Georgia and Georgia and the Georgics

i-5446119af0746a81591c99809453a596-saint-george-dragon.jpgNoreen Malone at Slate explains why Georgia and Georgia are both named Georgia. Basically it’s:

  1. George means “ploughman” in ancient Greek
  2. Saint George dies in AD 303
  3. Part of Central Asia (Georgia) becomes associated with the saint for unknown reasons
  4. Crusaders bring the cult of Saint George to Western Europe in the 12th century
  5. Saint George becomes England’s patron in the 1340s
  6. King George II grants part of North America (Georgia) a charter in 1732

But what does this all have to do with the Georgics of Virgil, published in 29 BC? Well, the poetry cycle’s overt theme is rural life and farming: subjects known in Greek as, yes, georgics.


  1. #1 Coturnix
    August 15, 2008

    But the Asian Georgia calls itself Gruzia.

  2. #2 Lassi Hippeläinen
    August 16, 2008

    I always though the Gruzia is the Russian name for Georgia.

  3. #3 pbinkley
    August 16, 2008

    George II was so named not because of England’s patron saint but after his father, the first Hanoverian king of England, and his great-grandfather, the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and founder of the house of Hanover. So there’s one link still unexplained in that account: why did the Hanoverians adopt the name?

  4. #4 chris y
    August 18, 2008

    So there’s one link still unexplained in that account: why did the Hanoverians adopt the name?

    They thought it was a cool name? There were already too many German princes called Frederick and William? The father of the original one owed money to a guy named George and wanted to ingratiate himself? After all, why did you get your name?

  5. #5 Bill Poser
    August 21, 2008

    The Greek can be further analyzed. “George” (Georgos in Greek) is literally “earth worker”.

  6. #6 tako
    February 16, 2010

    Gruzia is a russian name of ancient times greeks gave name’GEORGIA’to this countrey but indeed georgians called their land COLCHIS,it is a countrey ARGONAUTS came to steel golden fleece

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