User talk:P Aculeius

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Welcome![edit]

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Welcome to Wikipedia, P Aculeius! I am Fetchcomms and have been editing Wikipedia for quite some time. I just wanted to say hi and welcome you to Wikipedia! If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a message on my talk page or by typing {{helpme}} at the bottom of this page. I love to help new users, so don't be afraid to leave a message! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Oh yeah, I almost forgot, when you post on talk pages you should sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); that should automatically produce your username and the date after your post. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Again, welcome!

 fetchcomms 01:33, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Autoreviewer[edit]

Hi, after seeing a few of your articles at newpage patrol, I think you are ready to have your account flagged as an wp:Autoreviewer. So I've taken the liberty of doing that. ϢereSpielChequers 16:37, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Wow, thanks! I'll do my best to make sure that this decision is justified! P Aculeius (talk) 22:54, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Quintus Pomponius Secundus[edit]

Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Awarded on April 20, 2010 to User:P Aculeius for his excellent work on Quintus Pomponius Secundus. Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 22:58, 20 April 2010 (UTC)


You turned an ancient Roman stub into something informative and sourced. Quintus would be pleased. Thanks for the effort! Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 22:58, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

You are now a Reviewer[edit]

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Hello. Your account has been granted the "reviewer" userright, allowing you to review other users' edits on certain flagged pages. Pending changes, also known as flagged protection, will be commencing a two-month trial at approximately 23:00, 2010 June 15 (UTC).

Reviewers can review edits made by users who are not autoconfirmed to articles placed under flagged protection. Flagged protection is applied to only a small number of articles, similarly to how semi-protection is applied but in a more controlled way for the trial.

When reviewing, edits should be accepted if they are not obvious vandalism or BLP violations, and not clearly problematic in light of the reason given for protection (see Wikipedia:Reviewing process). More detailed documentation and guidelines can be found here.

If you do not want this userright, you may ask any administrator to remove it for you at any time. Courcelles (talk) 00:01, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
i am studying the origin of pomponi Paolo Pomponi (talk) 11:13, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello P Aculeius, I apologize for the delay but i take a my holiday. Is very interesting what you say to me. I would like you to visit Earthology as i am writing it. I am sure that your question it will be.. but what that match with Pomponia GEN? good question. Well the root of this world it seems to be replicated during the history. Please inform me if you are confident to use google earth i can share as well the wiki project into geo browser and show you that Mr. Pompous Pienomos is a man that can teach history in Geo Space. Of course we have a laboratory of artificial intelligence research and it will be my pleasure to cooperate with a Man that have huge knowledge about Pomp Words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pumpu (talkcontribs) 09:24, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Belated greetings for the new year[edit]

Giulio Romano - Victory, Janus, Chronos, and Gaea - WGA09625.jpg Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
May 2013 bring you rewarding experiences and an abundance of everything you most treasure.
Cynwolfe (talk) 17:04, 28 December 2012 (UTC)


Victory, Janus, Chronos, and Gaea (1532–34) by Giulio Romano

Ack! I was leaving new year's greetings the other day, and I had this terrible feeling that in my haste I was skipping someone whose contributions and collegiality I rely on and wanted to acknowledge. You always take the time to make well thought-out comments, and it's much appreciated. Best wishes, Cynwolfe (talk) 03:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Barnstar![edit]

Epic Barnstar Hires.png The Epic Barnstar
I happened across your major expansion of Curiatia (gens) during a recent changes patrol and thought it deserved recognition. Awesome work! Stalwart111 04:58, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oh, and apologies for the unhelpful change at List of Roman gentes - just random link "fixing". You obviously have a good system going! Keep it up! Cheers, Stalwart111 08:20, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Not a problem, considered just rewriting the original when making the new article, but didn't want to throw out the contents, and decided merger would be easier than gradually reforming a relatively short article. P Aculeius (talk) 14:01, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely; understood that when I saw your subsequent work. Cheers, Stalwart111 21:01, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Here's something ridiculous ...[edit]

... to say after your years of awesome contributions to classics on Wikipedia: Welcome!  davidiad { t } 05:01, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Please accept this Barnstar[edit]

Socratic Barnstar Hires.png The Socratic Barnstar
For improving the improvements to Romulus Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 05:47, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Re: Fasti ostienses[edit]

(Thought it would be more useful to you if I left these comments here than in response to your comments on my Talk page.)

First, I'm not entirely clear what your intent with this list is -- or if you are clear about it. What I mean is this. When publishing a primary source like this, there are three ways of presenting it: one is to present it in a scholarly fashion, where the notes & care to present it as accurately as possible makes it difficult for non-specialists to read; a second is to present it as a readable text, glossing over all of the problems & ambiguities in the source; a third is to find some workable mid-point between these two extremes. While my preference is the third choice, none of these are actually bad; one just needs to know which standard to measure your work by.

That said, to my comments.

  • The AUC dating is not part of the original document. IIRC, its appearance in the Fasti Capitolini is unusual for the time, & its use was rare for the time, intended to make some point. Personally, I don't find it useful. (And adds the question, does a year in the AUC style begin on 1 January or 21 April, the traditional date for the foundation of Rome?) However, if you think it should be part of the document, I think it would be best to indicate that it is not part of the original document, with a note, or say putting the material in a different typeface, such as italics.
  • On the other hand, the edition I use, Ladislav Vidman's 2nd edition of the Fasti ostienses, does label the various fragments of the FO & match them to his text. (BTW, I got a copy thru InterLibrary Loan with my public library, & photocopied the book for future use before returning it.) It makes reference to parts of the FO much easier. I don't know if you are interested in adding that information, but I can supply it if you do.
  • The label "Notes" at the top of the last column doesn't appear correct to me to be the best choice. "Notes" indicate commentary from the editor, where the text in the column comes from the FO. I don't know what this part of the FO is called by specialists. If there is no generally accepted name, I would probably call these passages, "addenda" or "chronicle" -- but I'm not entirely happy with that label either.
  • At various parts you add "[missing lines]". I don't see how this helps the reader: obviously there are many missing lines in this inscription.
  • There are some misalignments between the entry in "Magistracy" & the related names, which make it hard to be sure which is which. (That the duoviri of Ostia often is a single person doesn't help.) To create subboxes in the table is a difficult solution to implement, based on my own experience with Wikipedia's table mark-up tags. Would putting the pairs on a single line solve this problem?
  • The problem with restoring passages is that it is, in the end, an opinion. (And sometimes, too the reading of an inscription.) Which why I'm uncomfortable with using the text from EDCS: there is no attribution whose restorations is being used there, or its date. Some scholars do a better job of restoring lost text, some do an excellent job for their time & state of knowledge, but the reading becomes outdated with new discoveries. At least with Vidman's edition -- which is one of the standards scholars use -- I know where to start.
  • Those are general comments. I noticed some specific ones, such that the "addenda" to 44 BC & AD 2 are joined: the "addenda" belongs to the entry for AD 2 starts with the line "tecta est hominu[m plus ...g]". This is clear in Vidman's edition: the text from AD 2 comes from Fragment Ba, where the text for the years 49 thru 44 BC are on Fragment A. (The material belonging to Fragment Bb pertains to AD 6.) However, without knowing just how "scholarly" you intend this to be, I'm not comfortable making this detailed of criticism.

Hope this helps. -- llywrch (talk) 18:45, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Your points are well-taken. My goal might be a little vague: making the contents accessible to those unfamiliar with the CS database, and in a more readable format. Perhaps I need some help narrowing this down. As for the individual points you've made:
  • I realize that AUC dating isn't common in period documents, but it is in modern scholarly works (CIL, PW, Broughton all use it extensively), and I think it adds a little context and flavour, so I'd like to keep it. That said, I agree that there probably should be a note explaining that none of the dates are from the original inscription, but are the result of modern scholarship. Another font style is possible. Considered making the magistracies italic, so perhaps the dates should be bold? Or maybe just a different style of line separating the dates from the rest would be good. Need to think about this and perhaps try some of the options.
  • I would very much appreciate Vidman's text, even though I may have trouble with the Latin! But it would probably be best to have a more authoritative version, as you say, to point to. You could then amend whatever I put in, with your expertise, when you have time.
  • Agreed with the criticism of "notes". Perhaps something like "other text"? Or "other material", or even "other notations", which at least would be clearly part of the original.
  • I put "missing lines" in the "notes" column when there were indications that a considerable amount of the original text was missing between the sections that were preserved or could be guessed; i.e. within the transcribed material for a particular year. While I think it's potentially informative, I don't think it would impair the readability to remove these notes.
  • I thought I had everything aligned correctly after reviewing each section this morning. It might depend on how wide your window is, though. If it's squeezed narrowly, then it's possible for some of the contents to wrap, but at a normal width, or even a narrower-than-normal one, that shouldn't happen. I don't know of a good way around that. I'm not sure that trying to combine entries on lines would help, since they'd still need to line up with the magistracy lines. But it would make the list less readable, IMO. I don't think the issue with the duumvirs is quite how it appears; sometimes only one name is given, presumably because the second one is missing. Adding a blank line for the missing one might alleviate that confusion. But I'm pretty sure none of the magistracies are on the wrong lines now.
  • As I mentioned above, I'll gladly revise this to follow Vidman, at least as closely as I can. If you have any specific suggestions on what needs to be noted, apart from a general statement such as, "except where noted, this transcription follows that found in Vidman," let me know.
  • Please feel free to correct any mistakes you find. I corrected a couple of apparent typographical errors last night, for instance "Rittius" to "Bittius" (I checked, there are only one or two inscriptions for "Rittius", but there are plenty for "Bittius" that match the name of the consul and identify him as such. I also think the 'n' in "Censorius" was omitted by mistake; there don't seem to have been any "Cesorii". Otherwise, I checked the entire table against the individuals in the List of Roman consuls, to see if there was anything obviously wrong. Other than a couple of uncertain praenomina (P. vs. L., for example), there were only a couple of years where the individuals varied from the consuls already given; so at least I feel that the transcription matches up properly.
Thanks for the review. I think it will help improve this table. P Aculeius (talk) 00:40, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Servilia gens[edit]

Hi, thanks for making a clearer family tree. However there are some changes to make:

- The Servilii Gemini appeared with two twin brothers (Geminus means twins in Latin, it was a good omen for Romans because of Romulus & Remus and Castor & Pollux, so it was often mentioned in cognomina). The two twins were Q. Servilius Geminus & P. Servilius Geminus cos. 252, 248 BC, but you also gave the cognomen Geminus to their father, who couldn't have been a twin. He was probably a Caepio.

