🔼The name Julius: Summary
- Downy, Hairy
- From the Latin word iulus, down or very soft hair.
🔼The name Julius in the Bible
The most famous Julius in Biblical times was of course Julius Caesar, the man who helped destroy autocracy and democracy in the world and replaced it with the model that is still dominant today: that of one central tyrant, surrounded by a group of henchmen whose only skill and purpose is to keep their own job and that of their boss. Although humanity consists largely of people who would naturally engage in cooperation and balanced dialogue, humanity is organized in camps that are run by people who naturally compete for the sake of competition, and who run their camp like a fighting machine. That's why most of us are unhappy.
There's only one man named Julius named in the Bible, and he was the centurion of the Augustan cohort to whom Paul was entrusted (Acts 27:1 and 27:3). During his hearing by the Roman governor Porcius Festus, Paul had appealed to Caesar, and after he was additionally heard by king Agrippa (and his wife Bernice), who concluded that Paul was innocent, he was handed over to Julius.
Julius, his party and prisoners, and a Macedonian of Thessalonica named Aristarchus, boarded an Adramyttian ship headed north. It arrived the next day in Sidon, where Julius allowed Paul to meet his friends and to receive care before heading out again. At the port of Myra in Lycia, Julius put Paul and the author of the story and an untold number of others on board an Alexandrian ship that was on its way to Italy (Acts 27:6).
🔼Etymology of the name Julius
The name Julius is the masculine version of the much older name Julia, which in turn was originally a family name rather than a personal name. It appears to have been derived from the identical word iulus, meaning down or the wooly part of plants (say Lewis and Short in A Latin Dictionary).
It may be that this Latin word originated as the Greek word ιουλος (ioulos), which also denoted down, but secondary the facial hair of a young man. Hence many commentators figure that the names Julia and Julius means young, but that is thus probably not the case.