Titus (praenomen)

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This page is about the Latin praenomen. For the Roman emperor, see Titus Flavius Vespasianus. For a list of other persons with this name, see Titus (disambiguation).

Titus (/ˈttəs/; Latin pronunciation: [ˈtɪtʊs])[1] is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, and was one of the most common names throughout Roman history. It was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gens Titia. The feminine form is Tita or Titia. It was regularly abbreviated T.[2][3]

For most of Roman history, Titus was the sixth most common praenomen, following Lucius, Gaius, Marcus, Publius, and Quintus. While not used by every family, it was widely used by all social classes and was a favorite of many families. The name survived the Roman Empire, and has continued to be used, in various forms, into modern times.[4][5]

Origin and meaning[edit]

The original meaning of Titus is obscure, but it was widely believed to have come to Rome during the time of Romulus, the founder and first king of Rome. Early in his reign, a war with the Sabines ended with the migration of a great many Sabine families to Rome, and Titus Tatius, king of the Sabine town of Cures, becoming co-regent with Romulus. Titus would thus have been an Oscan praenomen introduced to Rome, although it was later regarded as Latin. This explanation is accepted by Chase.[6][7][8]

The feminine form of Titus should be Tita, and this form is found in older inscriptions. However, the more common form, even in the earliest period, was Titia, with an "i". The same pattern was followed by the praenomen Marca or Marcia.[9]

The name was borrowed by the Etruscans, who used the forms Tite (masculine) and Titi or Titia (feminine).[10][11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis & Short indicate that the i in Titus is short in Latin. From A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short (1879).
  2. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft
  3. ^ Mika Kajava, Roman Female Praenomina: Studies in the Nomenclature of Roman Women (1994)
  4. ^ Dictionary of Greek & Roman Biography & Mythology
  5. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft
  6. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, book I
  7. ^ De Praenominibus (epitome by Julius Paris)
  8. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897)
  9. ^ Mika Kajava, Roman Female Praenomina: Studies in the Nomenclature of Roman Women (1994)
  10. ^ Jacques Heurgon, Daily Life of the Etruscans (1964)
  11. ^ Mika Kajava, Roman Female Praenomina: Studies in the Nomenclature of Roman Women (1994)