Origin of the name CYNTHIA.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name CYNTHIA.
form of Greek Kynthia
(q.v.), meaning "of Cynthus." This is a surname of Diana,
Goddess of the Moon, derived from her birthplace, mount Cynthus, on the
island of Delos. Probably from kyon (genit. kynos,
"dog"). Travellers have described Cynthus as
"an ugly hill." It has the masculine form Cynthius.
Also see Cíntia and Synthia. Usage: America,
England, Holland, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico.
classic myth, one of the names of Diana, who was born on Mount Cynthus
in Delos. Like Diana, the name is frequently used as a synonym for
the moon. Spenser in Colin Clout's Come Home Again (1591)
and Phineas Fletcher in The Purple Island (1633) bestow the name
on Queen Elizabeth with special application to the chastity of the
Virgin Queen. Raleigh also flatters her in a poem called Cynthia,
of which a few books have survived. Ben Jonson does the same in Cynthia's
Keats makes Cynthia the heroine of his poem Endymion
Under the name of Cynthia, Sextus Propertius, a Roman
elegiac poet (B.C. 50-16), celebrates his mistress Hostia, who was, very
frankly, a woman of ill-fame living in luxury at Rome on the proceeds of
her infamy. "She has a very real and marked individuality,
which her lover is constrained to describe, as he describes his own
weakness and infatuation, with the desperate sincerity and truthfulness
making the full confession of his life to the world" (W. Y. SELLAR,
Roman Poets of the Augustan Age, p. 283). He even prides
himself on his effeminacy and his unfitness for anything save to love
Cynthia and gain her favor by his verses. (Heroes
and Heroines of Fiction, Classical, Mediaeval, Legendary, Walsh,
Cynthia, Selina, together with Selene and Artemis, are all names given by
the ancients to the Goddess of the Moon, and all, save Diana, which is
Latin, are Greek.
The crown majestic Juno were;
And Cynthia's brow the cresent bore.
wrote Shenstone in his Attribute
of Venus; and in Il Penseroso Milton also alludes to Cynthia as
the Goddess of the Moon.
The name is a graceful one, and, at one time much in
vogue, is still used, and very popular with the poets. It occurs,
for instance, as the name of one of the characters in The Double Dealer
by Congreve. In America it is frequently met with.
Alexander Pope has a Cynthia in his Moral Essays.
Come then, the colours and the
Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air;
Choose a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
George Wither, Sir Robert Howard, Sir Walter Raleigh, Michael Drayton, Ben
Jonson, who wrote a masque called Cynthia's Revels; Richard
Barnfield, Sir Francis Kyneston, and Anne Radcliffe have all written poems
with Cynthia for their burden... Mrs. Gaskell has a Cynthia
Kirkpatrick in her novel Wives and Daughters, whilst William
Shenstone writes of her in at least four poems, one being an Ode to
Cynthia, from which we will quote.
Ah! Cynthia, thy Damon's cries
Are heard at dead of night;
But they, alas! are doom'd to rise
Like smoke upon the sight.
. . . . . .
If sleep perhaps my eyelids close,
'Tis but to dream of you;
Awhile I cease to feel my woes,
Nay, think I'm happy too.
I think I press with kisses pure,
Your lovely rosy lips;
And you're my bride, I think I'm sure,
Till gold the mountain tips.
When waked, aghast I look around,
And find my charmer flown;
Then bleeds afresh my galling wound,
While I am left alone.
Take pity, then, O gentlest maid!
On thy poor Damon's heart:
Remember what I've often said,
'Tis you can cure my smart.