the need for future intercalations, though in 1582 a further discrepancy had to be met by the institution of a leap year.Roman Money
The normal unit of reckoning was the sesterce (HS), though the denarius, equal to 4 sesterces, was the silver coin most generally in use. Differences of price structure make any transposition into modern currency misleading. Sometimes sums are expressed in Athenian currency. The drachma was about equal to the denarius, the mina (100 drachmae) to HS400, and the talent (60 minae) to HS2,400. The Asiatic cistophorus was worth about 4 drachmae.Roman Names
A Roman bore the name of his clan (gens), the nomen or nomen gentilicium, usually ending in ius, preceded by a personal name (praenomen) and often followed by a cognomen, which might distinguish different families in the same gens: e.g., Marcus Tullius Cicero. The nomen was always, and the cognomen usually, hereditary. Sometimes, as, when a family split into branches, an additional cognomen was taken: e.g., Publius Licinius Crassus Dives. Other additional cognomina were honorific, sometimes taken from a conquered country as Africanus or Numidicus, or adoptive (see below). Women generally had only the one clan name (e.g., Tullia), which they retained after marriage.
Only a few personal names were in use and they are
generally abbreviated as follows: A. = Aulus; Ap(p). = Appius; C. = Gaius; Cn. = Gnaeus; D. = Decimus; K. = Kaeso; L. = Lucius; M. = Marcus; M’. = Manius; N. = Numerius; P. = Publius; Q. = Quintus; Ser. = Servius; Sex. = Sextus; Sp. = Spurius; T. = Titus; Ti. = Tiberius (I omit one or two which do not occur in our text). The use of a praenomen by itself in address or reference is generally a sign of close intimacy, whether real or affected, but in the case of a rare or distinctive praenomen, as Appius and Servius, this is not so.
The practice of adoption, of males at any rate, was very common in Rome. According to traditional practice the adopted son took his new father’s full name and added his old nomen gentilicium with the adjectival termination -ianus instead of -ius: e.g., C. Octavius, adopted by C. Julius Caesar, became C. Julius Caesar Octavianus. But in Cicero’s time the practice had become variable. Sometimes the original name remained in use.
A slave had only one name, and since many slaves came from the East, this was often Greek. If freed, he took his master’s praenomen and nomen, adding his slave name as a cognomen: e.g., Tiro, when freed by M. Tullius Cicero, became M. Tullius Tiro. Occasionally the praenomen might be somebody else’s. Atticus’ slave Dionysius became M. Pomponius Dionysius in compliment to Cicero (instead of Titus).
Much the same applied to Greek or other provincials on gaining Roman citizenship. Such a man retained his former name as a cognomen and acquired the praenomen and nomen of the person to whom he owed the grant: e.g., the philosopher Cratippus became M. Tullius Cratippus after Cicero had got Caesar to give him the citizenship.