Carrie Johnson has announced the arrival of her third child with the former prime minister Boris.
In a post on Instagram, Mrs Johnson confirmed that her son was born one week ago and is named Frank Alfred Odysseus Johnson.
She captioned the photo with a wry acknowledgment that one of the baby’s names was slightly unusual, joking: “Can you guess which name my husband chose?”
Boris Johnson studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford, and has littered his speeches and columns with classical references, so it’s fitting that the name Odysseus has its origins in Greek mythology.
Who was Odysseus?
Odysseus (pronounced uh-di-see-us) is one of most legendary figures in ancient Greek literature, as one of the key protagonists in Homer’s Iliad and the basis for his epic poem The Odyssey.
The mythical king of Ithaca, he is synonymous with cunning and intelligence, and he was considered one of the most prominent Greek champions in Homer’s account of the Trojan War.
His shrewd, eloquent character may contrast with the more compulsive, violent Greek hero Achilles in the story, but Odysseus displays his martial prowess throughout the Iliad.
However, his most famous contribution is one of sleight-of-hand – he is credited with devising the infamous Trojan Horse strategy which breaks the 10-year siege of the city and brings the war to an end.
After the war, Odysseus and his crew’s ships are driven off-course by storms, which begins the decade-long journey to reclaim the throne of Ithaca which forms the tale of The Odyssey.
Beset by almost comedically bad luck, the king is captured by a savage man-eating cyclops, Polyphemus, and has several of his men turned into pigs by the witch-goddess Circe, who subsequently falls in love with him.
Odysseus escapes the cannibalistic Laestrygonians and evades the call of the Sirens, before Zeus sends a thunderstorm that kills his entire crew in a shipwreck because Odysseus hunted the sun god Helios’s sacred cow.
When he finally returns home to Ithaca in disguise 20 years after his departure, he discovers that only his dog, Argos, recognises him.
Fortunately, he arrives just as his wife Penelope (who believes he has died) is staging a convoluted archery competition – ostensibly to decide her new husband, but which is designed so that only Odysseus can win.
Entering as a stranger, Odysseus wins the contest ahead of Penelope’s suitors, and goes on to slaughter both them and the women who consorted with them.
And Athena and Zeus have intervened to avert angry revenge attacks by the people of Ithaca, Odysseus is able to return to his throne in peace.
What did Carrie Johnson say about her new baby?
In the caption of an Instagram post with a picture of her holding the newborn, Mrs Johnson joked: “Welcome to the world Frank Alfred Odysseus Johnson born 5th July at 9.15am.
“(Can you guess which name my husband chose?!)”.
She added: “Am loving every minute of the sleepy baby bubble. Seeing my older two embrace their new brother with such joy and excitement has been the most wonderful thing to see. We are all very smitten.
“Thank you so much to the incredible NHS maternity team at UCLH. They really are the most amazing, caring people. I feel such immense gratitude.
“Now, can anyone recommend any good series/box sets to binge while breastfeeding?
“Time for a drink”.