Monday, February 3, 2014

Thoughts on the problem of Outremer

I started out collecting name data from a small sampling of royal charters issued by Milisendis, 12th cen. Queen of Jerusalem.  In that data, I found some interesting things, such as traditionally English/French give names combined with locatives for places within the Kingdom of Jerusalem.  For example:
Hugo de Ybelino (1155) -- Ibelin was a castle in the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Humfredus de Torone (1159) - Torone (modern Toroni) is a city in Greece
Johannes Tyrensis (1146) - referring to Tyre, one of the most significant city in the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Roches de Nazareth (1152)
Odo de Turcarme (1152) - Turcarme was a village in the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Rohardus de Ioppe (1160) - Jaffa is a port city in what was now Israel

As I read it, SENA does not currently permit English/French names to be combined with locatives based on Middle Eastern places.  Does it make sense for the narrow period of time when the Crusader States existed to allow English/French given names to be combined with the Latinized forms of Middle Eastern place names?  Clearly, at least some of the European citizens of Outremer used locative bynames based on the places where they were living.  But did they do it enough to make a pattern?

My data set is still quite small, but more research will be done, particularly if I am able to get my hands on this:  Naming Patterns in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by Iris Shagrir (2003).  The book is at my undergraduate alma mater, so I may abuse my alumna borrowing privileges some time really soon.

On the other hand, there's a whole pile of Scots naming data waiting to be extracted and analyzed and far more people want Scottish names than want Outremer names.


  1. You have found six in a small sampling. What does it take for an armorial practice to be considered acceptable? Are local naming practices treated the same way? If not, why not?

  2. We usually say three is a good number of examples. But providing six to a dozen is even better. (So sayeth Lillia, not Pellycan.)

    Very cool find. Considering the number of people who want Crusades-era names, I think it's useful.

  3. The sample size was perilously small -- enough that it could well be a quirk of a single scribe. What I've found is enough to raise questions, but hardly enough to give rise to reliable answers.