March 17, 2007

More on Caesar's Last Words

In a comment over at Language Hat on my post on The Ides of March, Marie-Lucie Tarpent wonders about the use of the Greek word τέκνον /teknon/ where the Latin has Brute, the vocative singular of the name Brutus. She is quite right that teknon is not a name. It's literal meaning is "child", but it was also used by one adult to another, younger adult of intimate acquaintance. In the New Testament it is used by teachers toward their pupils and disciples and by patriarchs toward other men (e.g. Luke 16:25). This means, incidentally, that Caesar's words, if historical, offer no support for the rumor that he was Brutus' biological father.

Posted by Bill Poser at March 17, 2007 12:44 AM