- Your tree for the Gemini branch ends with two brothers C. Servilius Geminus cos. 203 BC, dict. 202 & M. Servilius Pulex Geminus cos. 202 BC. They nonetheless had descendants but nothing is sure. The main problem is that they seem to have lost their patrician status because some of the latter Servilii were Tribune of the Plebs. However, the genealogical tree is made by relying on coins; Crawford gave a tentative family tree in his catalogue. The moneyers were doubtless heirs of the Servilii Gemini because they all (four of them) honoured Pulex Geminus on their coins (he was famous for his duels).

Here is the tree given by Crawford: http://oi64.tinypic.com/beiygw.jpg

The one I made from there: http://oi65.tinypic.com/315fw2c.jpg

I don't know whether the theoretical tree made by Crawford should be reproduced. What do you think? T8612 (talk) 00:34, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

I think you'll find that when the surname Geminus appears in a family, it tends to be given to one brother, not both. This is normally how the stirpes in Roman families divided; with brothers taking different surnames. We don't actually have any evidence that the ancestors of the family were named either Caepio or Geminus, or even anything to prove that they're the same branch of the family, apart from the fact that both appear in history at the same point in time, and both were descended from a man with the same praenomen. So really having them combined at all is going out on a limb. But the natural inference is that their fathers were the twins, and that the brothers referred to by Cicero (who is the only source for one of them, as far as I know), were sons of the one named Geminus.
Admittedly if they were identical twins, that would give a good reason for Cicero's anecdote. But frankly, you have to assume a lot about what Cicero said to draw that conclusion: they lived a hundred and fifty years before he was born, so he never saw them or met anyone who had; they could have been mistaken for one another without being identical twins; and he might just have chosen the consul Geminus to make a rhetorical point about the name, even if the consul didn't have a twin brother.
I'm also not comfortable assuming descendants for whom there's no evidence. That was the problem with the original tree: miscellaneous Servilii simply plugged into the family to fill holes, without any evidence that they were related. What precisely is the evidence that either of those two Marci Servilii were descended from the Gemini? If we had some evidence that the Vatiae were descended from the Gemini, then maybe there'd be a case. But as far as I know, there isn't any. And in between, there's a generation where for no apparent reason the entire family stopped using any surname. That doesn't make sense; exchanging one surname for another, okay; that's normal. Suddenly deciding not to use one? That's not normal Roman practice.
Depicting an illustrious member of the gens on a coin doesn't make the moneyers his descendant. Lots of Roman coins depict the feats of earlier members of gentes without implying descent, just as many Roman families of the late Republic revived the surnames of branches that had long become extinct. The fact that these later Servilii were plebeians is even more troubling. While all scholars assume that it was possible to go over to the plebeians, actual examples are scarce as hen's teeth; the only one that seems fairly certain is Publius Clodius, and that was highly irregular (and technically illegal).
My main purpose in redrawing the chart, apart from getting a gigantic and labyrinthine table to fit in an article that wasn't designed for anything like that, was to limit it to what could reasonably be assumed based on the available evidence: statements in ancient writers, and filiations from inscriptionary sources, combined with what we do know about normal Roman naming practices. I feel like the table is already veering close to the line between probable fact and speculation, and I'm not comfortable making it even more speculative, or including disjointed branches that don't clearly connect anywhere.
If it sounds like I'm still on the fence, it's because I keep turning it over in my head. What exactly is Crawford's reasoning, and does he have any sounder reasons for his conclusions? How confident is he? Does he usually restrict his stemmae to fact, or does he regularly go out on a limb to connect families that nobody else has? All of these are unknown factors from my point of view. Perhaps you could elucidate? P Aculeius (talk) 01:24, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
I understand your reservations, but we wouldn't be able to draw any family tree with such logic -- even for the Cornelii or the Julii. There is always some level of uncertainty. Perhaps it is possible to add that on the table (sure/unsure?)?
Regarding Geminus, we only know that Publius (cos 252) had this cognomen (and his children/grandchildren). So his brother and father should not be named as such (or a ? could be added after "Geminus?").
Crawford is usually "conservative" when it comes to dubious theories and systematically dismisses them. However I am not convinced by his table, especially the [M. Servilius], son of the cos 203 on the left. I think he reused the biographies found in the Realencyclopadie.
On the coins, I agree with you when the moneyers portrayed mythical ancestors, like Ahala or the earlier kings, but here four moneyers depicted an attested figure (consul in 202). A fifth moneyer, P. Servilius Rullus, did not use this theme, possibly because he wasn't a descendant of Pulex Geminus (I kept his line separated on my tree). There is therefore a good argument for sorting all the four mentioned moneyers as descendants of Pulex Geminus (and linked between each other), but the problem is how? The filiations are not well preserved and they didn't mention their cognomen.
In short, I agree with you and would keep the table as it is, except for the Geminus cognomen. I'll add the moneyers in the "others" section and say that they depict the duels of Pulex Geminus (as well on his page).T8612 (talk) 03:43, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, something you said reminded me that it is possible to show relationships as speculative or possible. I can add dashed or dotted lines. If you could help me find exactly what Crawford says, so that I can cite it properly, I'll try this tomorrow. I'll also adjust the appearance of "Geminus" to make it clear that it's not established. P Aculeius (talk) 03:48, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Since writing the above I've reached another turning point in my thinking. Checking with Broughton, I find that the Gemini were definitely patrician, while the Vatiae were plebeians. I just don't think it's likely that the first of the Vatiae was the grandson of a distinguished patrician like Marcus Servilius Pulex Geminus, and son of a pontifex—although I cannot find a Marcus Servilius who was pontifex in 170 in either the DGRBM or Broughton. Something here is not adding up, which I admit is not proof that it's wrong, but it needs a darned good explanation. P Aculeius (talk) 04:25, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've checked the sources and here it is. The M. Servilius, pontiff in 170 is found in Livy, 43, 11. Due to the prestige of the position, it's unlikely that this man was from a lesser known branch of the gens. His praenomen being the same as Pulex Geminus, it could well be his son, but also the son of C. Servilius Geminus, Pontifex Maximus between 183-180.
Then, the Fasti give the filiation of P. Servilius C.f. M.n. Vatia Isauricus (the M.n. here would be the pontiff above). He minted the same denarius in c.82 as his father C. Servilius, moneyer in 127 BC (both denarii show Pulex Geminus killing an enemy). I don't have an explication for the change of cognomen, perhaps an undocumented adoption.
About the "switching to the Plebs". C. Servilius Geminus, cos 203, was tribune of the plebs in 211 (see Broughton p.373) and consul with Cn. Servilius Caepio in 203 (2 patricians couldn't be consuls at the same time, so he was definitely plebeian). His brother Pulex Geminus was also a plebeian for the same reason (colleague of a patrician Claudius in 202). This change of status made by their father was apparently explained in J. Bleicken, Das Volkstribunat, 1968, but I don't have it. The Realencylopadie gives a lot of details as well, but I don't have the volumes for the Servilii. Here is the full text for the Servilii in Crawford.
Thus I would leave things as it stands for the table, as we don't have all the material, but we can add some remarks in the list.T8612 (talk) 12:36, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Alright, I've rechecked and sure enough, there's the pontifex in Broughton. I don't know how I missed it, as I looked back and forth when I didn't find it at once last night. Just tired, I guess. I also note that the consul of 217 is indicated as a Patrician, but Pulex is consistently identified as a plebeian. There doesn't seem to be any explanation. I happen to have scans of PW, and while I don't read German, Google Translate does a tolerable job with it. I'll add now that I accept PW as an authoritative, if not infallible source, while I have no idea what Crawford's background, qualifications, or reputation are.
I'm satisfied that we've got something authoritative to cite to, and it's enough to convince me. Sorry for being such a stick-in-the-mud about it. PW seems to indicate that No. 59, the father of Gaius and Marcus Geminus, must have been the one to join the plebeians, since both of his sons were, but it seems equally mystified about the reason; Mommsen seems to have thought that Pulex went over to the plebeians, but since both sons were plebeians PW leans the other way. A hint might be from Livy, xxvii. 21, where the right of Servilius to be tribune or aedile was denied by one faction, on the grounds that his father was still alive and in captivity; perhaps there was more to the story, and the two brothers decided they would rather be counted among the plebeians than among patricians who assaulted the honour of their family. But that's just my speculation.
PW includes a chart very much like the one we've been discussing, with one main exception: it's got No. 14, the moneyer C. Servilius M. n., dated to 93 BC, instead of 136, and makes his father, Marcus, a son of the pontifex Marcus of 170, and thus a brother of No. 13-91, the first Vatia. Since Crawford places him much earlier, he has to make his father a son of C. Servilius Geminus, and cousin of the pontifex. PW says that 13 used to be placed a generation earlier, and then indicates that 14 is a little bit newer than 13. I can't really account for the reasoning for its dating without delving into PW's sources, and I don't have the basis for Crawford's placing No. 14 about 136 rather than 93. Until I do, I would tend to follow PW. I'll start work on the chart today. P Aculeius (talk) 16:35, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I think the change happened during the captivity of C. Servilius Pr. before 218. The exact reason is lost to us I'm afraid.

Crawford is the undisputed numismatist of the Roman Republic; he reordered all the moneyers in the correct sequence by comparing coin dies and hoard evidence. Every source using coins before 1974 is likely to be wrong, including the Germans... Crawford's dates are all good. His book is online (not sure it's a legal link).

Here is the list of the moneyers showing a duel of Pulex Germinus on the reverse:

  • Crawford 239, denarius c.136 BC, signed C SERVEILI M F. Number 14 in PW.
  • Crawford 264, denarius 127 BC, signed C SERVEIL. Number 13/91 in PW. Note the M on the shield referring to M. Pulex Geminus. The lituus on the obverse also refers to his augurate in 211 BC.
  • Crawford 327, denarius 100 BC, signed M SERVEILI C F. Number 19 in PW. Brother of Isauricus below, son of the above.
  • Crawford 370, denarius 82-80 BC, signed C SERVEIL. Number 93 in PW. Vatia Isauricus cos 79. Isauricus minted this denarius with two other colleagues who supported Sulla, who were also by coincidence related to the three moneyers of 127 BC (and therefore copied the reverse of the denarii minted in 127, which is for Isauricus identical -- apart from the signature). It has therefore been assumed that Isauricus was the son of the second entry above. Hence, thanks to the filiation in the Fasti, Isauricus C.f. M.n.<==C. Servilius M.f. (Vatia?), moneyer in 127 BC<==M. Servilius, pontiff in 170 BC.
  • Crawford 423, denarius 57 BC, signed C SERVEIL C F. Long after the others, and more difficult to link with the rest of the family. Crawford says he could be the grandson of C. Servilius Pr. in 102. The obverse FLORAL PRIMVS was interpreted by Mommsen as a commemoration of the Servilius who instituted the Ludi Floralia 173, but it is simply the name of the moneyer and the meaning of the obverse is still unknown (full story here). So the Aedile of 173 should be removed...

The problem we have with all these moneyers is that only one is known in other sources (Isauricus). The dates are correct here and since they all refer to Pulex Geminus, they must be related to him. Another Servilius minted a coin at the same time (in 100 BC), but he did not depict a duel and added his cognomen Rullus, as if he wanted to show he wasn't from the same family as the others (Crawford 328). The Servilii Caepiones likewise used different subjects.

Crawford created a second branch with n°14 (Crawford 239) to find a place for him as he has the same name and filiation as n°13/91 (Crawford 264). Since moneyers were normally quite young (mid 20s), there could be another generation between the Pontiff of 170 (possibly born in about 210) and the moneyer of 127 (born in the late 150s), which would give a solution to the homonymous moneyers with the same filiation. However, we can't add this as it's not found in any source.

To conclude, any attempt to draw a table after the Pontiff of 170 is speculative (even him could be a son of either the cos 203 or 202)... You could leave the table as it is now, but say that it was made after the info found in RE, which is likely to be wrong on some points.

Sorry for bringing so much details!T8612 (talk) 19:02, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

I improved the page of Pulex Geminus. I'd like to add a picture of a coin (like this one, from the British Museum, but I don't know how to do it). Could you do it?
I was also wondering how should I write magistracies, in Latin or English (Tribune of the Plebs or tribunus plebis?).T8612 (talk) 00:24, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Nice work. I've done some cleanup and additions, including a picture. Most of the time you need to have copyright to use a picture in Wikipedia, or else a "fair use" rationale, which doesn't seem to apply to Roman coins. Fortunately, Wikimedia Commons has lots of pictures of Roman coins, some of which look nice as article illustrations (the ones with rulers usually don't). And they had one of the coins depicting M. Servilius Pulex Geminus! There are image tutorials for Wikipedia, if you'd like more information, but if you use the edit button on that page, you can see how that one is formatted.
A couple of other tips you probably know, but might have forgotten: references come after punctuation, and it's okay to combine references to a particular source and put them at the end of a sentence. Sometimes they work in the middle of a sentence, but too many of them can be distracting and make the text harder to read and edit. I combined the references to Livy and added a couple of citations for Servilius' consulship and time as magister equitum. Also, you can use the vertical separator, or "pipe", to make links read one thing and say something different; for example "List of Roman moneyers during the Republic" is the article linked to the words triumviri monetales.
As for magistracies, you'll find that varies widely from source to source. I tend to use common English names for familiar terms, as long as they're not anglicised too unrecognizably. But you can use what seems most natural to you. I tend to include common variants (including historical ones) in the first lines of articles, without suggesting too strongly that one is mandatory and another proscribed. People can be very attached to a particular choice of words, and I've found it's pretty pointless to try and convert them or fight over every difference of style.
With respect to tribunus plebis, I used that a lot when I started writing articles, and a lot of other Latin phrases, but nowadays I tend to save that as a variant, and use tribune of the plebs. The capitalized version is optional, but following the example of the older sources, which are very well written, I tend not to capitalize most offices or institutions that don't sound like titles. I capitalize "Pontifex Maximus" and "Flamen Dialis", but not "consul" or "senate". But some people like capitalizing everything, and other people don't think anything should be capitalized. Just be logical, and consistent (at least within articles), and it'll be fine. I'll look over Crawford and see what he has to say about these wascally moneyers. P Aculeius (talk) 02:02, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

gens Postumia[edit]

Hi and thanks for the edits. I'd like to considerably edit the page for the Postumii, as I think there is too much biographical information there and it is difficult to read. The should only be magistracies, or family connections there. Do you agree with that?
Then I will also add refs and make several corrections on the later members (the coins are also misattributed) as I did with the Servilii, but first I want to have a better page.
I was also wondering whether I should links the consuls in the Fasti Capitolini page you have made. T8612 (talk) 18:22, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm glad you like the edits. Improving biographical coverage is an important mission for Wikipedia. I don't recommend linking the consuls in the Fasti Capitolini, however. With the large number of partial names, interpolations, and other epigraphic indicators both in and around the names, links would make the table harder to read. Those consuls who have or are likely to receive articles are already linked in the List of Roman consuls, which Llywrch has been working on steadily for over a year.
Please do not begin excising material from articles about Roman gentes. They provide exactly the type of coverage they were intended to, which is, in most instances, a summary of their career and significance over one to three lines (usually depending on importance). Many of the individuals included do not have their own articles, and are unlikely to receive them, since few additional details are known; excising the biographical summaries for those who do have articles would have the bizarre effect of leaving unimportant individuals with more information than important ones, giving the opposite impression of the one intended. For the most part, only the articles that were created independently and which have not yet been formatted like the main body of articles on Roman gentes need this kind of revision, and there are only a handful of these left, as I've been working on this series off and on since 2009. This article in particular was given a thorough overhaul less than two months ago.
That said, properly sourced information is always welcome if it's within the usual scope of these articles. There are specific factors to consider, however. In most cases, relationships between individuals are only explicitly stated if they are the most important (or only) information known about them, or if there is otherwise a high risk of confusion between them. Except for relatively unimportant individuals, such as those known only from funerary inscriptions, entries should not list all of a person's relatives who happen to be known or mentioned in the same article or elsewhere. Nor is it necessary to provide a full list of offices held at various times by notable persons; explaining their significance is the chief purpose of the entries, and if someone fought the Boii as consul in 132 BC, that's more important to note than that he was an aedile ten years earlier, and an envoy to Capua in 138.
If this sounds too fraught, there are some excellent areas where you could edit to your heart's content, however. There are hundreds of Romans (and Greeks) about whom enough information is known to write an article, but who don't have any, or who have only a one- or two-paragraph stub. Starting or expanding these would be an excellent way to help with Wikipedia's coverage of Classical Greece and Rome. P Aculeius (talk) 20:06, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. Of course, I didn't intend to delete info for people who don't have an article, but almost all of the Postumii have one. Could you give me an article of a gens that you consider "complete", so I can see what is the expected format?
Regarding the Postumii, the main mistake I see is about the three Aulus Postumius Albinus, propraetor in 110, consul in 99, and commander of the Roman fleet in 89. Broughton says they are the same man (cf. I p.544 and II pp.1 & 37). He also has the same number in PW (36). The mistake comes from William Smith; I don't recommend using him from creating articles, he's only good for finding ancient references. But I don't know how to delete or merge articles. Perhaps the new article should mention that Smith is wrong to prevent someone else from creating new articles.
Since Aulus Postumius died in 89, he cannot have adopted Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus (a murderer of Caesar, born between 85-81). The mistake comes from one of Decimus' coins portraying a "A. Postumius cos", but it could have been a portrait of any of the Postumii of this name who was consul (there are five). Crawford suggests he was adopted by the moneyer of 81 (number 372 in Crawford's catalogue), son of another moneyer in 96 (Crawford 335), himself son of the consul of 110 (they put their filiation on their coins).
Is there a place where I can report such mistakes? rather than on your page...
I've added three moneyers on this page and corrected the legends of the coins.T8612 (talk) 22:13, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
The Postumii article is fairly complete as is. You can recognize the ones I've brought up to current standards because all of the sources are now in a bibliography section, with short citations throughout, and (usually) at least one source cited for every entry (and frequently several for the longer ones). The older ones don't have enough citations, as they were written with the idea that only the ones that didn't have articles needed full citations. There are a few left over from the earliest days of the project, which have overlong section headers, and overused italics in the lead. But I usually fix those as I run across them.
Thank you for adding the additional entries. At some point I might go through PW and see if I've missed any. I could probably add a hundred more from inscriptions, but I'd rather not do that in the big articles; it's time-consuming and not really necessary to get a sense of the importance of a gens; I generally do that for gentes that have few individuals known to history. I've refactored the additions slightly, in that in most of these articles Spurius is abbreviated S rather than Sp., but it doesn't matter in articles that don't already contain it. I just want them to be internally consistent.
I'm also carefully avoiding "of the above" in all gens articles; as members are added (usually in strict chronological order, by stirps), adjacent entries can be separated, so if someone's relationship to someone else is mentioned, it's best to name the person and provide additional information (I'm also revising some old entries I made that avoided repeating names, and simply said, "the consul of 110"; these seem unnecessarily opaque to me now, so when I run across them I fix that). However, in most entries it isn't necessary for each entry to say, "Z was the son of Y and the father of Z and A". This is especially so when the individuals have (or should have) their own articles, where their families can be described without worrying about length. As you point out, space is at a premium, which is why I generally try to keep most entries within two lines, although I allow three for complicated ones, and occasionally run over that for the most important individuals (but not much over). The Postumii are one of the most important gentes, and so they tend to have more information than a lot of the others.
When this project is finished, all gens articles will have roughly the same format: a lead, usually one paragraph, followed by sections on the origin (ethnic, legendary, and etymological), a brief description of praenomina used, and a list of the families and cognomina, usually focused on Republican times; in some articles there isn't enough information for all of these, and we just have one paragraph or so.
Then we have a list of members, usually beginning with the filiation template (unless, in rare instance, no filiation is known for any of the individuals). Both men and women are included together, chronologically unless separated into families, which are individually listed in chronological order. Occasionally early and later individuals are listed separately; for instance miscellaneous individuals from the Roman Kingdom and early years of the Republic before the first distinct families of a gens might go at the top, while miscellaneous members from imperial times come at the end. Otherwise the main families come first, or last, usually depending on when they first appear.
After this there are sometimes some footnotes (explanatory notes; these don't go in the references), then a "see also" section linking to the List of Roman gentes, then the references, the bibliography, followed by any applicable categories.
We don't normally delete articles like this on Wikipedia, even when they're merged. But merging individuals should be done carefully, and that means scrutinizing different sources carefully. It's possible that the three individuals you've mentioned are the same, but if they are then certain difficulties need to be resolved, such as differing filiations and the matter of who the adoptive father of Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus was. It's true that there were other Albini who were consuls, but is it likely that he depicted an earlier Albinus on his coins, rather than his adoptive father? This needs closer scrutiny, and I might have time to give it later on.
Actually it's fine with me if you post questions like this on my talk page. I want these pages to be accurate, and sometimes that means some detective work. However, I'd caution you against dismissing good sources just because they contain inaccurate guesses about who people are. I feel quite certain that there are mistakes in PW, Broughton, and Crawford, too. Sometimes the best information we have is still just a best guess based on the available information, and as the available sources and analysis of them evolves, we make revisions based on them. P Aculeius (talk) 23:10, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I'll use the Postumii as reference for formatting then.
Regarding the difference of filiation of the propraetor 110 and the cos 99 (S.f. S.n. then A.f S.n.); the filiations were invented by Smith in order to make his biographies consistent (to fit the bio of one being the son of the other). There is no filiation in the Fasti, or anywhere else to my knowledge. In this case, it's much more logical to have someone who was propraetor, then consul, then killed, than having a consul and an ex-praetor/consul spawning from nowhere after someone who was propraetor. (Moreover the reckless behaviour of the propraetor 110 looks quite the same as the man killed in 89, although it's not a historical argument.) I think Smith tried to fit the filiation on the coin he illustrates (A.f S.n.) with the consul 99 and the propraetor 110, but the coin was minted in 81, way later. PW and Broughton are more likely to be true on this man than Smith. Smith also confused the consul 99 with Spurius Postumius Albinus Magnus, as he says the former was an orator (after Cicero's Brutus).
On Decimus Brutus. He portrayed a A. Postumius who was consul, and since there was no such man in his lifetime, the portrait could refer to any A. Postumius cos, and not his adoptive father. The portrait could even be that of A. Postumius P.f. Albus Regillensis, first consul of the family and victorious at the battle of Lake Regillus, because other moneyers of the gens used references to this battle. Crawford suggested the moneyer of 81 might be his adoptive father simply because he is the last Postumius Albinus recorded before, so it makes sense to think he adopted someone, but it could be an otherwise unknown Postumius Albinus.T8612 (talk) 00:29, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Spent a few hours this evening working on a chart of the Albini, in order to sort out the different individuals. Still need to go over them more carefully tomorrow. I combined a couple that seemed to be the same person, but not in the generation we're discussing. Pretty sure the chart in PW distinguishes between some of those Crawford supposedly lumps together. Now that I have the chart to look at, I might be able to puzzle them out better, with the help of Broughton, Crawford, and PW. Note however that PW contains a significant amount of guesswork too. P Aculeius (talk) 06:44, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Several remarks on the Postumii table: (a) the praetor of 90 is not attested as an Albinus; his only mention is in the Periochae 73 as the praetor L. Postumius. Broughton doesn't count him as an Albinus as well. (b) I doubt that the four men below A. Postumius Albinus Regillensis cos. 464 BC were his children. The dates are too far apart. Moreover only Publius and Marcus have a known filiation; the two others could be the sons of Spurius Postumius cos trib 432. I also think there is an additional Aulus Postumius between the cos 464 and Publius and Marcus. (c) It seems to me impossible for A. Postumius Albinus cos 242 cens 234 to be the father of L. Postumius Albinus cos. 234, 229, as there are only 6 years between their consulships. Imo, there are three separate lines: one with Albinus Magnus, one with the cos 242 cens 234, one with the cos. 234, 229. (d) I think it's more logical to put the two brother Spurius cos 110 and Aulus propraetor 110 as children of Albinus Magnus, because of the father's first name normally given to the eldest son. (e) Does the PW give more info about these remarks?
What's your opinion about people only known from filiations found in the Fasti or on coins? There are several lines of "(grand)father of the consul of", but should I also add one for moneyers' fathers when they put their filiation on coins? For example I added Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Blasio, triumvir monetalis in 112-111 BC. He signed CN BLASIO CN F, so we know for sur that a Cn. Cornelius Blasio existed.T8612 (talk) 21:39, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Lot of questions to deal with here. First off, I'll say that the majority of this chart is taken directly from the one in PW, although the early part is based on filiation and uncertainty. It's also just a starting point in trying to figure out who some of these people are. It could change if there's a better way to make sense of things. Otherwise, I'll try to answer your individual questions seriatim.
a) L. Postumius, praetor in 90 (or perhaps 91) BC is shown on the table, in the position I've put him, and his entry in PW (No. 13) says, "probably an Albinus". This seems like a likely place for him to be. He's likely to be identified with one of the other Postumii known to history, but he doesn't fit really well anywhere else. Chances are several of the miscellaneous Postumii are Albini too.
b) The dates between the four "children" aren't far apart from each other. They span about twenty years in all, and only nine between the latter three. We know from their filiations that the first two are sons of Aulus, the consul of 464. As for the (probably) younger two "children", Aulus and Spurius, they're even further removed in time from Spurius, the consul of 466, and there's no evidence that he or his son had any other descendants. All in all, it seems far more likely that they belong to the family I show them in than anywhere else; and I've indicated them with a dashed line to show uncertainty. I agree that based on age alone they would tend to be grandchildren rather than children of the elder Aulus, but we don't know how old he was when he married, or how old they were when they became consular tribunes. But they group well with Publius and Marcus age-wise, and if Aulus had a son who was censor in 403 (when the censorship had yet to acquire its full prestige, and was still regularly held by relatively young men), why not consular tribunes in 397 and 394? Moreover, if Aulus named his first son after his father, and his second possibly after another relative, then it would make sense for the third to be named after him, and the fourth for his brother. I'm not saying it's got to be so, but it's a reasonable explanation.
c) Eight years, not six, but not an important difference. We know from many other cases, going back to the earliest years of the Republic, that an older man might be followed by his son as consul in a relatively short span of time. What's harder to explain is the father, given as grandson of the rex sacrorum of 275. In theory that's possible, but in order for him to be the father of Lucius, he should be older than is easily explainable. Nevertheless, if Lucius, the rex sacrorum, is the grandfather, there must have been an intervening Aulus, and that's the only way to explain the filiation of Lucius, the consul of 234. I agree that it's problematic, but it's not impossible, and that's how a reliable source reconstructs this family. We don't have any clear alternative.
d) While an eldest son often received his father's praenomen, that clearly wasn't always the case. Drawing conclusions based on nothing more than that is very risky; in this case PW says explicitly that these brothers can't be placed on that basis alone; it says that their exact relationship cannot be established with certainty from known sources. However, in the table they're placed where I put them. Again, I've used dashed lines to indicate the high degree of uncertainty. In each case, I've followed the chart in PW, and when necessary referred to the text; but nothing suggests a different reconstruction thus far, notwithstanding the problematic areas already mentioned. I'll assume this covers e) as well.
It's generally okay to add individuals from filiations. I've done this a little inconsistently; typically at the beginnings of branches, where it was useful to indicate generations earlier than the first individuals mentioned in historical sources; or to tie branches or generations together. Sometimes I'll do it to emphasize the use of a particular praenomen within a family, if it makes a difference, or if a gens has very few known members, so it's clear that more individuals are known. But it's not essential to do it. Bear in mind that at the beginning of a branch of the family, or in imperial times, it's not at all certain that the father had the same cognomen. Sometimes you can infer that, and sometimes you can't. Use common sense, and you should be fine.
I'm still planning to go through the late Postumii in more detail when I have time, as I suspect there's some duplication, including that which you pointed out earlier. It just may take a couple of days to get it done. P Aculeius (talk) 23:27, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Ok. Just a quick thought, since the tables you make come from PW, wouldn't it be also logical to add their number in PW? It would help with all the homonymous men. I also remember that they did this in their own tablesT8612 (talk) 00:27, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
I sometimes add these in the references when I cite to PW, but would prefer not to add too much technical data to the chart. Might put them with the individual members when I have a chance. P Aculeius (talk) 04:17, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Coin images[edit]

