Artorius

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Artorius was the family name (nomen) of a Roman gens (the gens Artoria) of obscure and contested etymology.

Several Italian scholars consider the name to be of Messapic origin, connecting it with the Messapic gens name Artorres, likely a derivative of the Messapic name Artas (with a Messapic possessive suffix -or-), of uncertain meaning.[1][2][3]

An alternate etymology derives it from the praenomen Artor, which may be of Etruscan origin (perhaps a Latinization of the Etruscan name Arnthur).[4][5][6]

Some have sought a purely Latin derivation, translating the name as "plowman".[7] Such an etymology seems unlikely as the Latin word for "plowman" was arātor, not *artor (in fact a gentilic name potentially derived from arātor, Arātrius [also an epithet of Jupiter], is attested in inscriptions from Aquileia, Altinum, Pola, and Montefalcone; compare, too the word arātōrius "fit for ploughing", used of oxen and fields).

Its members were apparently natives of Campania, and other branches appeared in Dalmatia, Africa, Gallia Narbonensis, and Aegyptus. Marcus, Gaius, and Lucius were the three praenomen used by the Artorii males. Artorius is one suggested source of the name Arthur.[7]

Members included:

  • Artoria Cleopatra, a woman in Egypt believed to have lived during the time of triumvir Mark Antony.
  • Artoria Flaccilla, accompanied her husband Decimus Novius Priscus in 65 into exile. Priscus was disgraced and exiled by the Roman Emperor Nero. Priscus' friend was Nero's tutor Seneca, who participated in the failed revolt of 65. Due to Priscus' friendship with Seneca, Nero exiled him.
  • Marcus Artorius, a freedman scribe living in Pompeii at the time of the eruption.
  • Lucius Artorius Castus, a 2nd-3rd century general sometimes connected with a historical basis for King Arthur.[7]

Artorius is also a long poem by John Heath-Stubbs (1972), detailing his view of the Arthurian legend.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marcella Chelotti, Vincenza Morizio, Marina Silvestrini, Le epigrafi romane di Canosa, Volume 1, Edipuglia srl, 1990, pg. 261, 264.
  2. ^ Ciro Santoro, "Per la nuova iscrizione messapica di Oria", La Zagaglia, A. VII, n. 27, 1965, P. 271-293.
  3. ^ Ciro Santoro, La Nuova Epigrafe Messapica "IM 4. 16, I-III" di Ostuni ed nomi in Art-, Ricerche e Studi, Volume 12, 1979, p. 45-60
  4. ^ Wilhelm Schulze, Zur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen (Volume 5, Issue 2 of Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Göttingen Philologisch-Historische Klasse), 2nd Edition, Weidmann, 1966, p. 72, pp. 333-339
  5. ^ Herbig, Gust., "Falisca", Glotta, Band II, Göttingen, 1910, p. 98
  6. ^ Olli Salomies: Die römischen Vornamen. Studien zur römischen Namenge­bung. Hel­sinki 1987, p. 68
  7. ^ a b c Green, Thomas. "The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur." PDF version

External links[edit]

Wilhelm Schulze, Zur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen (Volume 5, Issue 2 of Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Göttingen Philologisch-Historische Klasse) [1]