Origin of the name ANNA.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name ANNA.
m. In the seventh century we had
an instance of this name being borne by a man in the person of Anna, King
of the East Angles, who was slain in battle, fighting against Pendia,
King of Mercia, somewhere about A.D.
645. (Girls' Christian Names, Swan, 1905). If Teutonic, it
would probably be from the root an (O.H. Germ. ano, Mod.
Germ. ahne, meaning "grandfather." If Anglo-Saxon,
from ann (Lat. favere), "to show favor to." (The
Teutonic Name-System &c., Ferguson, 1864)
f. Egyptian. The name of the queen of Sebekhotep
II. of the XIIIth dynasty. (An Archaic Dictionary, Cooper,
1876). It is probably
the same as Ana, meaning
f. Biblical. [The Greek form of the Hebrew
(q.v.) = "compassion, grace" and "prayers"].
Usage: America, Bulgaria (Анна), Denmark, England,
France, Holland, Hungary,
Poland, Russia (Анна), and Serbia.
A widow who, when the infant Jesus was brought to be
dedicated in the temple, was there, as it was her daily practice to be,
though she was 84 years old. She was the daughter of Phanuel, and
was of the tribe of Asher. Her married life had lasted only seven
years. A prophetess, she recognised Jesus as the Messiah, and made
her discovery known to the pious worshippers around (Luke ii.
36-38). (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter,
f. A variant of Irish Ana
(q.v.), the name of a war goddess, and mother of the gods, meaning
"mother." In Arthurian Legend, this is the name of the
mother of Gawain.
We find Ana,
a war-goddess, in Irish tradition; Anna, the mother of Gawain, in early
sources in England and France; a term applicable, according to Rhys's
interpretation, to Ana the war-goddess, given to one of Gwalchmei's
parents in Welsh material. This is an analogous situation to that
which we shall meet in the case of the Morrigan: in a certain episode in
a French source she retains her Irish name in a French form; in Welsh
material in the same episode a term synonymous with her name is
used. The evidence thus far indicates that tradition made Anna the
mother of Gawain in her origin essentially the same sort of being that
Morgain was in her origin, and that a consequent confusion in name
between Anna and Morgain accounts for Anna's disappearance from the
romances and Morgain's appearance there as Arthur's sister. To
Anna as the mother of Gawain, Arthur's nephew, this position belonged by
the time when Geoffrey wrote his Historia, whatever her origin
may have been; but there is excellent reason to believe that it had not
been Morgain's from the time when tradition first associated her with
Arthur... (Studies in the Fairy Mythology of Arthurian Romance,
f. Latin form of Greek Anna,
meaning "compassion, grace" and "prayers."
Also from Latin annus, or anus,
meaning "year." Usage: Italy.
goddess, in whose honour the Romans instituted a festival. She was,
according to the common account, Anna, the daughter of Belus, and sister
of Dido, who, after her sister's death, gave up Carthage to Iarbas, king
of Gaetulia, who had besieged the place, and fled to Melita, now Malta.
From Melita she proceeded to Italy, and was there kindly received by
Æneas. Lavinia, however, conceived so violent a jealousy
against her, that Anna, warned in a dream, by Dido, of her danger, took
flight during the night, and threw herself into the Numicius, where she
was transformed into a Naiad. The Romans instituted a festival,
which was always celebrated on the 15th of March, in her honour, and
generally invoked her aid to obtain a long and happy life; thence,
according to some, the explanation of the epithet Anna Perenna
assigned to her after deification. (Ovid, Fast., 3, 653.Sil.
Ital., 8, 79, &c.) The key to the different legends relative
to Anna Perenna is to be found in the rites and ceremonies attending her
festival. It was a feast commemorative of the year and the spring,
and the hymns sung on this occasion bore the free and joyous character of
orgiastic strains. In them Anna Perenna was entreated to make the
entire year roll away in health and prosperity ("Ut annare
perennareque commode liccat."Macrob., Sat., 1,
12). Now, this new year, this year full of freshness and of benefits
invoked, is no other than Anna herself, a personification of the old lunar
year. (Compare Hermann und Creuzer, Briefe, &c., p.
135.) Anna is the same word, in fact, as annus, or anus
according to the primitive Roman orthography; in Greek
whence the expression
ἕνη καὶ νἑα, proving that the word carries with it
the accessory idea of antiquity, just as
ἕτος appears analogous to
vetus. (Compare Lennep, Etymol. Gr., p. 210, seqq.Valckenaer,
ad Ammon., p. 196, 197.) Anna Perenna is called the moon,
κατ' ἐξοχήν, and it is she that conducts the moons her sisters, and who at the
same time directs and governs the humid sphere: thus she reposes for ever
in the river Numicius, and runs on for ever with it. She is the
course of the moons, of the years, of time in general. It is she
that gives the flowers and fruits, and causes the harvest to ripen: the
annual produce of the seasons (annona) is placed under her
protecting care.The Anna Perenna of the Romans has been compared
with the Anna Pourna Devi, or Annada, of the Hindu
mythology; the goddess of abundance and nourishment, a beneficent form of
Bhavani. The characteristic traits appear to be the same.
(Compare the remarks of Paterson and Colebrooke, in the Asiatic
Researches, vol. 8, p. 69, seqq., and p. 85.Creuzer's
Symbolik, par Guigniaut, vol. 2, p. 501, seqq.). (A
Classical Dictionary, Anthon, 1891)