🔼The name Gallio: Summary
- The Gaul, Crier, Rooster-like, Living On Milk
- From the name Celt, the Latin word gallus, rooster or caller, or the Greek word γαλα (gala), milk.
🔼The name Gallio in the Bible
The name Gallio (or in Greek: Gallion) occurs three times in only one scene in the Bible. At some point during Paul's year and a half stay in Corinth (Acts 18:11), the Jews there united against Paul and brought him before the Roman proconsul of Achaia. This happened to be Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus (Acts 18:12, 18:14 and 18:17) and since this man was incumbent only between 51 and 52 AD (during the reign of Claudius), this event is the most decisive temporal markers of Paul's missionary journey.
Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus was not a nobody. He was an uncle of the famous poet Lucan (via his brother Marcus Annaeus Mela) and older brother of the famous Stoic writer Seneca the Younger who also served as an advisor to emperor Nero, at least during his more stable early reign. Both men were born in Cordova, Spain, but young Lucius was adopted by a friend of his father named Lucius Junius Gallio, from whom he took the name Gallio.
🔼Etymology of the name Gallio
It's not clear where the name Gallio comes from, or even from what language it stems. But to Greco-Roman ears it sounded like several things that might ultimately be related to each other:
- It's possible that the name Gallio comes from the name Gallus, which means Gaul or Gallic, but it's also not clear where that name comes from (see our article on the name Galatia).
- It's possible that both Gallio and Gallus come from the identical noun gallus, which denotes a rooster (the feminine gallina means hen), and this animal might be named after a Sanskrit verb that gave the English language the verbs "to cry" and "to call".
- And all of the above might also be related to the Latin word lac and the Greek word γαλα (gala) meaning milk:
The noun γαλα (gala) means milk (hence our word "galaxy"), and served as the proverbial white, sweet baby food that marked a childlike existence without either care or skills. It may have reminded Latin speakers of the noun gallus, rooster, which shares an ancient root with our verbs "to call" and "to cry." To those folks, the word γαλα (gala) may primarily associate to childlike noise-making rather than childlike sweetness, being carefree or void of any skills.
The name Gallio might mean Crier or Rooster-like or Living On Milk, which would carry a secondary meaning of Infantile or Immature.