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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/740

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NAMES


674


NAMES


fism than we have to account in (lie same way for the eivinK of the name Cephas or Peter, which we know to be due to another cause. Moreover, it is certain, both from tlie inscriptions of tlie catacombs and from early Christian hterature. that the names of Christians in the first three centuries did not distinctively differ from the names of the paKans aniuiui them. A refer- ence to the Episth's of .St. Paul makes it plain that even the names of heathen gods and goddesses were borne by his converts after their conversion as before. Hermes occurs in Rom., xvi, 14, with a number of other purely pagan names, Epaphroditus in Phil., iv, 18, Phebe, the deaconess, in Rom., xvi, 1. Not less conclusive are the names which we find in the Chris- tian inscriptions of the earlier period or in the lists of the signatories apjiended to such councils as Nica?a or Ancyra (see Turner, "Eccl. Occident. Mon. Juris", I, 3(5-90; II, 50-53), or again in the lists of martyrs. Even at a later date the names are of a most miscel- laneous character. The following classification is one that has been worked out by J. Bass MuUinger founded on Martigny.

A.- — Names without Christian significance and prob- ably derived from pagan ancestors: — (1) names de- rived unchanged or but slightly modified from pagan mj-thology, e. g., Mercurius, Bacchus, Apollos (I Cor., xvi, 12), Hermogenes (Rom., x\'i, 4), etc.; (2) from rehgious rites or omens, e. g., Augustus, Auspicius, Augurinus, Optatus; (3) from numbers, e. g.. Primus, Primigenius, Secundinus, Quartus, Octavia, etc.; (4) from colours, e. g., Albanus, Candidus, Rufus, etc.; (5) from animals and birds, e. g., Agnes, Asellus, Columba, Leo, Taurus, Ursula, etc.; (6) from agricul- ture, e. g., Agricia, Armentarius, Palmatinus, Sterco- rius, etc. ; (7) from flowers, e. g., Balsamia, Flosculus, Narcissus, Rosula; (8) from jewels, e. g., Chrysanthus, Margarites, Smaragdus; (9) from mihtary life or the sea, e. g., Emerentiana, Navigia, Pelagia, Scutarius, Thalassus; (10) from countries, cities, rivers etc.; Afra. Cydnus, Galla, Jordanis, Macedonius, Maurus, Sabina, Sebastianus, etc.; (11) from the months, e. g., Aprilis, Januaria, Junia, etc. ; (12) from personal qual- ities, etc., e. g., Aristo, Hilarius, Modestus, Pudens, etc.; (13) from servile condition, e. g., Servus, Servili- anus, Vemacla; (14) names of historical celebrity, e. g., CiiBsarius, Cornelia, Pompeius, Ptolemseus, Ver- gihus.

B. — Names of Christian origin and significance.— (1) Names apparently suggested by Christian dogmas, e. g., Anastasia, Athanasia, Christophorus, Redemp- tus. Restitutus, etc.; (2) from festivals or rites, e. g., Epiplianius, Eulogia, Natalis, Pascasia, Sabbatius,and the frequently recurring Martyrius; (3) from Chris- tian virtues, e. g., Agape, Elpis, Fides, Irene, with such derivatives as Adelphius, Agapetus, Caritosa, etc.; (4) pious sentiment, e. g., Adeodata, Ambrosius, Benedictus, Deogratias, etc., and possibly such names as Gaudentianus, Hilarius, Sozomen, Victorianus, Vincentius, but it is very' hard to be sure that any dis- tinctively Christian feeling is here latent.

