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Manius (praenomen)

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Manius (/ˈmæniəs/ MAN-ee-əs, Latin[ˈmaːnɪ.ʊs]) is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used throughout the period of the Roman Republic, and well into imperial times. The feminine form is Mania. The name was used by both patrician and plebeian families, and gave rise to the patronymic gentes Manlia and Manilia. Manius was originally abbreviated with an archaic five-stroke "M" (in Unicode U+A7FF [1]), which was not otherwise used in Latin. In place of this letter, the praenomen came to be abbreviated M'.[2][3]

Although regularly used by certain gentes, such as the Acilii, Aemilii, Aquilii, Papirii, Sergii, and Valerii, Manius was not used by the majority of families, and was never particularly common. Between ten and twelve other praenomina were used more frequently. It became less common during the period of the Roman Empire, eventually falling out of use.[2][4]

Origin and meaning of the nameEdit

The Roman scholar Sextus Pompeius Festus believed that Manius was derived from mane, "the morning", and therefore was originally given to children born in the morning. It has also been proposed that the name may have been given to children born in the month of Februarius, the month sacred to the manes, the souls of the dead. However, Chase proposes that it instead derives from the archaic adjective manus, meaning "good". The name's superficial similarity to manes may have been one reason why Manius was relatively uncommon.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ The Unicode Consortium (27 Aug 2012). "Latin Extended-D (Unicode Standard, Version 6.2)" (PDF). Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Dictionary of Greek & Roman Biography & Mythology
  3. ^ Mika Kajava, Roman Female Praenomina: Studies in the Nomenclature of Roman Women (1994)
  4. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft
  5. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome by Paulus Diaconus
  6. ^ Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd Ed. (1996)
  7. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897)