What’s in a Name: Murat Shrine Theater

Written by on March 3, 2014 in What’s in a Name? - 1 Comment
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Murat Shrine
Location:  Downtown
Bir Murat, an oasis in the Nubian desert;  Joachim Murat, general in Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign.
Murat, the name selected for the Shriner’s Temple at 502 N. New Jersey Street in Indianapolis, is of unusual interest.  Although the name “Murat” comes from “Bir Murat,” an oasis in the Nubian desert, it is one of only three in Shrinedom that are not of Arabic origin or connotation.
When Napoleon’s armies were in Egypt between 1798 and 1800, the general who led his forces was Marshal Murat, who later became King of Naples. General Murat invariably made provisions for his troops. One of the desert water holes, called “Bir Murat,” quenched the thirst of those armies of Napoleon, so the Indianapolis Temple bears the name of a Marshal of France.   Murat is the only Shrine Temple with a French name.
Photos courtesy of Ryan Hamlett.
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About the Author

Steve Campbell is the former Deputy Mayor of Indiianapolis, owns a communications strategy consulting firm, and teaches journalism and mass communications at the IUPUI School of Journalism.

One Comment on "What’s in a Name: Murat Shrine Theater"

  1. d m shea March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am · Reply

    Just a snide comment regarding the local knowledge (or lack of same) on the current and recently past generations of TV (and radio back when radio reported news) personalities.

    As interestingly noted by this writer, Indianapolis has a “Murat” temple–frequently mentioned in news coverage and correctly pronounced “Mur-awe” (not Mir-RAT). Indianapolis also has a Marott Hotel-named after rags-to-riches 20’s George Marott–correctly pronounced” Mir-OTT”. Then in recent years our city acquired several Marriott Hotel franchises–correctly pronounced ” MAR-e-ott”. But if I could only count the ways each is confusingly mis-pronounced by electronic media novices–and sometimes even veteran newscasters!

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