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Melkarth in Hannibal, Hamilkar; the name of Hannah (which could also be translated Grace), we find also in the Punic name of Anna, Dido's sister.
As synonyms, we may consider the biblical names of Zabdiel, Zebadiah, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Mattithiah (Mattathiah), Mattaniah, and Nethaniah, and in the abbreviated forms Nathan and Mattan-which all mean, Given by God, Gift of God, etc. The same idea, but in connection with the names of heathen gods, is expressed in the Persian name Mithridates (Given by Mithra
But to return to what we said in the premises about John and Bridget As we certainly do not mean to offend our friend John Smith, nor our faithful Bridget, we must give an explanation. John is as good a prefix as Romeo, and even much better; but it is no name. The other day we posted a letter to our friend, "Mr. John Smith, in New York." He did not receive it. He has too-occurring also in the book of Ezra), many namesakes. John, of course, is a proper name, but it is too common. It is a common proper name. It is even used as a common name, as the name of a species. In Germany, "Johann" is the name they call any servant with, and so, in Holland, "Jan!" is equal to "Waiter!" John, Jean, and Hans are, besides, used in rather a contemptible
"But how so?" our friend John Smith would ask us. Well, it is nearly the same thing as with Alexander. The wide diffusion and circulation of this name dates from the name of John the Baptist--as we find the whole name in the French Jean-Baptiste, corrupted in the German Schambattist, and the latter part in the Italian Battista. The original name of the Baptist was not John, but the Hebrew (and Aramaic) word Jochanan. As all those words have in the original a very large and comprehensive sense, and as on the other side the constituents of the composed words are connected in rather a loose way, Jo-chanan could be rendered Favoredby-the-Lord-Graciously donated by the Lord, Given by the Lord, God was Propitious, God's Mercy. Variations of the same name we find in the biblical names Hanniel (Channiel), Hananiah, or Ananias, Hananeel, and in the abbreviated forms Hanan, Hanun, Hanani, Hannah (in the N. T. Joanna). The same word chanan, but in connection with the Syrian god Hadad, we find in the biblical name Henadad; connected with the Phoenician gods Baal and
in the Greek names Isidor (Gift of Isis), Artemidorus, Diodorus, Theodorus, and Dorothea.
So we find throughout antiquity a religious sentiment expressed in most of the proper names. Parallel to the Hebrew names of Obadiah, Abdeel, Abdiel (Servant of God), we find a Tyrian king, Abdalonymus (Servant of the Gods), and the Greek name Hermodulos, Servant of Mercury. The Arabian names are nearer to the Hebrew, both in form and sense. So are the Mohammedan names Abdallah, Abdorrahman, Abdelkader, Abdulmedjid, Abdulaziz, meaning Servant of God, of the Merful, of the Mighty, of the Glorious, of the Powerful-which are some of the ninety-nine attributive names of God.
The Arabians who lived before Mohammed had such names as: Servant of the Sun, Servant of Allath (a goddess among the heathen Arabians). It is remarkable that the later Mohammedans, in copying the old poems where those names occur, sometimes changed them. Instead of Abdallath (Servant of Allath), they would write down the nearly like-sounding name of Abdallah. One constituent of the names Obadiah, Abdallah, and Abdallath, we find, again, in the Babylonian name Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar had that name given to Azariah, for the same reason that he changed the name of Daniel to that of Belteshazzar. It was done in order to nationalize-or rather to Babylonize-all the four throughout,
by giving them Chaldean names, bearing the names of the gods Bel and Nego or Nebo. As the religious idea forms an inherent part of so many names, the change of religion generally accompanies the change of names.
Most of those compound names could be-and many of them have beentranslated. The German name of Gottschalk is the same as the above-mentioned names, composed of "God" and "Servant" (the latter sense is obsolete, but is yet employed in the English "Marshal ").
