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March 22, 2007

Comments

S.

Symmachus, Hyrcanus are other examples of Greek names used by Jews.

I once posted of the list of names in the Letter of Aristeas of the Jewish sages who translated the Targum Shiv'im (whether or not this list is historical).

http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2007/02/red-sea-reed-sea-jewish-sages-with.html

The names are in order here:

http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2003/02/abietes-abraeus-abraham-adaeus-ananias.html

Evidently it's a nice mix of Hebrew, Persian, Aramaic and Greek names.

Dan Klein

Seems to me that the name "Lus" mentioned in Gittin 11b can't really be "Louis." The latter is a French name derived from the Germanic "Chlodwig," which also yielded "Ludwig." But I have no suggestion for what the actual derivation of "Lus" might be.

"Chlodwig" means something like "famous warrior." I have a friend named Luis who, when he joined our faith, accordingly took the Hebrew name "Avihail."

Berel Friedman

What about Tannaim? S. mentioned Symmachus who should be familiar to you from the Bavli for his famous rule of "Mamon HaMutal BiSafek Cholkin", as should Hyrcanus, the name of R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus's father (and son, as well as the father of the lesser known R. Dosa b. Hyrcanus).
Earlier than the Tannaic period we also find Antigonus of Socho (of Pirkei Avos fame).

That's all I can think of now, but I'm sure there are plenty more that a quick perusal of Heiman's Toldos Tannaim VeAmoraim would reveal.

The name in the Yerushalmi that most surprises me is R. Yehudah b. Titus, mentioned in Avodah Zarah 2:3 (41a in the Venice ed.) Why would a Jew be called Titus?

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