Friday, 31 July 2009


July was named for Julius Caesar; which means it's named, more distantly, after Iulus. Now Iulus was derived from the Greek ioulos, which means 'catkin', or more generally any furry plant ('the down or woolly part of many plants', L&S). Which seems to me an oddly soft and literally fluffy sort of name for the warrior-ruler of the fiercest military empire the ancient world ever saw; and since catkins bloom in the spring, not in midsummer, makes it doubly inappropriate for this month.

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