In The Origin of German Tragic Drama Walter Benjamin refers three times to the work of the philologist of religions Hermann Usener (1834-1905) The Names of Gods. Nonetheless, its influence might be traced back to 1916, when the problem of the name appears in Benjamin's philosophy. It is, then, of great importance to consider the interpretation of language displayed in On Language as such and on the Language of Man in order to understand his reading of Usener's theories. The aim of this article is to offer an explanation of the origin of Benjamin's concept of allegory in his habilitation thesis in the light of Usener's perspective, which identifies the birth of allegory with the appearence of Christianity, considering, at the same time, the concept of decadence of Late Roman art developed by Alois Riegl. Thus, it is possible to postulate a relation between the name and the language of art as two aspects of the same problem in Walter Benjamin.