PICUS is a great name (we think) for our open Hardware module.
Embedded in the name we have:
US (the project is Open from the beginning!)
However there is the official meaning (from Roman mythology):
Picus was the first king of Latium (Rome’s region). He was known for his skill at augury and horsemanship. The witch Circe turned him into a woodpecker for scorning her love.
He is featured in one of the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Virgil says that he was the son of Saturnus and the grandfather of Latinus, the king of the Laurentines whom Aeneas and his Trojans fought upon reaching Italy.
Italic people believed Picus was the son of the god of war Mars. After being turned into a woodpecker Italic tribes attributed to the bird divine qualities, connected with Picus’s original skills at augury.
One of the function he performed was to lead the deduction of colonies (made up of younger generation folk) with his flight, which traditionally took place in spring and was performed according to a religiuos ritual known as Ver sacrum. The people of the Piceni derived their name from the memory of this ritual.
Nice coincidence, eh!?