The specific link doesn't seem to work, but in her last post on August 6th, Judith Weiss of Kesher Talk refers to "misogynistic and zenophobic hatred and violence". Fear of foreigners is 'xenophobia', with an X. Zenophobia would be 'fear of Zeno', very rare outside philosophy departments. Even inside them, it could mean fear of Zeno of Elea, who proved (or 'proved') that motion is impossible using the parable of Achilles and the Tortoise, or Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism. Personally, I can see being a little queasy about either or both, but a full-blown phobia is overdoing it.
Zeno is one of the few ancient author names that always has a qualifier attached, since the two Zenos are equally famous, or close enough to cause confusion. The only similar name I can think of offhand is Apollonius: to distinguish them, the Hellenistic epic poet is generally called Apollonius of Rhodes (or Apollonius Rhodius), the mathematician who wrote on conic sections Apollonius of Perga (or Perge). There are actually quite a few other Zenos and Apollonii, but two of each are distinctly more famous than the rest.
Nomenclatural ambiguity affects Roman authors in a different way. Most Romans had three names, which should have reduced the possibilities for confusion. The first (praenomen) was the personal name, like a modern first name, the second (nomen) the family or clan name, and the third (cognomen) was used to distinguish branches of the same family. Thus Marcus Tullius Cicero and Quintus Tullius Cicero were brothers, members of the Cicero branch of the Tullius family, while Titus Livius (the historian Livy) only had two names, since he came from a small town where there were only a few other Livii. The same cognomen was routinely used in more than one family, so both nomen and cognomen might be needed to avoid confusion. When the number of people with the same nomen and cognomen grew too large, a father could give his sons new cognomina, thus starting new subfamilies of the greater clan.
This brings us back to the famous names. Scholars refer to eminent Romans by nomen or cognomen, whichever is more distinctive. Some have two uncommon names, so Publius Vergilius Maro could be either Vergil or Maro, Publius Ovidius Naso either Ovid or Naso, and Marcus Tullius Cicero either Tully or Cicero. For the last few centuries, they have been Vergil (or Virgil), Ovid, and Cicero, respectively, but older books often called them by the other names, especially Tully.
Some authors had less distinctive names. The two Varros are usually called by their hometowns, like the Greeks already mentioned. Marcus Terentius Varro ('Varro of Reate') was an antiquarian polymath and satirist, Publius Terentius Varro Atacinus ('Varro of Atax') an epic poet, who, as it happens, did a Latin version of Apollonius of Rhodes' epic on Jason, Medea, and the Golden Fleece, the Argonautica. Too bad very little of either's works survives. On the other hand, Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) and Martial (Gaius Valerius Martialis) are always called by their cognomina, since they have the same nomen (and were therefore distant cousins), while Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) and the satirist Persius (Aules Persius Flaccus) are called by their nomina, since they have the same cognomen. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Poor Gaius Valerius Flaccus, who wrote yet another Argonautica, is always called Valerius Flaccus, because it's the only way to tell the difference between him and the various other Valerii and Flacci.
Perhaps I'd better stop here: I think I've gone over my pedantry quota for the day.Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 08, 2004 06:34 PM