FAQ Friday: Roman VS Latin Names

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Why is a Professor teaching a group of high school students, and shouldn’t he be using using the Roman names since it’s a Latin class?

Professor Homer is modeled after two of my high school teachers, a certain professor (and that title was a matter of pride to him, so we did use it despite being a high school) and my Latin teacher. My Latin teacher was the sweetest old man you’d ever meet, and he felt it was important to distinguish between Roman and Greek deities. Minerva is not just Athena with a different name. She’s an entirely different god. There’s tons of similarities between them in the same way there’s a ton of similarities between Samhain and Halloween. There are enough differences distinguish between the two holidays just like there are enough differences to distinguish between the two gods.

**I do need to add that while they are different gods, even within their own specific culture they could be worshiped for different roles by making slight variations on the name. So the blending of the gods worked very well because both cultures believed that there were many different aspects to each god. Add that to the oral tradition and the far flung reach of each deities worshipers, and you get some major variations in personality and sequence/existence of events.**

Anyway, I decided to take the same approach my Latin teacher did with my stories by sticking with the spellings of the version of the myth that inspired me most. Professor Homer only tells one myth in the entire series, and that’s the abduction of Oreithyia. The earliest myth of Boreas and Oreithyia I could find was from one of the Simonides fragments (534 to be specific) and it features an Athenian Princess, so to me it made sense for him to stick with the Greek names.

However, if it makes you feel better about him as an educator, he did go over the proper Roman names and roles at the beginning of class. The story just picks up after that classroom lecture.

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