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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (abbreviation): Gn.
  • (typical abbreviation): Cn.
  • (archaic or hypercorrect form): Cnaeus


According to Festus, the praenomen Gnaeus first referred to a birthmark, which was naevus in classical Latin. This etymology is commonly accepted by modern scholars. In his treatise on the origin of Roman praenomina, Chase cites the archaic spelling Gnaivos in support of this explanation.[1][2]

Gnaeus was one of a number of Latin praenomina borrowed by the Etruscans, in whose language it became 𐌂𐌍𐌄𐌅𐌄 (Cneve) or Cneies.[3][4]


Proper noun[edit]

Gnaeus m (genitive Gnaei); second declension

  1. A masculine praenomen.

Usage notes[edit]


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative Gnaeus Gnaeī
genitive Gnaeī Gnaeōrum
dative Gnaeō Gnaeīs
accusative Gnaeum Gnaeōs
ablative Gnaeō Gnaeīs
vocative Gnaee Gnaeī


  1. ^ Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome by Paulus Diaconus
  2. ^ George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897)(p. 153)
  3. ^ Jacques Heurgon, Daily Life of the Etruscans (1964)
  4. ^ Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft