For the penultimate day of Sneak Peek Week, I’m coming home to Wales, to bring you a name little known outside the Principality — except perhaps, by Druids: Iolo (pronounced ‘yol-oh’) — and friends.
A Welsh name with a somewhat disputed history. It is mostly regarded today as a pet-form of IORWETH, but it is argued by some that it is actually the Welsh form of JULIUS. Bearers: Iolo Morgannwg, the Bardic name of Edward Williams (1747-1826), often called the father of Modern Druidry, whose work the Barddas was highly influential in the Druid revival.
Welsh: iôr ‘lord’ + gwerth ‘worth’. A name borne by numerous figures in Welsh history, it is one of a handful of genuinely Welsh names which have remained in constant use since at least medieval times. Anglicized as Yorath. Variant: Iorath.
The gens Julia is probably the most famous of all the Roman families. It claimed descent from the Trojan Hero Aeneas, son of Venus through his son Ascanius, who was also called Iulus. The legend has it that he was originally called Ilus – from Ilia, another name for Troy — but his name was corrupted. In fact, it is more likely that the name is a diminutive form of Iovis, the genitive of Jupiter (and from which we get Jove), and that the family was originally dedicated to him. Used since the 16th Century – often as Julius Caesar. Bearers: Julius Henry ‘Groucho’ Marx (1890-1977), the US comic actor; Julius Rosenberg (1918-53), whose execution as a communist spy during the McCarthy era remains controversial. Italian: Giulio, Hungarian: Gyula, French: JULES, Portuguese, Spanish: Julio, Polish: Juliusz, Russian: Yuliy.