Presentation of the project

Personal names constitute a fundamental source for our understanding of ancient societies.  Onomastics reveal much about an individual’s cultural, social and geographic identity. Studying them throws important light on the processes of cultural change that affected the inhabitants of the Roman Empire as well as on family relations and the social organization of civic communities across the Roman provinces. 

The Iberian peninsula has long been a fertile area for the study of ancient onomastics. It has benefited from a long-standing tradition of research by scholars such as María Lourdes Albertos Firmat and Jürgen Untermann and from a landmark publication: the Atlas antroponímico de la Lusitania romana, published in 2003 by the Institut Ausonius (Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux III) and the Fundación de Estudios Romanos (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, Mérida), the result of ten years of research by the « Grupo Mérida », an international research network comprising colleagues from Spain, Portugal, France and Canada. This work, which marks a fundamental advance in research on the onomastics of the Roman Empire, provides the scholarly community with an indispensable research tool. Based on the information available until 2002, its 339 maps and 2030 different names illumine in a specific and original manner the social makeup of the province of Lusitania in the High Empire. 

ADOPIA represents the continuation of this project. It combines the results of cutting-edge epigraphic research with all the advantages of new digital technologies. The many possibilities that a Digital Humanities approach offers add considerable value and impact to the information now available. 

This website provides a dynamic digital version of the Atlas antroponímico de la Lusitania romana. The material available in ADOPIA is constantly updated; its digital format facilitates the rapid integration of all new relevant epigraphic data.  

ADOPIA allows simple and advanced searches of the names and individual naming practices attested in Lusitania, as well as immediate mapping of the results of such searches.

In the near future, ADOPIA will incorporate onomastic data from the two other Hispanic provinces: Baetica and Hispania Citerior (Tarraconensis).