World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Spurius (praenomen)

Article Id: WHEBN0025241538
Reproduction Date:

Title: Spurius (praenomen)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Praenomen, Furia (gens)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Spurius (praenomen)

This page is about the Latin praenomen. For a list of prominent individuals with this name, see Spurius (disambiguation).

Spurius (Latin pronunciation: [ˈspʊɾɪ.ʊs]) is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used primarily during the period of the Roman Republic, and which fell into disuse in imperial times. It was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gens Spurilia. The feminine form is Spuria. The name was originally abbreviated S., as it was the most common praenomen beginning with that letter; but as it grew less common it was sometimes abbreviated Sp.[1][2]

For most of the Roman Republic, Spurius was about the ninth most-common praenomen. Although used by a minority of families, it was favored by many, including the gentes Carvilia, Cassia, Furia, Nautia, Papiria, Postumia, Servilia, and Veturia. It was most common during the early centuries of the Republic, and gradually declined in popularity, until it all but disappeared during the 1st century AD[3]

Origin and meaning of the name

The actual meaning of Spurius is unproven. The name was used by the Etruscans in the form Spurie, and it was used by several Roman families that had Etruscan roots, so it has been postulated that it was either borrowed from the Etruscan language, or was a cognate of an Etruscan word meaning something akin to city dweller.[4][5]

Popular etymology, however, connected the name with the phrase, sine pater filius, that is, son without a father, and the explanation that it was given to children born out of wedlock. This was the opinion of Festus, which is accepted by Chase, perhaps surprisingly considering the unlikelihood of anyone deliberately choosing such a name, or passing it down within a family for many generations. This explanation is almost certainly wrong, and is an example of false etymology. However, it probably contributed to the decline in the use of the praenomen, and gave rise to the modern adjective spurious.[6][7]

While it cannot be proven that any Latin praenomina were borrowed from Etruscan, and Spurius was used by a number of gentes of indisputably Latin origin, the explanation that it was connected with a word meaning city or citizen appears reasonably likely.[8]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.