the publius enigma

What's behind a name?

PUBLIUS: what's behind a name?

The initiator(s) of the Enigma have chosen to name their puzzle by using a pseudonym with a Latin consonance. Etymologically, the name "Publius" means "from the people, public". The Greek equivalent of this name would be "Laius". This pseudonym implies a "well learned and versed" personality, most probably a writer. Douglas Adams and Polly Samson would fit this profile. We can even infer that the person who adopted this pseudonym was an admirer of either the Roman poets Ovid or Virgil, the Roman consul Valerius or the Federalists.

Publius started posting on alt.music.pink-floyd in 1994, so this person must have had some good and early knowledge of the Internet. Publius must have been in a close relationship with Pink floyd members at the time of the Division Bell album, and would have had some influence on the band.

It was also said somewhere that Publius was Nick Mason, who supposedly launched the Enigma during the Division Bell Tour. In any case, Publius must also have been in close contact with Storm Thorgerson to include the words "Publius Enigma" in the AMLOR mini-cd release.

Another possibility is that Publius designate a group of person (band members and/or other persons), like the authors of the Federalists Papers.

Other Famous Publius's

Publius Ovidius Naso
Publius Ovidius Naso (born in Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC – died in Tomis, now Constanta AD 17) Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid.

Publius Vergilius Maro
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) born 70 B.C.–19 B.C., Roman poet. Vergil turned to rural poetry of a contrasting kind, realistic and didactic. In his Georgics , completed in 30 B.C., he seeks, as had the Greek Hesiod before him, to interpret the charm of real life and work on the farm. His perfect poetic expression gives him the first place among pastoral poets. For the rest of his life Vergil worked on the Aeneid, a national epic honoring Rome and foretelling prosperity to come. The adventures of Aeneas are unquestionably one of the greatest long poems in world literature.

Note: Virgil's name contain both the word Publius and MARO, which can be understood as a part of MAROONED.

Publius Valerius Publicola 
(or Poplicola, his surname meaning "friend of the people") (– 503 BC) was a Roman consul, the colleague of Lucius Junius Brutus in 509 BC, traditionally considered the first year of the Roman Republic.

Publius (pen name)
A collection of 85 essays about the US Constitution, called The Federalist Papers, were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison during 1787-1788 under the allonym Publius (Valerius) in honor of his role in establishing the Roman Republic.

Publius (title)
 Publius was the Roman governor and chief officer of the island of Malta. He welcomed the Apostle Paul, shipwrecked on his way to Rome. A detail of this account may have significance in regards to the Division Bell.

 "After three months we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the Twin Brothers as figurehead." (Acts 28:1-11 RSV)

The Twin Brothers are Castor and Pollux (also called the Dioscuri), forming the constellation of Gemini, saint patrons of sailors. We have already stressed the importance of the twin Heads and Gemini in the context of the album cover page. We could also link the shipwreck and the Twin Brothers with MAROONED and LOST FOR WORDS (boxing gloves). Castor was famous for taming and managing horses, and Pollux for skill in boxing. They took part in the expedition with the Argonauts (ARGO NAVIS is perhaps the Ship of Fools mentioned in A GREAT DAY FOR FREEDOM).