In the ancient world, epithets were poetic or ceremonial names given to deities (benevolent or malevolent) and royalty. These epithets, though having the character of a personal proper name, represented a particular trait, power or ability that the god or king embodied. For example, many of us from the Christian tradition speak of Jesus as Christ—as if Christ were his name. In fact, Christ is an epithet that represents an ascribed aspect of the individual, Jesus. (Christ is derived from the Greek word christos. Christos, in turn, is the Septuagintal translation of the Hebrew hammashiah, meaning “the messiah.”