Addressing someone by their nomen - completely unheard of?

Akela

sum
Staff member
I am writing a novel with a character named Marcus Valerius Corvus, born in the times of the Roman Republic, .

For our purposes, he is practically immortal. So, for a century or two, he goes by his praenomen or its local derivatives (Marcus, then Marc, Mark, Markian, etc), then for a century or two by his cognomen (Corvus, then Korv, Korvin, etc), then by nomen (Valerius, then Valeri, Val, etc), then he cycles back through again.

At this point in time of the novel, he has moved on to going by Valerius.

So, my question is, is this completely unacceptable that he would have people address him by his nomen, which usually would not have been used this way in the Roman times? The address I am considering here is Master Valerius.

Or should I be making some changes to the naming of that character?
 
Eventually, don't learned men refer to (at least) Vergilius & Ovidius by their nomina? What point in history is he known as 'Magister Valerius'?
 

rothbard

Aedilis
Staff member
You may find this study interesting. Among other things it indicates that, in some cases, the single nomen (see p. 163) and the single praenomen (see section Praenomina, p. 161-162) appear to have been used when addressing someone.
 
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Akela

sum
Staff member
Eventually, don't learned men refer to (at least) Vergilius & Ovidius by their nomina?
Yes. But would Vergillius and Ovidius have ever requested to be called that on their own?

What point in history is he known as 'Magister Valerius'?
Not Magister, Master. We are thinking Medieval-like society, Anglo-Saxon based, although it is in a parallel universe of sorts. So, Ancient Roman background is real, but after that the timeline splits off and we have countries that do not exist right now.

Although, perhaps I could consider making it it Magister...
 
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Akela

sum
Staff member
You may find this study interesting. Among other things it indicates that, in some cases, the single nomen (see p. 163) and the single praenomen (see section Praenomina, p. 161-162) appear to have been used when addressing someone.
Ooh, this is interesting. OK, I will stick to the nomen then. Excellent. Thank you.
 
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