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Name Origins: Permenio

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

PERMENIO (m): PARMENION was a powerful general in the Macedonian army of Kings Philip II and his son, Alexander III (the Great). His son Philotas (named for his paternal grandfather) was high in Alexander’s cavalry. In December 330 B.C., after a number of Alexander’s Persian conquests, Philotas and several of the King’s bodyguards (Companions) were reported to have entered into a conspiracy to kill him. After torture Philotas was said to have confessed before his execution to plotting against the King because Alexander was now claiming to be a god. Although there was no clear proof that Parmenion was involved in the plot, he held too powerful a position to remain alive; Alexander sent an express messenger ahead to Ecbatana (Hamadan, Iran) with orders to kill the old general. The Greek PARMENION was Latinized as PARMENIO and variant PERMENIO, accented on the second syllable.


Permenio Callisthenes Shaw, b. Raynham, Mass. 7 Oct. 1779, son of Jonathan [Jr.] and Lydia (Gushee) Shaw (Raynham, Mass. VRs, p. 25), was named both for Parmenion and for another anti-Alexander plotter: the philosopher Aristotle’s great-nephew Callisthenes (d. 328 B.C.), a historian who turned against Alexander’s adoption of Persian royal customs, was implicated in another conspiracy, and died in prison. The choice of these two long, anti-tyrannical names for a small child in Revolutionary War Massachusetts is quite telling. His parents were big readers — some later children were Amyntas (b. 25 Sept. 1785), named for Alexander the Great’s grandfather; Cassini Shaw (b. 10 Sept. 1790), named for the astronomer; and Henrietta Maria Antonietta Shaw (b. 8 Jan. 1793), for Henrietta Maria of France, Queen of England’s Charles I, and of course for Queen Marie Antoinette, very much in current events that year (Raynham VRs, p. 25).(There is no connection between the male name PARMENION/PERMENION and the female PARMELIA/PERMELIA, which is a form of PAMELA.)

Posted by Jean Powers at 02/14/2012 07:05:00 AM | 

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