"And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'"

--Mark 10:46-47

Bartimaeus the blind beggar appears in all three of the synoptic gospels. He calls out to request, or even demand, that Jesus heal him, and Jesus does. Bartimaeus was not the first blind man to be healed by Jesus, but he is the only one mentioned by name. Other than this distinction, he is of no particular interest, although some Biblical scholars have tried to read various things into the name, and particularly the phrase "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus", which is redundant. Bart means 'son', and so this this phrase is essentially saying "Son of Timaeus, the son of Timaeus". No firm conclusions have been reached, or even approximated, but some hold that this is good evidence that he was a real historical person, and others as good evidence that he was metaphorical. It has often been noted that Plato's dialogue Timaeus contains a reference to the eyes as connecting the soul to the world, leading to A Deep and Meaningful Metaphor Re Jesus Healing the Blind.

There is a bit of confusion as to the literal meaning of the name Bartimaeus; the translation of Bar as 'son' is straightforward, but Timaeus may be Aramaic (from teymah), meaning either 'poverty' or 'defilement', both quite fitting for a beggar, or from the Greek Τίμαιος, meaning 'honor' -- which would be befitting of a man miraculously given sight by Our Lord And Savior. Either translation is often said to give weight to the idea that Bartimaeus was a constructed name, rather than the name of a real person.

Unrelated Factoid-Like-Object:

For those of you who may be interested in the djinni that narrates the Bartimaeus trilogy, it is interesting to note that another Biblical name, Bartholomew, refers to one of the 12 apostles, and that there is some speculation that the apostles Bartholomew and Nathanael were in fact the same person. Bartholomew and Bartimaeus are completely different names, Bartholomew translating as "son of Talmai", i.e., "son of the farmer". But if you are looking for obscure coincidences, well, now you have one.

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