Hi, I'd like to add new pictures of coins on Commons, but I'm not sure of the copyright. Here is an auction house that say they allow the use of their photos on informative websites ("Our photographs may be reproduced for any reasonable non-commercial usage such as theses, research papers, dissertations, personal or informative websites, etc. When doing so please credit Roma Numismatics Ltd as the source of the image, and provide a link to our website www.RomaNumismatics.com"). Does it also apply to Wikipedia? If so, what sort of licence should I select on the upload page?T8612 (talk) 18:37, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Both Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons have specific policies about what material, including images, can be uploaded and used. You should find the guidelines you need for Wikipedia at Wikipedia:Non-free content. Wikimedia Commons guidelines are more restrictive, as they do not allow for "fair use" as a rationale for uploading copyrighted material. I'm pretty sure that images of ancient coins have presented some tricky questions in the past. You may need to delve deeper into policy to get a clear answer for new files. P Aculeius (talk) 19:00, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
Damn, I didn't know that fair use was forbidden. It limits what I wanted to do. However the pictures I take of my coins are ok -- unfortunately my collection does not cover all the Republican coinage!
Anyway, I've added two coins to the Caecili Metelli, you may check the page. I've also found a mostly duplicate page of the Caecilia (gens): Caecilius_Metellus. It's kinda useless to have two pages describing more or less the same family, given the importance of the Metelli. Is it possible to merge them?T8612 (talk) 21:44, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
It's possible, but it would take a fair amount of work to do a proper merger. There are actually a lot of pages like this, and I intend to talk to other members of the Wikiproject before I take on a task like that. But my first priority is to finish the gentes, and that will still take a couple of months. P Aculeius (talk) 22:10, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Your reversion of curia[edit]

You could have been a little more careful and edited my changes to Curia instead of reverting them all. The current article is an awful mix of ancient, medieval and modern and confuses several things. There's even a section on the talk page titled "Bold re-write needed". I'm going to split up those edits I made and hopefully we can work together to improve the page. - Eponymous-Archon (talk) 04:12, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Most of your changes seemed to be deletions of whole sections and paragraphs that belonged in the article. I wrote most of the material on the comitia curiata and the senate house myself, when the article was in much worse shape than it is now, and frankly it's the other stuff that could use a lot of work, not the carefully written and documented material on the wards and the senate house. It's pointless to excise all of the clear material with a hatnote sending people to the comitia article, which (at least the last time I checked it) was one of the most dense, convoluted, and impenetrable articles in this project—as were the other articles on Roman comitia. It's even more pointless to cut out the parts about the senate house, since that's what "curia" typically refers to in Roman history, much more so than the original meaning. I reverted the edits because they were cutting out the main parts of the article, and saving the worst bits. The primary topic of the article is, and should be, Roman curiae. They're not just the prelude to the modern use of the word. P Aculeius (talk) 04:28, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

February 2018[edit]

Information icon Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. You appear to be repeatedly reverting or undoing other editors' contributions at Anno Domini. Although this may seem necessary to protect your preferred version of a page, on Wikipedia this is known as "edit warring" and is usually seen as obstructing the normal editing process, as it often creates animosity between editors. Instead of reverting, please discuss the situation with the editor(s) involved and try to reach a consensus on the talk page.

If editors continue to revert to their preferred version they are likely to be blocked from editing Wikipedia. This isn't done to punish an editor, but to prevent the disruption caused by edit warring. In particular, editors should be aware of the three-revert rule, which says that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Edit warring on Wikipedia is not acceptable in any amount, and violating the three-revert rule is very likely to lead to a block. Thank you. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:30, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

  1. This isn't about me undoing someone else's contributions; this is about another editor repeatedly reverting mine, even as I was taking the issue to the talk page. In fact before you posted this warning, I'd already posted two lengthy discussions of the issue on the article's talk page demonstrating clearly that my contributions should not have been reverted and did not need to be reverted again.
  2. You seem quite zealous to issue administrative warnings about the three-revert rule considering that there were only two reverts to begin with. The three-revert rule applies to editors who have reverted the same edit more than three times, and clearly two reverts with talk page discussion is not even close to a violation of the three-revert rule.
  3. Since you yourself reverted what you acknowledge was a good-faith edit, and not vandalism, for the third time, instead of following the policy at WP:VERIFY to try and find reliable sources for information that appeared to be correct and potentially verifiable, you shouldn't be issuing this warning in the first place. Per WP:Administrators and WP:Edit warring, "Administrators should not use their tools to advantage, or in a content dispute (or article) where they are a party..." (emphasis supplied).
  4. I further note that you issued no similar warning to the editor who was actually "undoing other editors' contributions ... to protect [his] preferred version of a page", despite an equal number of reversions, and the fact that I was the one who brought the issue to the talk page, while his edit summaries indicated that he would continue to revert my contributions until after I had satisfied him that the contribution was appropriate, rather than bringing the discussion to the talk page himself.
  5. If you're going to issue warnings despite the apparent conflict of interest, where there has been no violation of policy in the first place, you should at least take the trouble to edit your post so that you're not implying that experienced editors must be new to Wikipedia. Posting a "Welcome to Wikipedia" message on the talk page of an experienced editor is simply patronizing.
  6. Lastly, before you decide to revert my latest attempt to clarify the issue, I've refactored my contribution, simplifying the statement, and I believe phrasing it in a way that leaves it verifiable through the sources I've cited with it. So it's not another reversion, it's a completely new edit attempting to satisfy the demands made repeatedly for more specific citation, when the most appropriate way of dealing with the issue would have been with a "Citation Needed" or "Better Source" tag, instead of multiple deletions of apparently correct information. P Aculeius (talk) 05:19, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
You had not, at the time I reverted, produced a single source that supported your statement that usage had changed. I suggest that tagging as disputed, unsourced, and unimportant would be overkill; but all three tags would be justified. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:29, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Filiations[edit]

Hi, I wanted to know your policy on filiations. Sometimes there are parentheses around, or no filiation at all (even when it is known), or full filiations (even for people that don't appear in the Fasti). Initially, I thought filiations were only added for people whose father (and grandfather) appear in inscriptions, and parentheses used when the filiation has been guessed, either because it is obvious or it appears somewhere in the literature, but it doesn't seem to be the case. What should I do?T8612 (talk) 01:41, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

