Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Small Collection of Late 6th Century Merovingian Given Names

Mistress Alys Mackyntoich (Alissa Pyrich)
May 2019

            This set of given names was compiled from multiple letters to and from Brunehild, queen of Austrasia and Burgundy, which are published on Epistolæ (, a website maintained by Columbia University collecting writings to and from women in the Middle Ages. The letters are transcribed in the original Latin with translations by Professor Joan Ferrante of Columbia University. 
            The name data in this article are extracted from letters originally written in Latin between 580 and 602 C.E. Since the names are in Latin, their spelling varies depending on the form and tense.  The most common nominative form – in other words, the direct form used in given names – is identified as the bolded header form.  The forms actually appearing in the text are listed below the header.  Where the form appearing in the text is a variant spelling of the nominative form, it is marked with an asterisk (*).
            The source documents did not contain full names, only given names and titles.  Therefore, we are unable to discuss naming patterns specific to this time and place.



Monday, December 10, 2018

Magdalena's Silver Brooch

I was given about a week's notice that Magdalena von Kirschberg was getting a Silver Brooch (AoA-level arts award).  Thanks to Myrun Leifsdottir for having a handy blank that fit the award and the person.  However, the text needed to be SHORT SHORT SHORT to fit in the blank.  The brevity also fit with the style that German charters tended to take.  The Germans were not the believers in multiple forms of the same words that the English were.  :-)

By Wilhelm the King.  By Vienna the Queen.  By our will, Magdalena von Kirschberg is hereby gifted and endowed with the Order of the Silver Brooch, to have and hold the same hereafter by perpetual right, freely, immunely, and honorably.  That this gift may be held firm and remain untroubled, we have strengthened the present document with our ensigns manual upon 8 December in the fifty-third year of the Society.

Lupold's Writ for the Order of Defense

Sometimes these things write themselves.  Both in the SCA and in period practice, writs of summons are fairly short documents.  However, as I was doing research for this one, I found a summons to Parliament issued Henry VI to one of his contentious cousins who had been involved in a rebellion.  Henry wanted his cousin to show up in the court and answer with plainness and frankness from his own mouth about his loyalty and swear fealty.  Since "plainness and frankness" is a thing for which Lupold is well known, the match between text and recipient was perfect.

By the King.  By the Queen.  Unto Lupold Haas, right trusty and well-beloved we greet you well.  We have conceived a great desire to speak with you and to hear from your mouth whether you will accept elevation to the Order of Defence; and for that purpose we have addressed these letters unto you, by which we command you as our true and faithful subject, for so We do repute you, with all possible diligence, to attend upon Our Own Persons, at our Court in the Barony of Dragonship Haven upon the 13th day of February in the fifty-third year of the Society, there to give honest answer to the question put before you.  We trust that, upon your access to Our Presence, you will use such plainness and frankness in all things that We shall demand of you, and that We may have cause to reward your fidelity towards us and the Realm.  Given under our signet at our manor of Quintavia, the 8th day of December in the fifty-third year of the Society.

Colin's Pelican

Another fine old friend was finally inducted into the Order of the Pelican on Saturday, after we spent a year smacking all the people who were sure he already had one.   I really wished I could have done this in mid 16th century spellings, but I'm told that makes it hard for people who aren't me to read the scroll and that I should share more.

A comment on the length of the text, since people never get tired of complaining about the lengths of my texts:  In this case, the scribe was trying to emulate a specific period example of an illuminated Grant of Arms.  The scribe asked me to produce as long a text as I could to make his product look like the period exemplar.  Also, the scribe wanted to start with a big illuminated A, which limited my options for text styles.

All and singular the below-written was done in the 53rd year of the Society, in the Shire of Quintavia, upon 8 December; and their gracious and most excellent Majesties, Wilhelm and Vienna, King and Queen of the East, have approved, ratified and confirmed for themselves and their heirs the said gift and endowment in all of its points, and in witness thereof they have set their ensigns manual below.

Upon the petition of the Order of the Pelican, the barons and other nobles, and the community of the Realm of the East, the good King Wilhelm and Vienna his lawful wife and Queen summoned into the court their faithful and ever-obedient subject Colin Ursell; whereupon their most excellent Majesties took testimony from honored persons of good repute concerning the said Colin, his great and infinite labours for the good weal of the Realm, his benign countenance and faultless, virtueful heart; and most especially they heard words of the said Colin’s diligence, industry and devotion to the practice of archery, the which exertions have been of great advantage to the realm;  and upon hearing the same testimony, Their most excellent Majesties commanded, instructed and ordained that the said Colin be invested and endowed with the Order of the Pelican, the said honor to be held and had by the same Colin freely, peacefully, fully, integrally and honourably, with all manner of liberties, profits, easements or lawful pertinents such as many member of the aforesaid Order possesses.  And further, on that same day and date, before the assembled court, the said Colin was gifted and endowed with Arms in the form following: Azure, a barrel fesswise Or and on a chief triangular argent a bear's head couped sable.  And so that the aforestated gift and grant remain forever lawful, stable and certain, their Majesties caused these present letters patents to be created, signed and read aloud to the body of their court upon the same day and date, and for a copy of the same to be remitted to the custody of the said Colin Ursell.

