Gabrielle has just published in his blog, Lost Fort, an interesting post about Roman and Celtic names in the Antiquity.
My contribution was to offer a couple of examples to add to hers, and one of the examples was my Roman name.
Romanly speaking, I'm called Publius Lilius Frugius Simius Excalibor f. Iosephi n. Johannis tribei Palatinae and I'm going to explain why.
(yes, I'm of noble origins ;)
Praenomen, Publius, because it's cool, and has a great abbreviation ("P.").
Nomen, Lilius, because my family name is related to the lirium flower (it's my mother's family name, but I'm adopting it because it's as mine as hers, right? and there aren't any males in our branch to bear the surname in the first place, which is the one that's passed to sons, thus I'm going to put hers as my first, and if I have any sons, they will be able to bear the name).
Cognomen, Frugius (Fruitful), because my S.O. always says my family is clustered like a pineapple (a Spanish expression, to be like a pineapple: como una piña) and thus it's a fun way to distinguish this particular branch of my family... :-) Cognomines were usually a characteristic of the families (of the pater familias) like Caesar (redheaded), Ahenobarbus (bronze-colored beard), or Scipio (ceremonial rod, the Cornelia Scipiones were the ones who finally beat Hannibal Barca at the Second Roman Wars, I mean, the Second Punic Wars, bearing the Roman name, the first one was the Carthaginian name... :-)
Agnomen, a nickname, Simius (Ape or Monkey) because, apparently, when I was a little child, I used to climb to the top of the blinds cord (that's used to raise them and lower them) and then jumped (in a kind of SWAT team on a wall, I know there's a specific name but I can't recall it now) to open them. I also climbed like a monkey over trees, tables, and other parts of the Universe. I'm 32 and my uncles still address me as Mono... :-)
Another agnomen, because I'm worth it, Excalibor, because it's related to the sword in the Arthurian legends, and my interest in fencing, martial arts, and Hoplology in general. And because it's cooler than Excalibur, :-)
Filius, that is, son of, Iosephus, because that's my father's name, and while I should use my mother's (to go with the nomen, her name was Lucilla) it's just a way to call someone, right?
Nepos, i.e. grandson, of Johannes, which is my father's father's name.
Tribei Palatinae, that is, I belong to the tribe of the Palatine hill, and that's where I should vote. Actually, as I am not Roman, I won't, but Palatine is the jet set neighborhood, and why wouldn't I be there, uh? ;-)
Well, time for bed. Merry Bealtaine to all the wiccans out there, and, for the rest of ya, ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