Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Napoleon and Newton

Napoleon was called Napoleon because his Corsican roots are connected with Naples; and Naples was called Naples because when the Greeks founded it, it was a 'new town' (Νεάπολις). So it follows: when we look for an English equivalent ('Jean? Meet John!') for Napoleon, we should go to Newton (Wikipedia, here, say it's 'the most common placename in England ... a descriptive name of the relative type, implying a settlement that arose later than another, already existing or at least incorporating some kind of new feature'). In English, in other words, Napoleon is Newtonian. They even have (look!) a certain physical resemblance. Perhaps they were secretly related.

No comments: