Medieval Naming Guides: Other Early Cultures

Names from Other Early Cultures

Early Names of Britain and France
A Consideration of Pictish Names, by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

The First Thousand Years of British Names, by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
A very detailed survey of names in Roman Britain and names in Wales from the Old Welsh Period.

Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain (CPNRB)
A database of all the personal names from Roman Britain which are thought to contain Celtic elements. The data can be searched and sorted under a number of headings, such as name forms, gender, date, location of find, type of source, etc.

Names of Women of the Brythonic North in the 5-7th Centuries, by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
A discussion of the 18 feminine names that can be identified as occurring in this culture.

Name Constructions in Gaulish, by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
The language of late-Roman Gaul was a member of the Celtic language family, like Welsh, British, and Breton.

Early Medieval Breton Names, by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
An analysis of Breton names recorded up to the 12th century.

Classical and Imperial Roman Names

Roman Onomastics, appendix III of The Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy, ed. by Christer Braun and Jonathan Edmondson.
An excellent introduction to the topic, with a summarizing table at the end of different name constructions, including names for slaves, freedmen, etc.

A Simple Guide to Classical Roman Naming Practices, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A general discussion. Not medieval, of course, but early medieval naming in much of Europe evolved from Roman practices, so it is certainly relevant.

A Simple Guide to Imperial Roman Names, by Ursula Georges
Name structures and lists. Describes the most common naming patterns from the first and second centuries AD, with some notes on later developments.

"Roman Names" in The Private Life of the Romans by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston
A chapter in a book re-published on the web. A little dense, but very informative on classical Roman naming customs.

Academy of Saint Gabriel report 2206
A brief discussion of Roman naming practices from the 1st to 3rd centuries.

Roman Naming Conventions.
This one contains useful lists of praenomina and tribes and information on the names of foreigners, slaves, and freedmen. It also contains a list of Roman names of places in Italy.

A Study of the Cognomina of Soldiers in the Roman Legions, Lindley Richard Dean
A dissertation on Roman cognomina, including analyses and lists of names.

Epigraphic Database Heidelberg
A searchable database of Roman inscriptions. One may use the advanced search to search for a particular type of name.

Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania: Indices, King's College, London
Index to a collection of inscriptions from Roman North Africa. Includes lists organized by praenomen, gentilicium, cognomen, and signum, names of the imperial family and divine entities, geographical terms, and tribes.

Latin Personal Names, Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua XI: Monuments from Phrygia and Lykaonia
Latin names from inscriptions found in modern Turkey. Listed alphabetically by nominative name element, followed by the original spelling (with abbreviations expanded) and a link to full inscription information.

Jewish Names from the Roman Catacombs, by Eleazar ha-Levi
Jewish names from catacomb inscriptions in ancient Rome. Many show the influence of Roman naming patterns.

Roman Naming Customs
There are lots of general discussions of late Republican and early Imperial Roman naming customs. Here are some that we've found useful. They apply up to about the 3rd century.

Biographical lists of Romans

Gothic Names
Academy of Saint Gabriel report 2392
A discussion of Gothic names from the 3rd to 6th centuries, including a list of masculine names in Latinized forms with Gothic forms of some of them.

Academy of Saint Gabriel report 437
Contains another overlapping list of masculine Gothic names used 300-600, in Latinized forms, from the same source as used for report 2392.

Academy of Saint Gabriel report 1928
Contain lists of Latinized 5th-6th Gothic feminine names and 6th-10th century Hispano-Gothic feminine names, as well as some discussion of late Gothic naming customs.

Gothic Names, by Tim O'Neill
A short article on Gothic given names, including reconstructions of many of the first and second elements from which Gothic given names were composed.

Ancient Iranian Names

The articles in this section describe names linguistically related to the ancient Iranian languages, including Scythian, Sarmatian, and Old Persian. For medieval Persian names, see the Islamic section of the Medieval Names Archive.

Greek Names with Scytho-Sarmatian Roots, by Ursula Georges
Names with possible Scythian or Sarmatian roots found in classical Greek inscriptions from towns near the Black Sea.

Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 3006
Discusses the name Tomyris.

Names of Persia
An article from a Zoroastrian website. The names are divided into four sections. The "Avestan" and "Old Persian" names date to around 1000 BCE and 500-600 BCE, respectively. Names from the other two sections are modern. Note that during and after the European Middle Ages, Persia was Muslim; thus, these lists are probably only applicable for re-creation of earlier cultures.

The Medieval Names Archive is published by Ursula Georges. It was historically published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel.
Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.