A Name for my Roman Kin

Among the Roman reconstructionists, be they culture enthusiasts or religious devotees, it’s popular to take a Roman-style name. I haven’t had the most pristine history with magical/religious names. For the longest time, I refused to have a “magical” name at all, and went about the pagan community annoying everyone by clinging to my legal name. Finally, having had one too many “but why?” discussions with folks, I surrendered and took on Antigone as a magical name.

At first, Antigone served me well. I like her story as told by Sophocles. It’s a nice name that has meaning for me while avoiding all the Moondragonwolf Ravenflower Lightbearer stuff that annoys me to tears in pagan self-naming convention. But then Greek religious reconstruction started to get popular, and people started to assume that because I had a very Greek name, I must be following a Greek religious path. As Florence King once said, even my different drummer followed a different beat. I wasn’t at all interested in Greek recon as a lifestyle path, just in Antigone’s name.

About that same time, we started studying with OTO, and suddenly I needed a new, special, significant magical name. Bother. I decided on Terra Aeterna, as a multi-layered pun. Terra is a compaction of my given name, so I was keeping my name while supposedly taking on a new one. I’m interested environmental issues and you could read it as Earth Eternal, which sounds like an environmental activist group to me. It’s Latin, which the OTO people who I knew really liked, but it’s not very good Latin, especially as a name, thus giving it a Moondragonwolf Ravenflower Lightbearer sort of feel to anyone who has any Latin facility at all. Five seconds after we decided that OTO was not for us, I stopped using Terra Aeterna. There’s some deep psychological meaning to be divined from that, but I’m not going into it here. 😀

I was happy being magically nameless. But names are power, and names are community, so I’m once again surrendering to convention and taking on another name. After more than a bit of thought, I settled on Galea Rufia Prisca.

Galea is from Gallus, which means “from Gaul”, and so denotes a Celtic sort of background. It’s not quite Gael Kin, but it’s as close as I’m likely to get. The Romans called the Irish the Scotia, but I feel that Scotia doesn’t work as a praenomen and even if it did, it sounds like Scotland to the modern ear, not Ireland.

Priscus was another famous Romanized Celt, a slave gladiator known from a poem about Verus, a famous gladiator. It also means “antique”.  I don’t think that’s any sort of bad thing. I like antique things.

Rufus is “red headed”; I chose it rather frivolously because I dye my hair red.

I’m already having trouble with Galea, and my name is not quite 24 hours old. It’s not from the short list of Imperial Roman Patrician women’s names. Historically not everyone  had a Patrician name, and this is a feminine version of a historical name, so on one level I’m a bit sad.

I’m being serious with this Roman name and not succumbing to my natural goofiness.  I really like the Galea part, but if it’s going to be a hassle like my Society for Creative Anachronism name was, I’ll change it. Tita is another personally meaningful choice for me. It’s the fem version of Titus, and Titus is the Roman name closest in meaning to my father’s given name. I’d still have the Celtic gladiator cognomen to reflect my Romano-Celtic identity.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ursus
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 07:52:21


    I stumbled onto your blog, because a site I follow linked to it as an example of a “Romano-Celt” blog.

    I find it very interesting. I’m not ADF myself, but I respect the organization. I have, or at least had, some Romano-Celtic interests. I wish you well in your path.




  2. Trackback: Welcome to Rufia Prisca’s House | Rufia Prisca's House

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