Latin form of the Greek name Linos, which is of uncertain origin. In Greek mythology, Linus was a famous musician who taught music to Hercules; it is also the name of an infant son of Apollo who was exposed to die on a mountainside in Argos. The name may have been invented to explain the obscure refrain, ‘ailinon’, of the so-called ‘Linus song’, traditionally sung at harvest time in Argos. In the Christian era, Linus was the name of the second pope, St Peter's successor, who was martyred in c.76. He has been tentatively identified with the Linus to whom Paul sends greetings in 2 Timothy 4:21. Nowadays, the given name is associated with a character in the popular Peanuts strip cartoon series, a little boy inseparable from his security blanket.