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User comments for Eponine (Meaning / History Only)
According to my research, Eponine is the French form of the name of the wife of Julius Sabinus, the Roman emperor in Gaul in the first half of 70. Her story is related by the Greek philosopher Plutarch of Chaeronea in his collection of love stories, the Eroticus.
"Her Gaulish name was Empona, which may be translated into Greek as 'Heroine'. "
The Italians refer to her as Epponina which translates into French as Eponine.
Victor Hugo, in naming one of his central heroines of Les Miserables after Saint Eponine was likely invoking this obscure love story from Plutarch about the wife who gives up everything and eventually sacrifices her own life out of love and devotion to her husband.
Here are my key references:
French First Name Site (Sainte Eponine)
History of Epponina wife of Julius Sabinus
History of Empona wife of Julius Sabinus
Could also be related to Epona, the name of the Celtic goddess of horses, which means "horse" from Gaulish "epos."
I've read that "Eponine" also means "love", which would explain the romance novel connotation in Victor Hugo's novel. (Eponine was my absolute favorite character.)
French variant of Epona, the Greek goddess of horses.
― Anonymous User
Other meanings of the name Éponine is:
-bringer of light and love
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