some families claim to trace their bloodlines back to the Roman era. Three-part names are sometimes considered a bit snobbish. On the other hand, many decide to adopt them purely for historical reasons, as a nod to the Roman heritage and culture of the nation.

The cognomen, or last name, nearly always appears in masculine form (therefore: "Julia Glorius"), although in some rare cases, Aureans have molded their family names according to their genders ("Gaius Punicus" and "Gaia Punica"). Another somewhat rare but not unheard of instance are the neuter names ending with an -um ("Nina Thescium"). These are a simplified leftover from the archaic "of this-and-that place" names. (Hence "Nina de Thescium" becomes "Nina Thescium".)