Sunday, March 18, 2018

the humble chickpea

I have decided to read Robert Harris' Imperium next. It is the first novel in his trilogy about Cicero.

From wikipedia:
Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas.
Never mind "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language," it is stuff along the lines of:
The famous family names of Fabius, Lentulus, and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils, and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus ("Swollen-ankled") and Catulus ("Puppy")
that floats my boat.
Post a Comment