Probably a short form of SILVANUS
. This is the name of a companion of Saint Paul
in the New Testament
. Paul refers to him as Silvanus
in his epistles, though it is possible that Silas
was in fact a Greek form of the Hebrew name SAUL
As an English name it was not used until after the Protestant Reformation
. It was utilized by George Eliot for the title character in her novel 'Silas Marner' (1861).