On the other hand though the recurrence of such names as Agnes, Balbina, Cornehus, Felicitas, Irenseus, Justinus,' etc. may very probably be due to venera- tion for the martyrs who first bore these names, it is rather curious that the names of the saints of the New Testament are but rarely found while those of the Old Testament are hardly less uncommon. Susanna, Daniel, Moyses, Tobias, occur pretty frequently, but it IS only towards the end of the fourth century that we find the name of our Blessed Lady or become at all familiar with those of the Apostles. Even then we cannot be sure that in the case of Paulus in particular there IS any intentional reference to the Apostle of the Gentiles, but Johannes at least, and Andreas, with Petrus and its derivatives like Petronia, Petrius, Pe- tronilla, etc. are less open to doubt. The name of Mary occurs occasionally in the catacomb inscriptions


towards the close of the fourth century, for example, in the form livia maria in pace (De Rossi, "Rom. Sot.", I, 143) and there is a martyr Maria assigned to the date A. d. 256 (De Rossi, "Rom. Sot.", HI, 200 s(iq. and compare other instances of the name, De Rossi, "Insc. Christ.", I, 331; II, 160 and 173).

Chan(;k of Name at Baptism. — If we could trust the authentic and contemporary character of the Acts of St. Balsamus, who died a. d. 311, we should have an early example of the connexion between bap- tism ami the giving of a name. "By my paternal name", this martyr is said to have declared, "I am called Balsamus, but by the spiritual name which I re- ceived in baptism, I am known as Peter." It would seem in any case that the assumption of a new name for some devotional reason was fairly common among Christians. Eusebius the historian took the name Pamphih from Pampliilus the martyr whom he espe- cially venerated. Earlier st ill St . Cyprian chose to be called Cyprianus Ciecilius out of gratitude to the Cae- cilius to whom he owed liis conversion. Moreover St. Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 260) declared "I am of opinion that there were many of the same name as the Apostle John, who on account of their love for him, and because they admired and emulated him, and desired to be loved by the Lord as he was, took to themselves the same name, just as many of the children of the faith- ful are called Paul or Peter" (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.", VII, xxv). It would be only natural that the assump- tion of any such new name .she mid take place formally at baptism, in which the cateihuinen, then probably as now, had to be addressed by some distinctive appella- tion. On the other hand it seems likely that the im- position of a new name at baptism only became the invariable rule after infant baptism had become gen- eral. Every child had necessarily to receive some name or other, and when baptism followed soon after birth, this must have offered a very suitable opportu- nity for the public recognition of the choice made.

No doubt the thirtieth of the supposed Arabian Canons of Niciea: "Of giving only names of Christians in baptism" is not authentic, even though it is of early date; but the sermons of St. John Chrysostom seem to assume in many different places that the conferring of a name, presumably at baptism, ought to be regulated by some idea of Christian edification, and he implies, though this does not seem to be borne out by the evi- dence now available, that such had been the practice of earher generations. For example he says: "When it comes to giving the infant a name, caring not to call it after the saints, as the ancients at first did, people light lamps and give them names and so name the child after the one which continues burning the long- est, from thence conjecturing that he will live a long time" (Hom. in Cor., xii, 13). Similarly he com- mends the practice of the parents of Antioch in calling their children after the martyr Meletius (P. G., L, 515), and again he urges his hearers not to give their chil- dren the first name that occurs, nor to seek to gratify fathers or grandfathers or other family connexions by giving Iheir names, but rather to choose the names of holy men conspicuous for virtue and for their cour- age before God (P.|G., LIII, 179). History preserves sundry examples of such a change of name in adult converts. Socrates (Hist. Eccl., VII, x.xi) tells us of Athenais who married the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, and who previously to marriage was bap- tized (a. d. 421) receiving the name Eudoxia. Again Bede tells us of the case of King Cffd walla who went to Rome and was baptised by the Pope Sergius who gave him the name of Peter. Dying soon afterwards he was buried in Rome and his epitaph beginning "Hie depositus est Ca?d walla qui est Petrus" was long pointed out (Bede, "Hist. Eccl.", V, vii). Later we have the well-known instance of Guthrum the Danish leader in England who after his long contest with King Alfred was eventually defeated and, consenting to ao