Thursday, 14 May 2009

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Professor Dumbledore's full name is:
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

"Dumbledore is an old English word meaning bumblebee. Because Albus Dumbledore is very fond of music, I always imagined him as sort of humming to himself a lot." J.K. Rowling

AlbusLatin for "white".
Albion is an ancient poetic name for Britain which the Romans connected with the Latin "albus" referring to the whiteness of cliffs seen from the sea, but which is more likely of Celtic origin.

After Dumbledore's death, he was buried in a white marble tomb. (HBP 30)

Percival - one of King Arthur's knights whose virtue was so great that he alone could retrieve the Holy Grail, the chalice from Christ's Last Supper.

Wulfric - Anglo/Saxon, meaning wolf power, or wolf ruler.
(Wulf = wolf. Ric = power, rule.)

Together with Dumbledore's victory over the magician Grindelwald, his middle name Wulfric might be a hint towards the 8th-century Norse epic Beowulf and Grendel. See my previous post about Harry Potter and Beowulf.

Brian (Celtic, Irish, Gaelic) "High, noble; strength."
Brian Boru (10th century) was a warrior who became High King of Ireland, and one of its greatest national heroes. His reign was unique in that he mangaged to establish himself as King of Ireland in more than just name, by forcing all other challengers to swear allegiance to him. After his death, Ireland soon fell back into chaos and anarchy.

Albus P W Brian Dumbledore's achievement as Headmaster of Hogwarts could possibly be compared in some ways to that of Brian Boru as High King of Ireland. For a long period of time, Dumbledore managed to keep the four Houses of Hogwarts together, in spite of the differences. When he is not there, chaos and anarchy break out. This is seen both during his shorter absences in the earlier books, for example under the temporary "reign" of Dolores Umbridge in Book 5, and especially in Book 7, after Dumbledore's death.

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