A Roman by any other name…

It’s slightly shameful to admit but there’s this whole world of names out there that I know very little about. It’s from this time period called everything before the English language.

I’m taking a class this semester (have I mentioned I’m in school? For English?) that is listed as an English course (which is why I’m taking it) but is really a history course. Tricksters.

For the record, I avoid history courses as a general rule. Too much* reading.

(*Not as ironic as you might think. English has only been around for a few hundred years, whereas Western civilization spans… Millennia? I don’t actually know how far back Western civ goes. I dropped that class after two days and seven chapters worth of homework.) (ForGET about Eastern civ.)

I had to take this one as part of my English program of study. Like I said: tricksters!

Anyways, apparently Rome had a ton of awesome names that popular Young Adult authors are now repurposing in their stories. For instance, Remus Lupin in Harry Potter is named after one of the founders of Rome (the werewolf is named after the guy raised by a wolf). Cinna in The Hunger Games is named after some early Roman (or late Etruscan… Dates are numbers and I also don’t do math).

Others? Those were the two mentioned in class today but I know other hidden gems exist in popular literature.


One thought on “A Roman by any other name…”

  1. There are reasons you know why they play these tricks on you… Half the English language (or so) is based on Latin and ALL the classics are packed with references to Greek/Roman culture and mythology. Not to mention the poetry. I can still recall the desperate expression on the face of an Oxford professor I had for one term at University, when he realized that Swedish students knew next to nothing about Roman gods and goddesses, and so did not ‘get’ a single image used in classic British poetry… J.K. Rowling has done a tremendous job of reworking old mythology into her story and actually making it fun for young readers all over the world to find out more about it. (I think they should make Harry Potter a top priority course for all English students.)

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