First, let me say that you're doing excellent work, and learning well as you go considering how new you are to Wikipedia! You're definitely helping the project with your in-depth research, and I hope my edits following your additions to articles (chiefly on Roman gentes) don't scare you off, or give you the impression that you're doing everything wrong! Thanks for the hard work.
As for filiations, they generally appear without parentheses when known to a reasonable certainty, whether from inscriptions, history, or other scholars; parentheses are used only for those that seem rather uncertain in secondary sources such as the DGRBM, Broughton, PW, etc., or where there's some disagreement among the sources and the differing opinions aren't easily resolved (as they would be in the case of a typo, or by comparing the filiations of multiple generations for consistency). But you don't need an inscription to insert a filiation. If X is the son of Y and grandson of Z, then we know his filiation whether or not it can be found in any writing, and if it's fairly certain what it must be, there usually won't be any parentheses.
Bear in mind, however, that since 2009 I've probably written thousands of filiations into these articles, and I'm sure there are instances where I'd make a different choice as to how to write them than I did then. When I run into cases like this now I correct them, usually by checking against Broughton in the case of magistrates, although in some cases I think he may be mistaken. I think it'd be fine to insert them where they're missing, if Crawford has something that doesn't conflict with what's already stated; but perhaps we could collaborate in cases where we find disagreements of identity. No source is going to be right 100% all of the time, and I'd like to look over the evidence in cases where a filiation that was supposedly known may be mistaken. Particularly as it's not always obvious whether a moneyer should or shouldn't be identified with someone else whose career is partly known, and a wrong guess could mess up an otherwise clearly organized family. P Aculeius (talk) 02:30, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
A couple of quick notes, having just done a little work on the Plautii. Good work overall! I trimmed your caption a bit and moved the picture up to the lead, as it seems odd to have a picture later in the article, but not in the lead, where there's a lot of white space due to the table of contents. Most of the trimmed bits are accounted for later in the article. I've tried to avoid the pictures with rulers in them, as they don't look very nice to me, but in this case the main issue was the caption being much bigger than the picture itself!
I saw where you must have been wondering about the filiations. Presumably the question was about the (L. f.) in the first Hypsaeus to appear for decades (to whom you've now added a couple of relatives). I'm not sure which source it came from, or if it's just inferred from the fact that no other possible parents appeared. It can be frustrating not knowing just how many men there were in a family who never held public office, or at least weren't notable enough when they did for someone to mention them in surviving histories! I suspect with more scholarship we could figure out exactly how these individuals are related, but that might veer too close to OR. But the ones from the 120's are probably sons of either the Gaius of 146 or the Lucius of 139ish, although conceivably they might not be brothers.
One thing that bothers me is the Lucius who was a moneyer in the early 190's. I know I said before it was possible for a father and son to hold public office close together in time, or even simultaneously (and I saw an example of municipal duumvirs who were father and son today). But why couldn't he be the same person as the praetor of 189? I don't know whether the age of moneyers was usually rather young, but I seem to recall that failed candidates for high office sometimes obtained lower office before attempting comebacks. And the cursus honorem was certainly less rigid in the decades after the Second Punic War than it was in Cicero's time. Does Crawford say why he thinks the moneyer was the son of the praetor, rather than the same person? I guess I could look that up myself, but I may be a bit busy for the next couple of days.
Lastly, I suggest avoiding generic ref names like ":0" and ":1". Apart from looking like smileys, it's hard to tell what they go with when editing a page. Nothing worse than revising a page with multiple repeated references, when you don't know what "ReferenceA" and "ReferenceB" referred to while you're trying to sort out what references are needed where. What I do is make the ref tag a miniature version of the reference itself, like, "Crawford 244", so if at some point in the future it gets changed/moved, I can figure out what it referred to. This isn't an official policy, but it's convenient and less easily missed than a two- or three-character name. P Aculeius (talk) 03:24, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for the encouragement. I'll try to add the filiations when possible now. I think many people are unknown, or "missing", because they either died early (mortality was much higher) or had a religious "career" (many were flamines, but we only know a handful of them). I suppose fathers chose the latter path for their weaker son(s).
Regarding Hypsaeus, the moneyer of the late 190s, nothing is absolutely certain, but moneyers were normally young at the beginning of their career. They were among the Vigintisexviri, the 26 junior magistrates of each year. So a praetor in his late 30s (at least) could have hardly been a vigintisexvir a few years before. It was also not uncommon to see a father consul or praetor, and his son moneyer the same year or the year before (there is even a case of a moneyer writing "my dad is the consul" on his denarii!); I think it allowed the family to share the cost of the electoral campaign to have several of its members to run together, and the coins could have also been used as electoral propaganda (since they bore their name). There were however instances of senior magistrates minting coins, usually during wars, but always away from Rome (and in this case Hypsaeus minted in Rome), or by quaestors or aediles, but then they mentioned their magistracy on the coins.
I think in this case, the moneyer fits well with the other known members, 1. the praetor of 189, 2. the moneyer of c.190, 3. the praetor of 139.
Regarding the moneyer who signed PLVTI. Crawford doesn't detail his reasoning much, but he notes the deliberate archaism of the L, which looks like an half-arrow (the lower bar is pointing up). So he may have thought that Plutius was an archaic spelling of the name (and that the moneyer tried to look "old"), since Plutius is unknown in Roman history and that there were plenty of Plautii at the same time. Münzer and Mommsen disagreed though, and thought he was the only known member of the gens Plutia (I don't have the PW for Plautius). Perhaps it can be mentioned on his entry.T8612 (talk) 13:51, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
I'll take a look at Crawford later, but it makes sense. Remember, though, at least some of the minor magistrates will have been older men who had failed to achieve higher office, so while this one may be a grown son, the timing itself only makes it probable, not certain. As soon as I saw the unusual spelling Plutius, I looked for inscriptions, and found a fair number of them, but none that immediately stood out as Plautii by another spelling. This may justify further investigation, but I think the better practice for now is to footnote it, rather than indicate it as a third orthography, particularly as there does seem to have been a gens Plutia, which was probably distinct. The two spellings could have become confused if that's the case, although I'm sure that the moneyer knew which gens he belonged to! P Aculeius (talk) 23:00, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've finished with the Aurelii Cottae and surprisingly almost all the family members fit together, except the first two Marcus. The PW adds another Marcus Aurelius Cotta, consul in AD 20, because the agnomen Maximus Messalinus was not found in the literature after the names of the consul, but I don't think it's possible for the consul of AD 20 to have been the son of Messalinus (as they say). Most of the description pages of the individual members on Wiki contain mistakes though. I think it would be great if you could make a tree as you did with the Postumii Albini, as we have the almost complete family here.
Regarding the Lucius Plautius Plancus entry you corrected, I found the name Gnaeus here (in the title). I now suppose it's a typo, since his name is not shown in the Latin text. There was no Gnaeus Munatius Plancus praetor in 43. He is the same as Lucius Plautius Plancus, formerly Gaius Munatius Plancus.
I don't know what you mean by "avoiding generic ref names like ":0" and ":1""?T8612 (talk) 14:14, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
According to the DGRBM, Gnaeus Munatius Plancus, the praetor of 43, and Lucius Plautius Plancus, born Gaius Munatius Plancus, proscribed by the triumvirs, were brothers. Broughton has Lucius Plotius Plancus as praetor in 43. I'm trying to unravel this right now. So far all of Cicero's letters simply mention the brother of Lucius Munatius Plancus, or the praetor Plancus, without clearer identification, but Shuckburgh identifies the praetor as Gnaeus Munatius Plancus, not Lucius Plotius Plancus. I do not see where he is named in Appian; there is a vague allusion to people who were proscribed, but I could not find the word "Plancus". Cassius Dio mentions that Lucius had a brother who was proscribed, but does not name him. Valerius Maximus is available only in Latin; I can see the proscribed man is called Gaius Plotius Plancus, brother of the Munatius Plancus who was consul and censor; he does not say that Gaius had ever been praetor, as far as I can tell. Pliny calls him Lucius Plotius, notes that he was the brother of the Lucius Plancus who was twice consul and censor, but does not call him praetor; the notes call him Lucius Plotius or Plautius Plancus, but add nothing further to his identification. Not finding anything relevant in Horace. Velleius Paterculus says that Lucius the consul caused his brother's proscription, but does not name him. Cannot locate anything about him in Solinus.
PW seems to assume that Gnaeus and Gaius were the same person, but the statement that Lucius Plautius Plancus was praetor designate seems to be based on Cicero's letter, which does not clearly name him, but has been identified with Gnaeus. Slowly going through the rest of the article with Google Translate, but it's putting me to sleep. Right now it looks to me like they might be the same person, but I'm not sure how solid the case is. Could amend the articles to say so later on.
As for ref names, try to make them something that could be recognized or identified if the original reference to which they refer were deleted. ":0" isn't very useful as a ref name, because nobody can figure out what it refers to if they can't see the original reference. "Crawford 214" would tell people it's a reference to Crawford, and even which part, if there are multiple references. It's not a substitute for a short citation, but it's a hint as to what the short citation refers to. When you get used to editing sections of articles with generic ref names, you'll see how frustrating it is when you have various ref names occurring in a section, and no idea what source they refer to. P Aculeius (talk) 16:27, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I just found what was the problem with ref names. In fact, the visual editor, which I use, doesn't tell me I create ref with :0 or :1 when making multiple citations. I have to switch to the source editor to correct them.
Regarding Plautius Plancus, he was also moneyer in 47 BC and wrote L PLAVTIVS PLANCVS on his coins, so the correct spelling is Plautius. I also found little info in ancient sources, but followed Broughton; his assumption is the most logical. You have an English version of Valerius Maximus here, although the formatting is a bit odd.
About pictures and copyright, some pictures of ancient coins on Wikimedia come from the famous auction house CNG (example here). I was wondering whether the free licence found in the description applied to all the coins on their website, or just those already on Wikimedia? I can make a subject in the talk page of the WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome, perhaps someone knows about it?T8612 (talk) 19:43, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Ah, must be a visual editor thing. Having gotten used to the source editor long before there was a visual editor, I had no idea. Either way, best practice is to do as you just did. Although the visual editor still added a colon at the beginning! Ah, well. When you edited Aelia gens earlier, you saw some examples of "ReferenceA" and "ReferenceB" that were automatically generated to avoid duplicate citations. Coming back to these years later, I find myself having to replace them with more useful citations, often because I wasn't specific enough with the original source.
You'll also notice that a lot of the entries aren't cited at all; that was because I thought that linked individuals should be sourced at their articles. Only later did I begin citing them all or almost all meticulously; I started at the letter A, and apart from a handful of important gentes I worked on early in the project, I got more sophisticated and better at sourcing as I went along, with considerable improvements in formatting at different stages. Now I go back and revise older articles to current standards when I encounter them. Adding the full citations will take longer, but at least I can eliminate some of the oldest formatting issues quickly and get the articles to the style they should be in.
I'll point out that the notion of "correct" spelling is somewhat modern. Strictly speaking it's not "incorrect" to use Plotius instead of Plautius. It may not be the usual or preferable form for one reason or another, but a writer was free to use whichever one he wanted, and we shouldn't assume that a particular choice was a mistake in cases where it could have been deliberate (there certainly are instances of mistakes, but this isn't one). The name is found both ways, and it's probably preferable to use the traditional spelling for consistency, but it's also fine to note that an individual is often or usually found with a different spelling. I would, however, ignore mistakes or extremely rare spellings unless there's an important reason for including them, or at least relegate them to footnotes. Common alternatives can go at the head of the lead, but others could give a false impression in some cases, or clutter up the lead.
I don't know the answer to your question about the coins, but unless you find a specific statement from CNG, you shouldn't assume that any of their pictures are subject to the same license unless so designated in Wikimedia Commons. Maybe there is such a statement on their website, but I don't know. P Aculeius (talk) 21:40, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

gens Annia[edit]

Hi, there is some problem with this gens, as the cognomen Luscus is only found for the Consul of 153. I think this gens didn't use a fixed cognomen, like the Antonii, who only used personal agnomina. The only two known cognomina for them are Luscus and Rufus, noting physical features so perhaps not used by the other members of the gens. If you look in Broughton II, p.487, he gives the names of three senators with different cognomina, whereas they are obviously cousins.

There is also a problem with the Anni Bellieni, as the only Annius with this cognomen is mentioned in Cicero, Pro Fonteio, and it seems to be a mistake: Bellienus is apparently another name after that of Gaius Annius. So Bellienus should be a different gens. Some large cleanup is apparently needed...

As for the coins, CNG published their coins under Creative Commons license, so I can upload coins from them.T8612 (talk) 16:48, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't see any authority for Luscus as a personal surname. Both PW and Broughton apply it to the ambassador of 172 BC, who seems likely to be the father of the consul of 153. If the consul of 128 was his son—which seems to be the case—then he's part of this family, and presumably inherited the cognomen Luscus even if he became known primarily as Rufus, perhaps to distinguish him from his father. His son, Gaius, while not given a surname in either PW or Broughton, was evidently the son of Rufus, and grandson of Luscus, the consul of 153, according to his filiation in PW. This is how Drumann draws out the stemma, and he applies Luscus to all of them through No. 6 in the text (although omitted in the table), with the surname dying out through the lack of a (known) male line after this generation. Since it was quite possible in Republican times to drop or ignore a cognomen except when needed, I would follow Drumann in the absence of anything to prove that Luscus did not apply to the entire family.
As for Bellienus as a cognomen of the Annii, Broughton indicates uncertainty as to the name of the praetor in 107, and the legate of Fonteius, whom he lists under 74 BC, he calls "Gaius Annius Bellienus". Naturally the latter two aren't in Broughton. Sallust calls the praetor of 107 "Lucius Bellienus", while Broughton gave the uncertain "Gaius". There does seem to have been a gens by this name, but in inscriptions it is nearly always Billienus, not Bellienus. There aren't a lot of inscriptions, but only one of them is under Bellienus. At this stage I'm inclined to think that most of these entries should go under a separate gens, but not quite certain. Checking PW I think there's enough ground, but would like to think about it some more. P Aculeius (talk) 18:28, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
I just found the cognomen Luscus in Livy for the ambassador of 172. The cognomen of the consul of 153 is found in Cicero's Brutus (79), but he could have made a mistake given he wrote it a century after. The cognomen is missing in the Fasti Capitolini -- idem for Rufus. In the Chronography of 354 another cognomen is given for the Consul of 153: Fusus (it is also mentioned by Broughton). I'm not totally convinced here...T8612 (talk) 19:30, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Sorry about the reversion earlier, needed to finish one set of edits, and thought Drumann supported the existing filiations. Checked once the edits were saved, and saw you were right. Fixed them. P Aculeius (talk) 20:30, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
I've just added three new senators on this page. Can you check the sources? I'm not sure about how to present them. It's from Greek inscriptions found here and here. Interestingly, they don't give their cognomen, just the tribe and filiation. There are loads of new names to add from there. Tell me also how you present the tribe.T8612 (talk) 21:05, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Very resourceful. I've "fixed" the sources with the full bibliographic information and placed them in the bibliography. Bear in mind, cognomina were regarded as somewhat informal names, so it shouldn't be that surprising to see them omitted from official documents this early. These articles don't include tribes; for most individuals that information isn't available, when it is it's usually for the more obscure members, and it's one more detail to clutter up the article with explanations. I did mention it for the second Gaius Annius, because that's the most obvious way he can be distinguished from the one of 135. In general, it would be more appropriate to add that level of detail to individual biographical articles. It still seems possible, given the absence of cognomina in the list, that some of these senators are other individuals on this page. But since there's not much evidence, I think it's fine to keep them where they are for now. P Aculeius (talk) 22:37, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll add some of the names found in these sources now. For other gentes, it's possible to identify them with existing members. Some senators don't have their gens listed on Wiki, you still have some work to do. :)T8612 (talk) 23:04, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

That was quick!...[edit]

...and very nicely done. Haploidavey (talk) 16:29, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Thanks! I was just curious to see if I could find an obvious connection from the sources (if not something that justified the original edit, something that might explain why it got there, other than pure vandalism. When I finally managed to *find* all four citations in English (there was a typo in one of them, and the English version of Cicero's collected letters is hard to search), I realized it wouldn't take long to write up everything known about Cyrus. And I needed to remove the "Vettius" anyway, since it applied to the freedman (which doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't Cyrus' nomen; we don't know what it was, or if he had one, but then none of the sources said he was Greek, either; we're just assuming that). The original article was a very slightly rephrased/augmented version of a short article in DGRBM, which is fine, I suppose, except that it wasn't attributed. And a couple of details were added to it for which there was no authority. So I cut it back to what is actually said, which really isn't that much, but placed it in context. Cicero's explanation of Cyrus' excuse for the narrow windows was rather amusing! Anyway, quick article, and now I'll be patrolling it. P Aculeius (talk) 21:43, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
His self-justification makes for delightful reading. Seriously, you've turned a barely informative, dry little stub into a pleasant and appealing article. That counts for a lot, in my book. And yes, I quite forgot to check the worthy old DGRBM. Haploidavey (talk) 14:20, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

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New gentes[edit]

Hi, can I add new gentes on the current list (just adding the names without creating a page), or do you prefer if I write them here? So far the names I've found, notably in the SC De Agro Pergameno, are: Serria, Munia, Valgia, Crepusia, Tremelia, Statiliena, Pandosinia.

