Opificio 12th September 2016

The question has been posed, about where Roman names of Roman citizens in Egypt came from; why some particular names flourished and were widespread, and others very rare. After having listed the most frequent Roman names according to the evidence from papyri, Roger Bagnall has inferred that those names mainly came from veterans, discharged from auxiliary troops and only then provided with a Latin name; that those names were not chosen as a tribute to the reigning Emperor or running prefect of Egypt; and that a possible source of names might be located in the flourishing Latin community of Alexandria, which existed well before the Roman conquest.