Sabinus is an ancient Roman cognomen originally meaning "Sabine"; that is, it indicated origin among the Sabines, an ancient people of Latium. It was used by a branch of the gens Flavia, of the gens Calvisia, and several others, and is by far the most common of the cognomina indicating ethnic origin that were in use during the Republican and Augustan eras. Sabine heritage carried a positive stereotype of traditional values and trustworthiness, and since the cognomen may have been appropriated by some politicians for its aura of uprightness, it should not always be taken as a mark of authentic Sabine origin.
Earliest uses of the cognomen
- Appius Claudius Sabinus Regillensis, consul 495 BC.
- Titus Siccius or Sicinius Sabinus, consul 487 BC.
- Marcus Sextius Sabinus, praetor 202 BC.
- Publius Sabinus (praenomen conjectured), quaestor 99 BC.
- Lucius Titurius Sabinus, legate 75 BC.
- Titus Varius Sabinus, legate 63–62 BC.
- Gaius Calvisius Sabinus, consul 39 BC.
- Titus Vettius Sabinus, moneyer (monetalis) in 70 BC.
- Titus Septimius Sabinus, praetor 28 BC.
- Marcus Minatius Sabinus, proquaestor 46–45 BC
- Publius Catienus Sabinus, praetor after AD 5.
- Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus, consul AD 9
- Alfidius Sabinus, proconsul in the late Augustan period.
Sabinus was a cognomen of a branch of the Flavii. The Titi Flavii Sabini listed following are father, son, grandson and great-grandson. The grandfather of Vespasian was Titus Flavius Petro, a veteran who had served under Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") in the East during the 60s BC. After the civil wars of the 40s, he was pardoned by Julius Caesar and returned to civilian life. He came from Reate in Sabine territory, and his son used the cognomen Sabinus, either choosing to honor his heritage or perhaps returning to a name used earlier by the family. The Flavii Sabini are also the first family known to use the same praenomen (Titus) for brothers.
- Titus Flavius Sabinus (father of Vespasian)
- Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 47)
- Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 69)
- Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 82)
- Quintus Titurius Sabinus, Roman commander killed at the start of the Belgic revolt in 54 BC
- Masurius Sabinus, 1st-century jurist
- Julius Sabinus, Romanised Gaul who led a rebellion against Vespasian
- Gaius Valarius Sabinus, finance minister during the rule of Aurelian
- Sabinus (Ovid), friend of Ovid
- Publius Sabinus, appointed praetorian prefect by Vitellius on his accession, despite then only being a praefectus cohortis
- Sabinus (1st century), Cornelius Sabinus, conspirator against Caligula
- Gary D. Farney, Ethnic Identity and Aristocratic Competition in Republican Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 90ff. online.
- T.P. Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate (1971), pp. 257–258, as cited by Farney, Ethnic Identity and Aristocratic Competition, p. 91, note 14, who adds T. Siccius/Sicinius Sabinus to Wiseman's list.
- Barbara Levick, Vespasian (Routledge, 1999), pp. 4–5 online.