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Octavius, Agrippa, and Juba
In Response To: Re: Augustus son of Catalus ()

Aha VIII,

As you probably figured out by now I love words and names! People don't put much thought into them these days, but the ancients certainly did.

I agree that what passes for definitions of ancient names leaves a lot to be desired. That's why I referenced that web site with Roman names. It was more perceptive than most.

I was reading the new book "Augustus" by Everitt tonight. He says the name Agrippa connotes "feet first" as in a breached birth. A good ancient name had no precise meaning but any number of connotations and in any number of different languages.

Everitt also notes that Agrippa asked Octavius (the future Augustus) to intercede with his uncle Julius Caesar to spare his brother. This brother is not named, but had fought on the opposition/Republican side in Africa against Caesar and was captured. I wonder if this brother was not in fact Juba II (a.k.a. Herod the Great) who had grown up in Rome. If so, then no wonder Herod remained indebted to Augustus and later even sided with him against Mark Antony.

The young Octavius/Augustus was nicknamed Thurius or "The Thurian". I wonder if this did not betray his identity as a prince among the Armenians, land of the Hurrians, where he might have gone by a local name such as Tigranes?

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