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Who were the Catholic popes before the current Francis I who used names not of Latin, Greek or Jewish origin? Particularly, names of Germanic origin, like Francis.

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just curious, which popes have Jewish names? –  Louis Rhys Mar 15 '13 at 17:13
@LouisRhys: John, for example. –  Felix Goldberg Mar 16 '13 at 16:15
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Hormisdas is of Persian origin, and he possibly took the name to honor a Persian noble named Hormizd.

In the tenth century we had a Pope Landus, or Lando, and various sources say that this name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Lando was also his given name, however, and I find it unlikely than an Italian from Sabina would have been given an Anglo-Saxon name. What can be said is that he was the last pope to have taken an original name, until Francis.

Incidentally, francis seems to have been the Latin name for the Celts or the Suebi, and not Germanic as you suggest.

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Damn, George Lucas had his long grubby licensing arms even there!!! –  DVK Mar 15 '13 at 15:55
Bet his Popemobile was the fastest hunkajunk in the Sistine Chapel! –  Jimmy Shelter Mar 16 '13 at 0:14
@mh01 She'll make the Castel run in less than 12 piedi. And yes, I know the pied is a unit of distance. –  choster Mar 16 '13 at 17:55
@choster - I would have expected nothing else. :) –  Jimmy Shelter Mar 16 '13 at 18:08
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Wikipedia has a complete list of Papal names. Counting this week's Francis, 81 different names have been used. There are some names that arguably may be Italian rather than Latin (eg:Lando), but none with undisputed roots outside of those three languages.

Note that etymology Online actually lists Francis as French in origin, which would make it of Romantic (ultimiately Roman) origin, not Germanic.

masc. proper name, from French François, from Old French Franceis, from Late Latin Franciscus, literally "Frankish;" cognate with French and frank.

Thus Francis might not count either.

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While we are vaguely on the subject, I have to make note of my all-time favorite Pope name: Pope Hilarious If Father Guido Sarducci is ever elected Pope, he should take Pope Hilarious II. –  T.E.D. Mar 15 '13 at 15:34
+1, I was in the middle of writing similar answer with a mention of Lando. I believe all the rest are Latin, Greek or Hebrew, with Lando falling into Latin category, as he was also known as Landus. –  Darek Wędrychowski Mar 15 '13 at 15:38
@DarekWędrychowski - There were actually a few others I could mention. Almost all are Italians who kept their birth names. The further you go back the more debatable the difference between Latin and Italian is though. –  T.E.D. Mar 15 '13 at 15:40
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