The name Adeodatus, which first occurs in the Confessions of St. Augustine, has the same as the French Dieu-donné, the Slavonic Bohdan or Bogdan, and the Italian Deodat-the same meaning as Nathaniel. The German Gottfried (whence French Godefroi, Geoffroi), the Slavonic Bogumil (Bohumil), and some more, might be considered as the translation of Shelumiel (God's Peace), the head of the tribe of Simeon, and the aboriginal ancestor of Peter Schlemihl. This name occurs only once, but the main part of it, "Peace "—although the Latin Salus would be a better translation-occurs in the name of Solomon, Absalom, Sulamith, and in the Arabic Zuleima. In the same way is Benedictus-a word of later origin, not occurring in classic Latin-the translation of the biblical Baruch (Blessed), and Voltaire makes a great blunder by saying (in his Dictionnaire Philosophique) that Spinoza's first name was Baruch and not Benedictus. Especially among the Jews we find, from ancient times, persons with two names, of different languages, but both of nearly the same signification.
But as the original name always loses some of its prestige by the translation, which is generally more or less clumsy, and as people were not always able to translate the names, most of them were left in their primitive form, but altered more or less by passing from one tongue into another. It is perhaps only the name of Moses which in its changed form resembles more its original than the Hebrew word. The name of Moses is of Egyptian origin (as also Philo and
Josephus assert), and seems to be identical with the word Mosis in Thutmosis, Amosis, Harmôs, and other Egyptian names.
We see that the name of our friend John has had nearly the same fate as many instruments, spices, plants, fruits, and other good things which were brought from the Orient into the Occident, and with them their Oriental names, which they still keep throughout the world. John is an imported name. But one might not at the first instant think that the Hebrew Jochanan, the Arabian Honcin, the Spanish Juan, the Italian Giovanni, the Hungarian János, the Russian Joan, are all near relatives to John.
But as we did to John-we must make the amende honorable to Bridget. Bridget—or rather Brighit, as the name originally sounds-is as nice a name as Juliet, and even more poetical and more beautiful. But John and Brighit are as distant from each other as the east from the west, and even much more. Brighit is of Celtic origin. Brighid was the name of a goddess, the goddess of wisdom and poetry, a kind of female Apollo. They say that the root of this and other words is bri, which means strength, and is the same as that found in the surnames O'Brien, Bryan, Bryant, Chateaubriand, etc. "They say "-for, indeed, what distinguishes the Celtic names from the others is their extreme obscurity. In hearing all those wild and strange-sounding names, the real meaning of which is so often a punctum litis, one might fancy himself in the enchanted forest of Merlin, and that all the old heroes, changed into birds, were singing unintelligibly their former names. Only the voice of Merlin remains-says the old legend. We hear the voice, but we don't understand it. We think of that parrot, which, as A. von Humboldt tells us, was the only surviving being of a once mighty tribe and language, whose remains were the few words which the bird uttered, but which no one could understand. Unhappy fate! There was a time when the Songs of Ossian were knowr
throughout Europe; in Germany they were, besides, known through the medium of Göthe's "Werther." As every one read this book, every one knew something about Ossian. But this fata morgana is of Celtic origin. It was an illusion, and Macpherson was— for the most part-the author. An occurrence like that is injurious to a whole literature, whose worst enemy is the once-awakened suspicion.
There is no lack of explanation for the Celtic names and nouns. There is only too much of it. One would derive from the Celtic the names of all rivers and mountains in the world. Another, despairing to find the root of a French or German word, says it is of Celtic origin. Another tries, in an old-fashioned way, to combine the remains of Celtic mythology with biblical names -rather hard work. There is room for the wildest hypotheses. It is as if the old heroes, in order to punish the disturber of their peaceful rest, appeared to him as so many Ignes Fatui, vexing him in turn,
The Celtic names have, besides, more than any other, been softened and adapted to different tongues. Cordelia -like her father's name, Lear-is of Celtic origin, but their names were Llyr and Creirdyddlyd. We love Cordelia, but we love still more Creirdyddlyd; and out of love for Creirdyddlyd one should feel inclined to love the whole Celtic race, at least the fair portion of it. It is exactly the wild, mysterious sound which gives a charm to all those names. And lovely and beautiful they
This could be proved by the story of Kilhwoh, son of Kilydd, prince of Kelyddon, who hearing one day pro nounced the name of Olwen, daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr, fell in love with her-although he had never seen her-and went out, in order first to find her, and then to marry her, if possible.
Les Dieux s'en vont! The old names are gone. But who knows? The German legend of Kaiser Barbarossa (which occurs in a similar way in Irish tales), -who sleeps under the Kyffhäuser, but VOL. II.-18
who will certainly awake some day-is not throughout mythical. Did we not sce the giant Finn rise from his gigantic tomb Cillfin, and around him the equally gigantic and valiant Feens, otherwise called Fenians? It sounds like a strange prophecy when it says in the old song,
"Alas! though Patrick from Rome saith,
Brigitta is one of the few Celtic names which are to be found in other European countries, especially in Germany, where it occurs in various forms. One of those recalls the name of Bertha, and with this name we are on Teutonic ground, which is at the same time less obscure than that of the Celts. The female names-and in what follows we are to speak only about female namesof the Teutonic nations and the names of the various goddesses are intimately connected and illustrate each other. Berta, Berchta, the Bright (it is from the same root as the English "bright ") is a mythological being, whose name, besides, is retained in the name of a city, Berchtesgaden, and in that of a day and of a certain cake.* The two lastmentioned have been blended with Christian festivals and ceremonics, as has been done with Easter and many other days and customs. As we find the heathen gods undergoing many metamorphoses and changing names and qualities with each other, so is Berta or Berahta another form of the goddess Freya; and again she appears in later times as Hulda, and in different fairyforms. The idea connected with this name is of a benignant and peaceful character, as we find the same expressed in the old female names of Fridihilde, Friderada, Fredegunde.. The old German Frid conveys at the same time the notion of protection; so is Fridhofnow church-yard-the ancient word for asylum. But the prevailing idea is that of peace, as may be seen from the beautiful Anglo-Saxon denomination of
A relic of a heathen sacrificial rite.
women, "Fridowebban," i. e., peaceweaving. But it is a peculiarity of the Teutonic female names that the greater part of them resound-like the names of the men-with war and strife and battle. If we rally around us those names, which for the most part are dispersed in old and forgotten books, we are transplanted-as by the magical mantle of Faust-into quite another world and long-gone times. We are in one of the vast oak forests; we hear. the voice of Wuotan and Thor rustling through the leaves and thundering through the storm. We see those gigantic men, always at war with men as well as with the bear, the boar, and the wolf, whose skins-as so many spolia opima-cover their mighty shoulders. Some of the names point even to a still higher antiquity. And the female names bear the same stamp. We find the names Haduwic (later Hedwig), a compound of two synonyms for war; the victory we find in Sigilint, the Burning or Shining (Anglo-Sax. Beornan, whence "brown"); armor we find in Brunhilde, the boldness (Old German, balt) in Baldhilde, the army (heri, Anglo-Sax. here, still existing in Herald) in Herilint; the word expressing might and dominion, "rich, reich" (Anglo-Sax. ric, Eng. rich, the meaning of wealthy is secondary), which we find in so many names, is again in the female name of Richlint, Richilt.
It is a mysterious awe which hallows the Teutonic women and their names. The wives of the warriors not only accompanied them into the battle, encouraging the fighting and greeting the victorious, but the women understood the mystery of the Runes, and, as Julius Cæsar tells us, they were consulted as to whether a battle was to be fought or not; they were the wizards, the "wiseacres " in the old honorary sense of the word. Tacitus tells us that the German women-like the virgin Veleda-were considered as messengers of the gods, and sometimes even as goddesses themselves. And so we find the women deified as Walkyres, who, sent out by Wuotan (Odin), hovered over the battle
field, kissed those who were slain in battle, and brought them to Walhalla. The remembrance of that we have in the names where Run and Wal occur, as Gudrun, Runbilt, Walantrad. The name Regina has nothing to do with the Latin word; it signifies the advising-as also Regintrat. The names of Irmina, Irmengard, recall the German god of war.
In connection with the above we notice another peculiarity. We find throughout all nations names of animals given to men. As nearly every animal of the higher order represents some predominating quality, calling a man by the name of one of them expresses an opinion concerning him. Especially the proud birds and beasts of prey had, since immemorial times, the honor of serving as names, epithets, and glorifying emblems. Only the name of our faithful dog--we suppose in consequence of its extreme submissiveness— is used to express the deepest humility— as in the case of the Ceylonese, who, being asked by the king how many children he had, answered: "Your majesty's dog has three young ones ”— or to insult a person. Homer gives us a picture of the goddesses quarrelling and giving each other the epitheton ornans of Dog. But it is refreshing to see that men are not always ungrateful, and that the dog too has his friends. In the northern languages occurs the female name Hyndla (female hound). Among the Persians the dog stood in high veneration. Herodotus tells us that the name of Cyrus' foster-mother meant dog," and Xenophon mentions another Persian lady with this name. Especially among the Celtic nations one finds expressed in tales and poemssometimes very touchingly a great love for the animals; and so we find not only single dogs with their proper names, but nearly the same word as Cyno, by which word Herodotus renders the Persian name. We find the meaning "dog," in the names composed with Con, as Conghal and several others. Also Can della Scala, Lord of Verona, is interpreted by Dante as Dog,
but, as it seems, only in an allegoric feminine name, as in Swanhvit (Swan way. white). The comparison with a swan
Even the donkey has his friends. A very learned man, the renowned Gessner, has written a little essay (Corollarium de Antiqua Honestate Asinorum) in order to do honor to donkeys. He tells us that the Kalif Merwan II. had the epithet, "the Donkey of Mesopotamia." Now, in the East the donkey is not a donkey, but rather a lively and beautiful animal. It is therefore no wonder that, in the Bible, we meet with Hamor (ass) as a man's name, and Issachar is compared to an ass. Hamor is a Hivite; and the other biblical names taken from animals also belong to Gentile nations, as Nachasch (snake); Zeeb (wolf), Oreb (raven), Arioch (great lion, or resembling the lion), Arisai (about the same). The only indigenous name of this sort seems to be that of Othniel, which, like the Arabian and Persian epithets Asadullah and Schiri-Ghoda, signifies God's lion.
The same custom has prevailed since among many nations. Among the Germans we find especially the wolf and the raven in many names, as those animals were considered as holy. Two wolves, Freki and Geri, are Odin's dogs, and two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (Thinking and Remembering), are on his shoulders, telling him every thing they see and hear-and their names are of good foreboding.
Wild animals are also to be found in the names of women. We find the wolf in Wulfhilda (wolf-strife), the raven in Berht-rama (bright raven), the bear in Ellenbirin (strong bear), the boar in Ebba, which is the female form of Ebbo, the abbreviation of Eberhard (composed of Eber, boar, and hard, hardy). The serpent, which we see winding through the whole of antiquity as a symbolic animal, is to be found in female names-and only in female names-composed with "Lint,” as Siglint, Reginlint. The swan, whose name -Cycnus-appears among Greeks and Romans as a masculine proper name-is in the Teutonic mythology connected with female beings, and consequently a
the bird of Venus-is so natural, that it is not surprising to find its name also as epithet. Edith, surnamed the Swannecked (cognomento Swanes-hals, says the Latin Chronicle), who found the corpse of King Harold on the battle-field, is known to every one who has read Thierry's "History of the Norman Con quest," or Heine's beautiful poem, "The Battle-field of Hastings."
Another beautiful name is that of Nanna-also the name of the wife of the lovely god Baldur-which is said to signify Blossom. This name, like the mythological name of Else and many other names, was afterwards blended with a Christian name of Semitic origin, that of Anna.
The same signification, but more distinct, we find in the Greek name Anthusa, the Blossoming. And this suggests to us another peculiarity of feminine names in general. Those languages which have different genders for the different nouns, give generally to the feminines a softer termination, ending them with a vowel. In the same way we find that the feminine proper names are not only mild and gentle, but conveying with them the idea of something pleasant and agreeable. As Hamlet's mother says, "Sweets to the sweet," so the names of flowers, jewels, and lovely things are given to the "female infants." In the Code of the Hindoos, the law-book of Menu, very detailed rules are laid down, to be observed in the choice of names to be given, or even of those of women to be married, on the ground that he who marries a person marries her name with her. It is said, for instance, "The names of women should be soft, auspicious, ending in long vowels, captivating the fancy. Let him [the Brahmin] choose a girl who has an agreeable name, who walks gracefully like a phenicopter, or like a young elephant." But even among those nations where there is no law of that sort, we find the custom general of giving to girls names of nice things. As those names are, for the most part,