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Romanus is a Latin adjective meaning simply 'Roman'. It became used as a cognomen, and was used in Late Latin times as a nomen. Since the Roman Empire, it has been used in much of Europe as a forename. In French, it is Romain, in Italian Romano, In Spanish Román and in Russian Roman.

As a simple adjective in the Latin sentence Civis Romanus sum ('I am a Roman citizen/citizen of Rome'), the claim to be a citizen of Rome has a place in history. In his speech In Verrem (a speech prosecuting Gaius Verres in 70 BCE, never delivered as Verres had gone into voluntary exile), the great Roman orator Cicero cites it as an absolute claim to justice and feedom from arbitrary punishment enjoyed by every man (women had fewer rights) who was a legitimate citizen of Rome, throughout the Roman Empire. This right was claimed by Saint Paul, a free-born citizen of Rome, in the Bible (Acts, ch. 22, v.25) as he was about to be flogged: it obtained his release and eventual transport to Rome: ("Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go" said Porcius Festus, procurator of Judaea, Acts, 25:12). This claim was echoed by Lord Palmerston, then British Foreign Secretary, in pressing the claim of Don Pacifico to protection when he said, "As the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say, Civis Romanus sum, so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong" (House of Commons, 25th June 1850; Hansard CXII [3d Ser.], 380-444).
  • The usual British pronunciation is 'rowe-MAHN-oos' (IPA: /rəʊ ˈmɑː nʊs/). Although 'ROWE-men-ers' (/ˈrəʊ mən ʊ (or ə)s/) has been heard, it is likely to be regarded in academic circles as an error.
    • Four Romanuses (in Byzantine Greek usually given as Romanos) were Emperors of Byzantium: Romanus/os I Lecapenus, c.870–948; reigned 920-944; Romanus/Romanos II Porphyrogenetus ('purple-born'), 938–963; r. 959-963; Romanus/-os III Argyros, 968-1034; r. 1028-1034; Romanus/-os IV Diogenes, 1032-c1072; r. 1068-1071.
    • One Romanus was a Pope (897); while several have been canonized as saints - for a brief note, go to St Romanus. Another Romanus, who had probably been part of St Augustine's mission in 597, was consecrated as Bishop of Rochester in 624. He died in 627.