From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arbogast may refer to various people. The origin of this name dates back to the Franks.







Fictional characters[edit]

  • Detective Arbogast, the detective in the film Psycho.
  • Dr. Larry Arbogast, Danny DeVito's character in the film Junior.
  • Chief of Department Dino Arbogast, John Ventimiglia's character in the television series Blue Bloods.
  • Hans Arbogast, chief character in the book The Arbogast Case.[1]
  • Carl Arbogast, River Phoenix Character in the film Sneakers.
  • John D Arbogast, a PI in the 1939 Raymond Chandler short story "Trouble is my Business".
  • Charles Arbogast, a PI in the television series "Blunt Talk".

Origin of the name[edit]

"Arbogast" is an early Germanic name that was associated with the tribe of the Salian Franks.[2][3][4] As early as 240 A.D., "Arbogast" was the name of a clan within that tribe.[citation needed]

This name also appears on a silver disc brooch found in a grave at Kirchheim-Teck and dating back to the second half of the 6th century.[5]

The etymology of this name is not yet a matter of consensus. We present below three hypotheses that are still disputed.

Arogastes = Arogast = Arbogast in Latin[edit]

The name "Arogast" appears in the Salic law, written in 507–511,[3] which forms the basis of the Franks' legal system. The four Frankish authors of this law were Wisogast, Arogast, Sidogast, and Widogast. Contacts with the Romans led to Old Frankish words becoming Latinized. In later versions of the Salic Law (including the "systematic version"), these four authors are referred to as Wisogastes, Arogastes, Sidogastes, and Widogastes.[citation needed]

According to Zöllner and Heinzelmann,[6] the author known as "Arogast" or "Arogastes" is the 4th-century Frankish general Arbogast, who served in the late Roman army. In this case, "Arbogast" would be a Latin variant of the older name "Arogast".

Proto-Germanic Arô-gisalaz "eagle companion"[edit]

Schretzheim I, found in Bayrisch Schwaben, Germany, is a silver bulla (i.e., an amulet box) dated c. 600. It is kept in the Stadtund Hochstiftmuseum, Dillingen a.d. Donau, Germany. The runic inscription reads "arogisd(l)".[5] The rune on the lid reads "arogisd".[7]

According to Looijenga,[5][7] the proto-Germanic words arô "eagle" and gisalaz or gīslaz "companion, hostage" led to Arôgisalaz "eagle companion". This proto-Germanic name changed as the language evolved to the old Frankish language. Over time, Arôgisalaz became Arogisd(l), which may have been pronounced Arogist or Arogast.[7] Therefore, Arôgisalaz and Arogisd(l) may be primitive forms of the name Arogast, which later became Arbogast under Roman influence.

Arb(o)-gast = guest of heritage in proto-Germanic[edit]

According to another school,[citation needed] the name "Arbogast" is derived from the proto-Germanic roots "arb" (heritage)[citation needed] and "gast" or "gastiz" (stranger, guest). In this case, "Arbogast" would mean "heritage guest".[8] "Arogast" would be either a Frankish variant of the older name "Arbogast", or a different name altogether.


  1. ^ Hettche 2001.
  2. ^ Gregory of Tours 1974.
  3. ^ a b Fischer Drew 2011, pp. 59,171,172.
  4. ^ "Salian Franks". Eupedia. 
  5. ^ a b c Looijenga 2003, pp. 255, 264.
  6. ^ Heinzelmann 1983.
  7. ^ a b c Looijenga 1997, p. 148.
  8. ^ See Wikipedia's article in French and German.


  • Heinzelmann, Martin (1983). "Gallische Prosopographie". Francia. 
  • Hettche, Thomas (2001). The Arbogast Case. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 
  • Gregory of Tours (1927). The History of the Franks. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.