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The Aristocratic Coats of Arms of the Roman Nobility

From what I've read, titles were seldom used, aside from Imperator which was an honorific cognomen. So you wouldn't call someone "Centurion" or "Consul", you would refer to them by their name, not position.

A Roman would address another Roman as Quirite fellow Roman citizen , and soldiers would address each other as Frater brother or milite soldier. Older relatives were often referred to as Father or Mother even if they were aunts of uncles, or even grandfathers and grandmothers. Often, patrons were also referred to as Father. What is very interesting about the Romans is there is no words in Latin for a simple yes or no answer to a question. So there would be no questions asked that would require a simple yes or no answer.

Nobiles - Wikipedia

Why did the Austrasian nobility want their own king, even if he was an infant? European History Dec 15, Similar History Discussions. What happened to the Byzantine nobility after the fall of Constantinople in ? Started by Futurist Jul 18, Replies: Postclassical Era. General History. European History.

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The Values and Goals of Roman nobility in the second century BCE

Showing Rating details. Sort order. The first was originally written in , the second in , both of them in German. This English translation, the only one I know of, dates back to and I only managed to get hold of a copy because an college in Indiana decided to clean up their shelves, for which I am extremely grateful as my German is non existent and I had basically resign This book contains two different but nicely complementary works by Gelzer, "The Nobility of the Roman Republic" and "The Nobility of the Principate".

This English translation, the only one I know of, dates back to and I only managed to get hold of a copy because an college in Indiana decided to clean up their shelves, for which I am extremely grateful as my German is non existent and I had basically resigned myself to the fact I would never get to read it. Gelzer is important, and this work is often quoted, because it inaugurates a line of research which continues down with Munzer, Syme, Scullard and a number of more specialized others, which is centered on the who is who and who was allied with whom in the politickings of the Roman Republic esp.

Plebeians and Patricians

Middle and Late Republic, as earlier we do not have that much information. Gelzer does not try to trace all the lines between the whos but is the one who sets in motion the important idea that there were political factions, that these factions were mutable and that their influence can be traced through elections and political decisions.

However, that is only one chapter in the Nobility of the Roman Republic.

The first part of it deals with the concept of nobility and how nobility was conferred and transmitted down the generations surely it is not a spoiler to say it: nobiles were those who had attained the consulship and their descendants. The second part of Nobility in the Republic deals with how one managed to get elected consul, and studies the concepts of patronage, clientelae, amicitia, fides, financial ties and, within that context, the factions and how they tried to trip each other up. The financial aspect becomes particularly important as electoral bribery and province stripping became standard political behaviour.

The Nobility of the Principate, on the other hand, explains how the concept of nobility becomes locked, fossilized even, by the arrival of Augustus and upheaval of the system. Only descendants of Republican consuls were nobiles and it was best if you could prove nobility from both the father and the mother side, which sometimes resulted in rather outlandish names for offspring as names of the different lines combined haphazardly.


The consulship under the imperial regime was still considered an honour, but not a basis for nobility. Noble families had already been culled by the civil wars and the century or two after Augustus saw their genteel decline and extinction from political long knifes and financial starvation, as senatorial families were supposed to live off rents and not have any useful employment other than imperial service where robbing the provinces blind was no longer an option. The legacy hunting criticised by imperial satirists is better understood in this light.