Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Roman Meal Soldier

We've bought Roman Meal wheat bread for quite a few years. Seems to be the best combination of healthiness and taste to work for everyone here. We had a first today, though. Frank, our sword and soldier-loving toddler, wanted to know the soldier's name. So we christened him Atticus - the first Roman-sounding name that popped into my head. Now I'm wondering, is that a Roman name?

By the way, Hilda Van Stockum's wonderful little poem on St. Michael from The Angel's Alphabet (now sadly out-of-print) is making a major theological stamp on this little one's heart. In a world in which he's practically obsessed with good guys and bad guys, he's delighted by St. Michael - the good guy with the sword who doesn't hurt us. This is definitely a little guy who, as Chesterton put it, has "known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination".

4 comments:

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Atticus.. hmm... the ending sounds so Roman, but not the beginning. Maybe we need to consult the OED.
I knew someone once who named her baby Adicus--in honor of the book's character--but I guess didn't check on the spelling.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Yes, the beginning sounds more Greek, I think. Okay, I have to try and look it up...

Here's what my big old dictionary (The New Century Dictionary of the English Language from 1931) gives for the etymology of the word "Attic":

Latin, Atticus, from the Greek Attikos

[don't know how to do the Greek characters here, but you get the idea]

Dr. Thursday said...

According to my references, you have hit a rather Chestertonian paradox with your question "Is Atticus a Roman name?"

It's a Latin name, yes, and suggests "excellence, preeminent, preferable, of the highest grade (of style, philosophy, eloquence)" [see Lewis & Short] - qualities which any Roman would be proud of...

And yet, it means "Greek"! - specifically "from Attica", which is the district of Athens!

So - you have a very Chestertonian Roman soldier here. Remember what GKC said about Jesus: "There is nothing that throws any particular light on Christ's attitude towards organised warfare, except that he seems to have been rather fond of Roman soldiers." [See GKC, The Everlasting Man CW2:323; cf. Mt 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10]

And I think it is wonderful that Frank loves St. Michael. Would that we all love him in that way! (don't you hear it now: "unless you become like little children...") Ask Frank to pray to St. Michael for us...

Love2Learn Mom said...

Wow! Ask and you shall receive. :)

I loved that part of the Everlasting Man!

I think I'll have to start teaching Frank the St. Michael Prayer along with the St. Michael poem.