Mercedes' Master of Defense

I had the chance to do some scroll text work again.  This one is for Mercedes Vera de Califia's Master of Defense.  I left the Spanish terms that had no English equivalent in Spanish.   I would have liked to have gotten the whole thing in medieval Spanish but time and availability of my 16th century Spanish expert did not work out.

On the other hand, Mercedes' persona is explicitly a Spanish woman living in England, so the mixed English and Spanish works out just fine.

Wilhelm, by right of arms, King of the East, and Vienna, by agency of the same right the Queen, to all prelates, dukes, duchesses, counts, countesses, ricos homes, priors of the Orders, Knight-commanders, alcades of castles and fortified as well as unfortified places, adelantados, merinos[1], lieutenants of all cities, towns and places, presidents and Auditors of our Council and our tribunals and our chanceries, town councilors, and the jurados, officers and omes buenos of the cities, towns and other places of our Kingdom, and all other vassals and subjects of whatever estate, condition and dignity you may be, and every one of you, health and greetings.  Considering our veneration for the greatness, the excellence, the nobility and the eminent virtues of our servant Mercedes Vera de Califia, and having taken testimony from persons of good repute and witnessed with our own eyes the excellence of the said Mercedes in all matters of the rapier, and considering also the great benefit and advantage that our Realm has received from the labors of the said Mercedes in the government of rapier combat among our people, it is our great pleasure to direct and ordain that the said Mercedes be gifted, invested, and endowed with the Order of Defence, with all privileges, benefits, usages, liberties, profits, easements and rightful pertinents in and by all ways pertaining thereunto, to have and hold the same perpetually and as freely and quietly, fully and honourably as any other member of the Order aforenamed.  In witness whereof we have ordered this instrument to be drawn up, marked with our ensigns manual, and countersigned by the Brigantia Herald, whom we have commanded to cause the said instrument to be read aloud in our Court.  Given in the city of Quintavia upon the 8th of December in the fifty-third year of the Society, being the first year of our reign.

[1]  No, not the sheep.  You're clearly thinking of someone else's scroll. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Silver Crescent text for Muirenn Blue Tyger

I've been so tied up with life stuff that my writing and posting about non-work things has dropped off sharply, for which I apologize.   Several weeks ago, the excellent and remarkable Muirenn ingen Dúnadaig got a Silver Crescent for, among other things, her herald work.  Here's the text:

Wilhelm, king of the East by the right of arms, and Vienna, his most beloved wife, queen by agency of the same right, to all who will see this charter, we extend greetings.  The dignity of our nobility and royal mercy demands that we give benign and favorable assent to the just requests of all, so that anyone may enjoy the consolation of our protection and fostering comfort, and also to increase the tranquility and governance of our realm.  Petition has been laid before us by notable persons of our realm and, finding much that is good, just, right and fitting in the said petition, we do find it meet to do the following:  By this our royal charter we hereby do endow Muirenn ingen Dúnadaig, presently Blue Tyger Herald, with the Order of the Silver Crescent and all rights, privileges, freedoms and liberties attendant thereupon.  And we do further grant unto the said Muirenn the right to bear arms in the form following: Argent, three fox's masks and a chief indented vert.  So that no one presume to infringe on this endowment and grant, we have fortified the present page with our ensigns manual and caused it to be read aloud before witnesses upon 27 October, being the feast of Saint Abban, in the fifty-third year of the Society.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Doroga's Maunche Text

Doroga's lady requested that we try to find a way to work a particular quote from Cervantes into the text.  Can you figure out what that quote is?

I did not know who would be reading this, so I did not get too creating with 16th century spelling.

Brennan Rey and Caoilfhionn Reyna to our good and gentle Doroga Voronin, greetings and all good of the goods.  Noble persons of exalted lineage have brought us word of your singular excellence.  It is said that, if one would view in equal balance the shining Phoebus and the blood-stained Mars, look to Doroga, in whom the one and the other are not separate.  In him, both pen and sword are manifest with such discretion, art and dexterity that he has made of bladework both science and art.  We are by these words greatly moved and being so moved, we do now, of our especial grace, certain science, and mere motion, give and grant and by these presents for us, our heirs and successors give, grant and by the present charter confirm unto you the status, estate and renown of a companion of the Order of the Maunche, with all rights, privileges, prerogatives, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, franchises, and preeminences attending thereupon.  And we do further grant unto you the right to bear Arms in the form following: Per pale purpure and vert, on a chief argent a raven displayed sable.  And we do further instruct and command you to bear upon your person hereafter and in all times coming the badge and signacle of the Order of the Maunche so that the love and esteem we bear you be made manifest to all persons of whatever estate.  For the greater security and stability of the aforesaid, know that we have laid our hands upon the holy relics of our Realm and sworn to keep, observe and fulfill all of the within promises, and each part of parcel of them, really and in fact, renouncing all deception, mental reservation, and subterfuge.  Witness ourselves, at Malagentia, upon 14 July, in the fifty-third year of the Society.