EPONYM: The personage assumed in folk-lore and early history as the ancestor of a clan or race or as the founder of a state or city. The term is a loan-word (Gk, eponymoa, " given as a name "), and is much used in modern investigations into the origins of society. It embodies concisely the results of those investigations so far as they involve that the alleged ancestors or founders were fictitious creations formed in the late mythopeic period in response to inquiry into beginning by the peoples concerned. Thus its use implies that when it was forgotten what were the origins of the Ionians, Eolians, and Acheans, of the Italian peoples and of Rome, Ion, 1Folus and Achseus, Italus and Romulus were put forward to account


for the names of the tribes, peoples and city, though ~, modern research has seemed to prove that they had no real existence as persona. While the term epo nym and the conclusions of research it expresses have long been commonplaces in secular history, only comparatively recently have they been applied to Biblical history. Here the critical school alone has applied the term and the idea, e.g., to the patri archs assigned as progenitors of the Hebrew race and of the several tribes. Thus Heber is regarded as an eponym accounting for the Hebrew people, and the same is true of Jacob and Israel and of his twelve sons. The grounds adduced for thus apply ing the method are various. In general, it is as sumed that what is taken as proved for non-Biblical races applies with equal force to the peoples named in the Bible, especially in view of the strong tend ency manifest there to etymologize in explaining the names. In particular, the appearance both in Egyptian and in cuneiform documents of such names as YakoG-el "Jacob is god," Yoseph-el "Joseph is god," the occurrence of such names as Gad and Asher as god-names in non-Hebraic sources, and many similar phenomena have been made the basis for extending to Biblical names the principles of explanation regarded as fixed and satisfactory in secular lines of investigation. It hardly needs to be said that the traditional or conservative school of Biblical interpretation repudiates the methods and the results involved.

Geo. W. Gilmore.

EQUITIUS: An early leader of Western monas ticism. Our knowledge of him is gained from Greg ory the Great, who got his information from per sonal friends. Of his date the only thing known is that he lived in the beginning and middle of the sixth century. He was abbot of several monas teries in the province of Valerie, near the Lago di Fucino in the Sabine Mountains, and ruled also over certain nunneries. The monks busied them selves with agriculture and in copying ancient manuscripts. Although Equitius was a layman, he preached both in churches and in the streets of the towns and villages through which he made missionary journeys. His itinerant activity led to a conflict with the clergy, who induced the pope (Gregory does not name him) to summon Equitius to Rome; but he changed his mind, it is said, as the result .of a terrifying vision-probably in reality through being convinced of the harmlessness of Equitius, who is honored as a saint on Mar. 7.

(G. Grützmacher.)

Bibliography: he single source is Pope Gregory L, Dia· loporum libri quatluor, i., chap. 4, handiest in MPL, Isavii. 147 sqq.~ Consult ASB. March, i. 849-851: C. Baronius, Annales eccl., ad annum 581, nos. 9-12, 12 vols., Rome, 1688-93; E. Spreitaenhofer. Die Entmirklung des allm bfdnchtuma in ltalicn, Vienna, 1894.


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