The river Rhine, it is well known
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
   Cologne, a city on the Rhine, where "eau de cologne" was first made, was founded in 38 B.C. as Ara Ubiorum. When the city became a Roman colony in A.D. 50 its name was changed to Colonia Agrippina in honor of the Roman empress Agrippina Minor (A.D. 15-59), who was born there. Later the French modified the name to Cologne, and that is the way it has remained in English.
   Historians studying the life of Agrippina would all agree that the city was entitled to a breath of fresh cologne, for the empress adulterated everything around her during her brief (43 years) life. She poisoned at least one of her husbands, committed incest with her brother, the emperor Caligula, and married her uncle, the emperor Claudius. She was the mother of Nero by one of her husbands and was as ruthless as her son. Nero came to hate her, charged her with an attempt on his life, and had her put to death. The empress, one might say, had lived a pretty active life but suffered a ghastly end. The stench of her nefarious activities, fortunately, has not affected the fragrance of the city's colognes.
   The cathedral of Cologne is famous because, according to medieval legend, it houses the bones of the three Wise Men of the East, the Magi.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • COLOGNE — (Ger. Köln), city in Germany. Founded in 50 C.E. as the Roman Colonia Agrippinensis, seat of the provincial and military administration, it is likely to have attracted a Jewish population at an early date. A Jewish cemetery, assumed to have… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Cologne —    Cologne (Köln) has for centuries been one of the most important cities in Europe though it has rarely had any theatrical significance. It began as a Roman colony (colonia in Latin, from which Cologne takes its name) and military outpost in 38… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • COLOGNE — Née à l’époque romaine (Colonia Agrippina en 49), Cologne (en allemand Köln) est l’une des plus anciennes villes du Rhin. Elle connaît une période de très grande prospérité au Moyen Âge. Ville libre impériale en 1212, ville étape sur le Rhin,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cologne — steht für: die englische und französische Bezeichnung für die deutsche Stadt Köln Cologne (Minnesota) Cologne (New Jersey) Cologne (Texas) Cologne (Virginia) Cologne (Lombardei), eine Stadt in der Provinz Brescia, Italien Cologne (Gers), eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cologne — brown (vandyke brown); cologne spirits (highly concentrated ethyl alcohol); cologneware (mottled brown and gray stoneware); cologne water (eau de cologne, toilet water); cologne yellow (chrome yellow and lead sulfate pigment) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Cologne — Co*logne , n. [Originally made in Cologne, the French name of K[ o]ln, a city in Germany.] A perfumed liquid, composed of alcohol and certain aromatic oils, used in the toilet; called also {cologne water} and {eau de cologne}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cologne — 1814, Cologne water, loan translation of Fr. eau de Cologne, lit. water from Cologne, from the city in Germany (Ger. Köln, from L. Colonia Agrippina) where it was made, first by Italian chemist Johann Maria Farina, who had settled there in 1709 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cologne — Cologne, MN U.S. city in Minnesota Population (2000): 1012 Housing Units (2000): 392 Land area (2000): 0.753236 sq. miles (1.950873 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.103759 sq. miles (0.268735 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.856995 sq. miles (2.219608 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Cologne, MN — U.S. city in Minnesota Population (2000): 1012 Housing Units (2000): 392 Land area (2000): 0.753236 sq. miles (1.950873 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.103759 sq. miles (0.268735 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.856995 sq. miles (2.219608 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • cologne — ► NOUN ▪ eau de cologne or similarly scented toilet water …   English terms dictionary

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