A super moon, if you didn’t know, is a full moon that occurs when the luminous orb is closest to Earth and thus appears larger than usual.

In case you missed 2017′s only super moon this past Dec. 3, one of the biggest and brightest in a long while, nil desperandum/don’t despair! There’ll be not one but two more super moons in January, on the second and 31st, and when there are two full moons in the same month (a word with the same root as "moon"), the second is called a "blue moon."

If that’s not enough, the moon will pass directly through the Earth’s shadow in the hours before sunrise on Jan. 31 and be eclipsed (though only folks in the far western U.S. will experience totality).

So the rare lunar phenomenon occurring at the end of January will be, at least for some on the planet, a Super Blue Moon Eclipse — an event that happens, well, "only once in a blue moon."

Expect a lot of craziness, just as the Romans did. They called the "moon" luna, as in LUNar eclipse, an occurrence one Roman poet called luna laborans, "the laboring moon."

Our Monday equals Moonday and was their dies lunae/day of the moon. They often identified dates by the number of days after a new moon; prima luna was the first day after, secunda luna, the second, etc.

They called the waxing moon crescens/crescentis, giving us inCREASing as well as CRESCENT, a synonym for LUNate. And a shiny moon-shaped ornament was a lunula, meaning "little moon."

The second-century satirist and fantasy-writer Lucian penned sci-fi tales about voyages to the moon, which in his native Greek was called selene, source of the girls’ name SELENa and the chemical element SELENium.

LUNacy and LUNatic, something like "moonstruck," come from that same Latin source and reflect the ancient notion that moonlight could evoke LOONy behavior. The sun god Apollo’s sister, Diana, the Greek Artemis, was goddess of hunters and the moon and as such reigned over the night, nocturnal rites, and woodland hunts and haunts. She represented also the power of femininity, was identified with Hecate, patron saint of witchcraft and ghosts, and is namesake of the neo-pagan religion Dianic Wicca.

Sleeping under a full moon can turn a man or woman into a wolf. We have numerous tales of shape-shifting lycanthropes from the ancient world. The Romans called them versipelles (as in reVERSe/PELt), "skin-changers." And we all know from Lon Chaney Jr.’s 1941 horror film, "The Wolf Man," that "Even a man who is pure in heart/And says his prayers by night/May become a wolf when the wolfs-bane blooms/And the autumn moon is bright."

The moon has long been associated, not just with the terror of things that go bump in the night, but also with love and romance. In Latin erotic poetry the moon lights the path to a lover’s abode, opens a mistress’ eyes, shines down on love-making beneath a clear night sky.

The moon is a prominent, powerful symbol of love and lust in Shakespeare’s "Midsummer Night’s Dream," a play rich in classical themes. There are popular love songs like the Doors’ "Moonlight Drive," Van Morrison’s "Moondance," Janis Joplin’s "Half Moon," Neil Young’s "Harvest Moon," and some things not so romantic like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s "Bad Moon Rising" and the Pink Floyd album "Dark Side of the Moon.

To mention just a few of the literally thousands of books and films in which the moon looms prominently, there are Georges Méliès 1902 silent sci-fi movie classic, "A Trip to the Moon," which anticipated the U.S. moon landing of 1969 (and Michael Jackson’s moonwalk); Robert Lepage’s 2003 film, "Far Side of the Moon"; the works of Jules Verne and Robert Heinlein; and Margaret Brown’s beloved children’s story, "Goodnight Moon."

Among product names there are Luna Bars, Luna guitars, Nokia Luna phones, and Athens, Georgia, has the delicious Luna Baking. As a kid, there were few treats I loved more than an R.C. Cola and a Moonpie. And as an adult, I must admit to sipping moonshine once or twice.

We’ll be in Apalachicola, Florida, in January and on the 31st we’ll head over the bridges to the St. George Island Lighthouse for the monthly, this time extra shiny, Full Moon Climb.

And I’ll be singing this loony refrain from the Marcels’ 1961 No. 1 Billboard doo-wop cover of Rodgers and Hart’s 1930s moon-tune: "Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang ba ba ding a dong ding ... (in a slow, deep bass) bluuuue moon."

Rick LaFleur is retired from 40 years of teaching Latin language and literature at the University of Georgia, which during his tenure came to have the largest Latin enrollment of all of the nation’s colleges and universities; his latest book is "Ubi Fera Sunt," a lively, lovingly wrought translation into classical Latin of Maurice Sendak’s classic, "Where the Wild Things Are," ranked first on TIME magazine’s 2015 list of the top 100 children’s books of all time.