- Cyrano de Bergerac
- Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655), a Gascon, is one of the few men in history who have become famous because of a prodigious nose. (Jimmy Durante more recently parlayed his nose into a successful movie career and nightclub appearances.) Cyrano was constantly being insulted because of his proboscis and had to fight many duels to vindicate it. His duel single-handedly against a hundred enemies while serving as an officer in the Guards has been documented. It is said that Cyrano fought over a thousand duels.Cyrano's name became a household word in 1897 when a play, Cyrano de Bergerac, written by Edmond Rostand, attained remarkable success. The play was founded on Cyrano's adventures and his many romantic exploits, of which the most poignant was his romantic victory over Roxanne. Although Cyrano captured her love through his ardent letters, he did not seek her for himself but for his friend Christian. Cyrano was such a loyal friend that he did not reveal the deception even after Christian's death. Since then many renowned actors, with false nose attached, have enjoyed interpreting Cyrano's life and his activities. Cyrano did not die as a result of a sword wound, as some would have you believe, but as a result of an injury caused by a falling object in a house where he was a guest. No one knows whether it fell or was thrown.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.