By the way, it seems that this SC dates from 101, not 129 BC. The earlier date was initially supported by Mommsen, Syme, Broughton, etc. but I found that nowadays academics follow Mattingly who argued for the more recent date (free here). There is a summary of the debate here. It's true that Mattingly's theory "fits" much better with the names we have. Apparently Ernst Badian (whose articles are almost impossible to find outside paywalls) further proved this point with Gaius Coelius Caldus, cos 94, n°10 in the list of senators; he was a novus homo from an equestrian family, so his father couldn't be in the list as a high-ranked senator (it is the future consul in the list); see here. So I made a note explaining this debate on this article; please tell me whether that's fine. Another solution would be to make an article for the SC De Agro Pergameno and explain in lengths the academic debate.T8612 (talk) 23:05, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

I would prefer if you left them here for now, as I need to look through them and figure out what approach to take. If you redlink them, someone might start an article that I could miss while working on the others, and I'd prefer to know that all of the existing articles are either my work, or have been brought up to the current standards (I'll work on my older articles eventually, but right now I want to finish the R's and start on the S's, and work towards the end of the alphabet).
As far as the senatus consultum, I think that a stand-alone article would be the best solution. It could be linked in articles that mention it as a source, similarly to how I've been linking inscriptions and the Fasti in recent articles. However, I would hesitate to change all of the dates from 129 to 101. Opinion is probably still divided, and 101 may just be the current favourite. You may be able to avoid giving the year in entries, and just link to the article explaining the uncertainty of the dating. i.e. "Gaius Flobbulius C. f. L. n. Vespillo, a senator mentioned in the Senatus Consultum de Agro Pergameno", and just place him in the appropriate spot chronologically. I'll look over the debate later this evening, if I get a chance; maybe it'll change my mind. P Aculeius (talk) 00:45, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
New gens: Varinia (cf. Praetor in 73 defeated by Spartacus).
I've also spotted a mistake on the Licinia (gens) page. The Sextus Licinius "a senator, whom Gaius Marius ordered to be hurled from..." etc. is said to be a "Lucilius" by Broughton, and also tribune of the plebs (cf. vol. 2 p. 47 and note 1 p. 52). He is duplicated on the Lucilia page. Would you leave a mention on the Licinia page to avoid any future re-addition?T8612 (talk) 00:20, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
New gentes: Cascellia, Prifernia, Saufeia, Voluscia.T8612 (talk) 00:45, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, will try to get to all of these eventually. Want to finish the R's before I go back to pick up older ones; that may take a few more days. P Aculeius (talk) 13:59, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
New gens: Albania (cf. CIL_1².26).
NB: I don't make all those spaces you revert. I think it's the visual editor that automatically creates them when I change entries in a bullet-list. It doesn't even tell me when I "review my changes". It doesn't seem to change the finished aspect though, only the code.T8612 (talk) 00:31, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, alright, I was beginning to wonder if they were automatic, since I couldn't see why you'd want to add spaces there. Anyway, they weren't that hard to fix. I delete them since they're not shown in examples, not needed to interpret things, and of course anything that makes pages more confusing to edit is a bother. Anyway, thanks for letting me know! P Aculeius (talk) 10:56, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
New gens: Fabrinia (very small, not in Smith, 1 moneyer (Crawford p.280) and an inscription -- with stemma here, in Italian).T8612 (talk) 02:20, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
New gens: Sentia (Syme wrote an article on them, with a stemma) T8612 (talk) 23:16, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
You can use Syme's article linked above to expand on the Sentii.T8612 (talk) 17:43, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
Roger. Partway through the S's now, should pick up all the ones from 'S' on as I move toward the end of the alphabet, then pick up the others listed above. P Aculeius (talk) 02:09, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Follow-up on WP Women Writers template update[edit]

Hi - can you please add your support (or objection) here? Template talk:WikiProject Women writers Thank you. Hmlarson (talk) 18:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

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Saw this, thought of you[edit]

Thought you might be interested. Or entertained. The Scientific Case for Two Spaces After a Period -- llywrch (talk) 00:05, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

Intrigued, perhaps. Pleased to think that some of the one-spacers have open minds, perhaps? Or concerned that the only thing that may be written about the study is how small and unconvincing it is? Well, at least something is written about it. You can indeed find interesting articles in The Atlantic. Shame I don't spend enough time reading magazines to justify subscribing, but I don't even get National Geographic read, and that's my one essential! Thank you for the share, it's nice to be thought of. P Aculeius (talk) 02:45, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

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Email received?[edit]

Shortly after I made some edits to Crepereia (gens), I emailed you the article I used. I thought it might interest you since it listed many members of that family not yet listed in the article. Did you receive it? -- llywrch (talk) 18:47, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Sorry, I wasn't checking at the time. Looks like it went straight to my spam box, but I found it. Thank you! I've added you to my contacts list, so that shouldn't happen again. I'll have a look in the next few days. I didn't add all the Crepereii from inscriptions since there were so many of them, and the article already seemed sound without them. But there's no reason why I can't. I simply prefer to work with persons from history unless there aren't enough to make a decent article without adding those from inscriptions. In some cases I might do it because inscriptions clear up family relationships or indicate the use of unusual praenomina, but it's time consuming, only a small percentage of inscriptions are securely dated, and it'd be a nightmare with more common names, which is why I tend to use inscriptions mainly for more obscure families that don't show up much in history. But anyone worth talking about in a scholarly article is fair game to add! I'll have a read of this article in a bit, so thanks again! P Aculeius (talk) 18:59, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

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Gens Manlia[edit]

Hi, can you review the changes I made to this gens? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manlia_(gens)

There is something that puzzled me: there is a Gnaeus Manlius Cn. f. P. n. Vulso, consul in 474 BC, who has a page duplicating that of Aulus, the Decemvir of 451, despite being the same man. On the gens page it's written "He is frequently identified with Aulus, the decemvir, although this would mean that his son, Capitolinus, was consular tribune seventy-seven years after his father's consulate." However, the consulship probably did not work in the 5th century as in the 1st century, so there wasn't an age limit. The "Gnaeus" mentioned here, was the son of "Cincinnatus" (whose name is also disputed), consul just six years before him in 480. Therefore Aulus/Gnaeus was young when consul, perhaps 30yo. Moreover, Livy describes him as an "aged man" when appointed Decemvir in 451. The sources and filiations match (except for the praenomen). What to do with the second article (on Gnaeus) then? I left them on the gens page so you can see.

Would you also improve the rating of the page (it's marked as "start" class, whilst it's more than that now)?T8612 (talk) 17:37, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

I haven't reviewed it yet because the changes from the last set of edits required too much time and effort to go through. However, I would strongly recommend against reorganizing the articles without discussion. I went over and over the evidence with respect to the individuals you mention last time I worked on this, and the decision of how to present them was based on that review. I'll comment more when I've had time to deal with this, but based on the amount of editing it could take all day to sort through, and I don't always have that amount of time to devote to this project at once. P Aculeius (talk) 00:25, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
Alright, I think I've got everything where I'm satisfied with it for the time being. I split the Capitolini back off, as they certainly give the impression of a distinct family, even if they're a branch of the Vulsones. That's how these articles are normally done when a distinct family with its own cognomen can be identified, although I usually don't make a subsection unless there are at least three members. I left the Cincinnati in with the Vulsones, but reworked the issues into a footnote. I also used a footnote to go into some detail with the arguments over whether the consul of 474 BC and the decemvir of 451 could have been the same person. I note that none of the historians say they were; and Livy doesn't say that the decemvir was aged, or a consular. He says he was chosen because he'd been one of the ambassadors sent into Greece to study Greek law. The "elderly" decemvirs were the four chosen to round out the figure to ten; i.e. Veturius, Julius, Curiatius, and Romilius.
Dionysius is the only source that calls the consul of 474 "Aulus", and the only one who says that the decemvir had been consul, but he also says that he had been consul the previous year (452). This passage looks confused to me, perhaps indicating that we should follow Livy when he says that the consuls of 451 did take office, but then resigned in favour of the decemvirs, and that Sestius was chosen because of his actions as consul the year before. Dionysius may have gotten himself in a pickle when he wrote that Claudius and Genucius were only consuls designate, because then the consul before the last ones mentioned would be from 453, when Curiatius, and not Manlius, had been consul. As for the chronological argument, I agree that a consul in 474 might have been a few years younger than in later times, although 30 seems like a stretch, at least for someone other than a general with a charmed life.
But even if we suppose he was 30, his eldest son was probably born by or around then, not fifteen years or more later, and that would make the son rather elderly to be named consular tribune for the first time in 405, and twice more after that, to 397. Even fifteen years younger seems unlikely. Certainly possible, but the better explanation seems to be that the consul of 474 was his grandfather, not his father. However, with the note I hope that both views will be properly represented. P Aculeius (talk) 05:28, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. The "old age" remark comes from Broughton actually, but it indeed seems that Manlius isn't one of these elderly decemvirs.
Regarding the surname Imperiosus, would you really translate it by "imperious"? Livy (vii.4) really says that he earned it for his cruelty; imperious sounds a bit tame in comparison:
"But what men most loathed was his brutal temperament, and the epithet "Imperiosus " (masterful) which had been fastened on him from his unblushing cruelty, an epithet utterly repugnant to a free State. The effects of his cruelty were felt quite as much by his nearest kindred, by his own blood, as by strangers."T8612 (talk) 18:22, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
It's better than any other translation. It certainly doesn't mean "cruel". It's derived from impero, "I order", the same root as imperator ("one who orders", or slightly better, "one who commands"), the title by which victorious soldiers would salute their commanders, and which was later co-opted by Augustus and his successors, giving us imperium, "emperor", and "empire". I suppose the simplest translation would be "bossy", but we have a better and more precise word in English, and that's "imperious". That's where the word comes from; it's borrowed directly from imperiosus. You can be imperious without being cruel. Torquatus and his successors obtained the surname Imperiosus in part because of their harshness (the DGRBM, under "Torquatus", No. 1, says that his father obtained it because of his "haughtiness"), but more specifically because they demanded obedience to a degree in excess of that typically ascribed to commanders. And there's at least some evidence that the sobriquet was bestowed on others from time to time, if not usually recognized as a cognomen. It's the most literal translation of imperiosus, while cruel isn't one of the alternatives; and alternatives such as masterful or commanding don't fit as well in this instance. P Aculeius (talk) 20:02, 3 June 2018 (UTC)