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Re: [albanach] latin names

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  • James Pratt
    ... I suspect that the Ellis Island Syndrome also existed whenever odd languages had to be fitted into the bureaucratic norm. One of the more reliable, albeit
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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      >
      > Do these examples reflect different periods in time, or (as I suspect) just
      > difference variables one might encounter depending on weather the clerk was
      > familiar with Gaelic?

      I suspect that the Ellis Island Syndrome also existed whenever
      odd languages had to be fitted into the bureaucratic norm.

      One of the more reliable, albeit time consuming, considerations
      is to use copies of the Rolls and other legal records to glean the
      names. Most editions are facing pages Latin and translation.

      There is also a brief article on the Latinization of names at
      http://members.nbci.com/nicolaa/atin.html

      Cathal.


      > Well, of course I am interested in my own name, but I also was hoping to find
      > some resource to help others construct Latin equivalents of their own name
      > (it would be spiffy to see used on award scrolls, etc).
      >
      > Aye,
      > Eogan
      >
      >


      Ingenita levitas et erudita vanitas.
      M. Tullius Cicero
    • Sharon L. Krossa
      ... Well, to the extant that what happened depended on many factors, including the familiarity of the clerk with the relevant languages involved. But it is
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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        At 9:04 AM -0500 2/22/2001, James Pratt wrote:
        >>
        >> Do these examples reflect different periods in time, or (as I suspect) just
        >> difference variables one might encounter depending on weather the clerk was
        >> familiar with Gaelic?
        >
        > I suspect that the Ellis Island Syndrome also existed whenever
        >odd languages had to be fitted into the bureaucratic norm.

        Well, to the extant that what happened depended on many factors,
        including the familiarity of the clerk with the relevant languages
        involved. But it is good to keep in mind that the probability of that
        familiarity was also a factor of time period (and other things).

        > One of the more reliable, albeit time consuming, considerations
        >is to use copies of the Rolls and other legal records to glean the
        >names. Most editions are facing pages Latin and translation.

        What particular editions are you thinking of here?

        > There is also a brief article on the Latinization of names at
        > http://members.nbci.com/nicolaa/atin.html

        There's a typo in the above URL. The correct URL is:

        http://members.nbci.com/nicolaa/latin.html

        The section on personal names is helpful with regard to finding the
        Latin equivalent of Gaelic names if the Gaelic name was itself
        borrowed from English or Latin, but isn't quite as much help for
        native Gaelic names because what happened to a native Gaelic given
        name varied. Sometimes <-us> or <-a> was added to some spelling of
        the Gaelic name, sometimes a completely different name was
        substituted. For example, <Donnchadh> became <Duncanus> and
        <Domhnall> became <Donaldus>, but <Gille Eascoip> became <Celestinus>
        (at least in the 14th century or so). (And as you'll note, even the
        names that more or less add <-us> usually don't simply add it to the
        Gaelic spelling! Often it was added to the Scots/English form, but
        sometimes not...)

        Regarding surnames, what happened varied greatly depending on period
        -- see my other post on this.

        As for the bit about place names -- not a heck of a lot of help,
        really, due to many and complex factors.

        In the end, what you really need to do is find out what Latin form
        was used for what Gaelic name on a name by name basis.

        Effrick
        Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
        Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
        http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
        The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
        The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
        Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
        Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
      • Sharon L. Krossa
        ... As I said before, the variables include: *time period *whether the name is a given name or part of a byname *who is doing the transformation (whether the
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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          At 8:47 AM -0500 2/22/2001, eoganog@... wrote:
          >In a message dated 2/22/01 2:44:37 AM !!!First Boot!!!,
          >krossa@... writes:
          >>So, for example, while in some periods and circumstances <Eoghan Og
          >>mac Labhrainn> might appear in Latin as <Eugenius junior filius
          >>Laurentii>, in different periods and/or circumstances he might appear
          >>as <Eugenius Ogg MacLaurin> or with some other Latinized form of
          >>Eoghan.
          >
          >Do these examples reflect different periods in time, or (as I suspect) just
          >difference variables one might encounter depending on weather the clerk was
          >familiar with Gaelic?

          As I said before, the variables include:

          *time period
          *whether the name is a given name or part of a byname
          *who is doing the transformation (whether the clerk is a Gael, a
          non-Gael familiar with Gaelic naming culture, a non-Gael with no
          clue, etc.)

          In the above two names I gave as examples, the main factor in the
          difference is time period. Also, I did it from memory so (especially
          the second example) is not 100% reliable in detail.

          >>How one learns what might happen for any particular name is by
          >>finding examples for the name in the right period and context and
          >>seeing what they did. Do you have a particular name, period, context,
          >>etc. you wish to know about?
          >
          >Well, of course I am interested in my own name,

          What time period?

          >but I also was hoping to find
          >some resource to help others construct Latin equivalents of their own name
          >(it would be spiffy to see used on award scrolls, etc).

          I'm afraid its the same process as for coming up with a Scots
          equivalent -- either do the research on your own or ask the experts.
          (I recommend even those who do their own research still ask the
          experts for confirmation as name transformation is very tricky and
          the more experience one has with a variety of records and evidence
          the better feel one will have for the process; someone who has only
          researched one particular name can easily overlook something
          significant.)

          There are some general principals:

          14th century and earlier Latin names tend to translate or equivalate
          each element (that is, replace each Gaelic element by a true Latin
          translation or by a Latin name considered equivalent). Sometimes,
          however, one does see a byname rendered more or less phonetically,
          though usually with more understanding of the underlying Gaelic
          evident than in later centuries.

          15th & especially 16th century Latin names tend to
          translate/equivalate the given name but render the bynames more or
          less phonetically (this is also true of Scots forms of Gaelic names
          and indeed the Latin forms of Scots names, with the Scots and Latin
          form of a byname usually the same). I can't recall seeing an element
          by element translated/equivalated byname in the 16th century. This
          trend seems not unconnected to the general trend towards nearly all
          Lowland bynames being fixed and inherited in the 16th century. But
          this period also is one where exactly what happens seems connected to
          how savvy the clerk is with regard to Gaelic and Gaelic naming.
          (Weird things, for example, happen in places like Inverness where
          there is a lot of exposure to Gaelic and Gaelic named people, though
          so far I only have evidence for Scots language names there.)

          Effrick
          Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
          Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
          http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
          The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
          The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
          Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
          Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
        • eoganog@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/22/01 6:03:22 PM !!!First Boot!!!, ... Well, when I put together the name, I really didn t have a time period in mind, as my interests
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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            In a message dated 2/22/01 6:03:22 PM !!!First Boot!!!,
            krossa@... writes:


            >Well, of course I am interested in my own name,
            What time period?


            Well, when I put together the name, I really didn't have a time period in
            mind, as my interests tend to span the range of Scottish meideval history.  
            Nominally, I shoot for 14th century, but in my dress, research, etc, I often
            go later or earlier.  I have been *told* (I think by yourself) that Labhrainn
            (the Gaelic equivalent of Laurnece or Lorn) was a rather late addition to
            Gaelic, 14th or 15th century, so any Latin equivalents of my name would have
            to be from that period to remain consistant with the Gaelic, no?


            There are some general principals:

            Your comments after this were most helpful.  Thanks!
            Aye,
            Eogan


            Tighearn Eoghan Og mac Labhrainn, CP
            Pursuivant Extraordinary, Deputy Baronial Herald, Sacred Stone
            Web Master et A&S Minister for the Canton of Hawkwood
            http://albanach.homepage.com
            "Checky Or & Vert, two lions combatant, tails knowed, in base a mouse
            couchant, all within an orle of roundels, Argent."
          • James Pratt
            ... As I recall (and it has been ten years or so since I had any real reason to delve into that particular area) the editions of the Pipe and Close Rolls by
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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              >
              > > One of the more reliable, albeit time consuming, considerations
              > >is to use copies of the Rolls and other legal records to glean the
              > >names. Most editions are facing pages Latin and translation.
              >
              > What particular editions are you thinking of here?

              As I recall (and it has been ten years or so since I had any real
              reason to delve into that particular area) the editions of the Pipe and
              Close Rolls by HMSO use that format.

              BTW, thanks for correcting the typing mistake in the URL.

              Cathal.




              Ingenita levitas et erudita vanitas.
              M. Tullius Cicero
            • Sharon L. Krossa
              ... So you weren t thinking of specifically Scottish records, then? I haven t worked directly with the register of the privy seal or the register of the great
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 22, 2001
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                At 2:04 PM -0500 2/22/2001, James Pratt wrote:
                >>
                >> > One of the more reliable, albeit time consuming, considerations
                >> >is to use copies of the Rolls and other legal records to glean the
                >> >names. Most editions are facing pages Latin and translation.
                >>
                >> What particular editions are you thinking of here?
                >
                > As I recall (and it has been ten years or so since I had any real
                >reason to delve into that particular area) the editions of the Pipe and
                >Close Rolls by HMSO use that format.

                So you weren't thinking of specifically Scottish records, then? I
                haven't worked directly with the register of the privy seal or the
                register of the great seal for Scotland or some of the other general
                central records, so I don't know about how they were done, but most
                of the published Scottish records I have worked with don't include
                facing page translations (except things like the early acts of
                parliament and Legum Burgorum which include both the Latin and period
                Scots translations for the earlier Latin acts/laws, though not, I
                think, facing page). Most Scottish published primary sources are
                either published in the original Latin with only an abstract in
                English (e.g., the Regesta Regum Scottorum series) or else published
                in a modern English translation of the Latin (e.g., various protocol
                books), or else were written in Scots to begin with (Acts of
                parliament since around 1424 or so, later burgh records, etc.) I
                would really love it if more published records *had* been done in
                facing page translations! (At the moment I can only think of one
                Scottish published primary source I've used that does have such a
                translation -- William Hay's Lectures on Marriage, for which I was
                very, very, very grateful ;-)

                Which reminds me that one other consideration for Latin
                equivalents/forms of Gaelic names is that what happened in Ireland
                was sometimes different from what happened in Scotland in this regard.

                Anyway, for Scottish Gaelic names probably one of the most
                potentially fruitful published primary sources would be the Acts of
                the Lords of the Isles as, unsurprisingly, they mention a lot of
                people identifiable as Gaels and they were almost all written in
                Latin (but only have abstracts in English of those Latin charters --
                but they did editorially capitalize the names).

                Eafric
                Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
                Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
                http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
                The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
                The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
                Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
                Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
              • Peggy Kemp
                I understand that the idea of clan tartans did not come about until the late 1700s. However, doing a bit of research on my own, I see that by late 1500 s to
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 29, 2001
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                  I understand that the idea of clan tartans did not come about until the
                  "late" 1700s.

                  However, doing a bit of research on my own, I see that by late 1500's to
                  early 1600's there are often mentions of women wearing "plaids".

                  Do you think that the arisaid would have been what they are referring to?
                  Would it be in period for a woman to wear an arisaid over a conventional
                  skirt/bodice/chemise outfit.



                  Kiersten

                  Pilgrim and Peddler
                • Sharon L. Krossa
                  ... First, a lot of the references we have to women wearing plaids are to *Lowland* women and/or town women wearing plaids, not Gaels. This is not to say that
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 29, 2001
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                    At 3:00 PM -0800 3/29/2001, Peggy Kemp wrote:
                    >I understand that the idea of clan tartans did not come about until the
                    >"late" 1700s.
                    >
                    >However, doing a bit of research on my own, I see that by late 1500's to
                    >early 1600's there are often mentions of women wearing "plaids".
                    >
                    >Do you think that the arisaid would have been what they are referring to?
                    >Would it be in period for a woman to wear an arisaid over a conventional
                    >skirt/bodice/chemise outfit.

                    First, a lot of the references we have to women wearing plaids are to
                    *Lowland* women and/or town women wearing plaids, not Gaels. This is
                    not to say that Gaelic women did not wear plaids, only that most of
                    the references are to Lowland and/or town women. To be honest, just
                    at the moment I can't recall whether there is any description of a
                    Gaelic woman wearing a plaid earlier than Martin Martin circa 1700
                    (where he describes it as being belted, I think), though there are a
                    couple 17th century drawings that show Highland women wearing a plaid.

                    The earliest reference I have to the word "arisad" is in
                    English/Scots, not Gaelic, and is also from Martin and circa 1700. I
                    don't know if that term was used earlier or not. (And don't quote me
                    on the spelling, either ;-)

                    The earliest reference I have to Gaelic women wearing a belt around
                    the outside of their plaid is, as indicated, also from Martin and
                    circa 1700. The earlier drawings show the plaids unbelted, worn more
                    or less like a large shawl or untailored cloak.

                    Since 16th century Lowland women wore conventional more or less
                    English-style skirt, bodice, and sark (chemise) outfits, and Lowland
                    women (at least of certain classes) wore plaids (as long rectangular
                    shawls), such an outfit would be perfectly period for the 16th
                    century, though it may not have been what was worn by Gaels or if
                    worn by Gaels perhaps not worn by all Gaels. I expect Gaelic women
                    also wore plaids (unbelted, as shawls) but it is less clear what else
                    they wore, and speculation is involved, using Irish women's clothing
                    and Lowland women's clothing, as well as later Gaelic women's
                    clothing, as reference points. I would not be surprised if what was
                    worn depended on where in Scotland said Gaelic woman lived (and so
                    what influences were stronger).

                    But, to the best of my knowledge, wearing a plaid with the belt
                    around the outside is not period for women for the 16th century or
                    earlier, and probably not for most of the 17th century.

                    Sharon
                    Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
                    Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
                    http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
                    The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
                    The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
                    Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
                    Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
                  • eoganog@aol.com
                    In a message dated 3/29/01 5:58:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... My standard answer to this question is that there is no evidence of women wearing arisaids
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 30, 2001
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                      In a message dated 3/29/01 5:58:03 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                      kempp@... writes:


                      However, doing a bit of research on my own, I see that by late 1500's to
                      early 1600's there are often mentions of women wearing "plaids".

                      Do you think that the arisaid would have been what they are referring to?
                      Would it be in period for a woman to wear an arisaid over  a conventional
                      skirt/bodice/chemise outfit.


                      My standard answer to this question is that there is no evidence of women
                      wearing arisaids until after the SCA period.  However, that beign said, there
                      is scant little evidence of what women wore *at all* in the Highlands from
                      before more modern times, so the fact that we have anything is amazing.

                      Since the arisaid is more or less the feminine equivalent of the belted
                      plaid, one may assume that is developed and was worn along with it, at
                      roughly the same time.  And since we know the belted plaid was worn in the
                      very late 16th century, that brings it just within the SCA period.  So if you
                      want to wear an arisaid, I say it is SCA-compatible.

                      NOTE:  This takes a lot of assumption and speculation, so I would not want to
                      say it was fact that the arisaid was worn in the SCA period--just that it
                      *could* have been, maybe, and you won't look out of place in one at an event.

                      Aye,
                      Eogan

                      Tighearn Eoghan Og mac Labhrainn, CP
                      Deputy Pursuivant Extraordinary, Sacred Stone
                      Web Master et A&S Minister, Hawkwood
                      bard na hAlba agus Atlantia
                      -------------------------------------------------------------
                      WWW.ALBANACH.ORG
                      -------------------------------------------------------------
                    • Sharon L. Krossa
                      ... But what information we do have for period and the century after does not suggest a plaid worn belted for women, and indeed directly suggests it was not
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 30, 2001
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                        At 8:45 AM -0500 3/30/2001, eoganog@... wrote:
                        >My standard answer to this question is that there is no evidence of women
                        >wearing arisaids until after the SCA period. However, that beign said, there
                        >is scant little evidence of what women wore *at all* in the Highlands from
                        >before more modern times, so the fact that we have anything is amazing.

                        But what information we do have for period and the century after does
                        not suggest a plaid worn belted for women, and indeed directly
                        suggests it was not belted.

                        >Since the arisaid is more or less the feminine equivalent of the belted
                        >plaid, one may assume that is developed and was worn along with it, at
                        >roughly the same time. And since we know the belted plaid was worn in the
                        >very late 16th century, that brings it just within the SCA period. So if you
                        >want to wear an arisaid, I say it is SCA-compatible.

                        But what little pictoral evidence we do have for the 17th century
                        indicates plaids worn _unbelted_ for women *at the very same time*
                        they indicate plaids worn _belted_ for men. (Both the picture from
                        the Huntingdon Museum of the man and women and the drawings of a man
                        and woman on the circa 1662 edition of Speed's Map -- neither is
                        entirely reliable as to detail for a variety for reasons, but both do
                        clearly show the man wearing a representation of a plaid worn belted
                        and a woman wearing a representation of a plaid worn unbelted.) This
                        rather spoils a plaid worn belted for women on the same time table as
                        a plaid worn belted for men; the women's style seems to have followed
                        on about a century or so later then the men's (the first clear
                        evidence for men comes in the 1590s, for women in the 1690s).

                        >NOTE: This takes a lot of assumption and speculation, so I would not want to
                        >say it was fact that the arisaid was worn in the SCA period--just that it
                        >*could* have been, maybe, and you won't look out of place in one at an event.

                        A woman certainly won't look out of place at an event wearing a plaid
                        belted -- I'm sure many do and at the moment that the evidence
                        suggests that Highland women did not wear their plaids belted until
                        post period seems to be little known. I would, however, like to
                        encourage those with an interest in encouraging more historical
                        plausibility in Scottish Highland attire to start wearing their
                        plaids as rectangular shawls/untailored cloaks rather than belting
                        them as in modern recreationist tradition :-)

                        Africa
                        Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
                        Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
                        http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
                        The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
                        The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
                        Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
                        Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
                      • eoganog@aol.com
                        In a message dated 3/30/01 10:00:17 PM !!!First Boot!!!, ... Ah, very good. I didn t think we had *any* evidence until after 1700, so I was going by
                        Message 11 of 17 , Mar 30, 2001
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                          In a message dated 3/30/01 10:00:17 PM !!!First Boot!!!,
                          krossa@... writes:


                          This
                          rather spoils a plaid worn belted for women on the same time table as
                          a plaid worn belted for men; the women's style seems to have followed
                          on about a century or so later then the men's (the first clear
                          evidence for men comes in the 1590s, for women in the 1690s).


                          Ah, very good.  I didn't think we had *any* evidence until after 1700, so I
                          was going by speculation.  If evidence from 1600-1700 says otherwise, of
                          course, go with what can be proven.
                          Aye,
                          Eogan

                          Tighearn Eoghan Og mac Labhrainn, CP
                          http://www.albanach.org
                          Pursuivant Extraordinary, Deputy Baronial herald, Sacred Stone
                          Web Master et A&S Minister for the Canton of Hawkwood
                          "Checky Or & Vert, two lions combatant, tails knowed, in base a mouse
                          couchant, all within an orle of roundels, Argent."
                        • rowengr@hotmail.com
                          ... ... plaid. ... A little bit more on this, as I ve been wrestling with the same question of late. :) Martin Martin s commentary (about 1695) was:
                          Message 12 of 17 , Apr 2, 2001
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                            --- In albanach@y..., "Sharon L. Krossa" <krossa@a...> wrote:
                            <snip>
                            > To be honest, just
                            > at the moment I can't recall whether there is any description of a
                            > Gaelic woman wearing a plaid earlier than Martin Martin circa 1700
                            > (where he describes it as being belted, I think), though there are a
                            > couple 17th century drawings that show Highland women wearing a
                            plaid.
                            >
                            > The earliest reference I have to the word "arisad" is in
                            > English/Scots, not Gaelic, and is also from Martin and circa 1700. I
                            > don't know if that term was used earlier or not. (And don't quote me
                            > on the spelling, either ;-)


                            A little bit more on this, as I've been wrestling with the same
                            question of late. :)

                            Martin Martin's commentary (about 1695) was:

                            "The ancient Dress wore by the women, and which is yet wore by some
                            of the vulgar, called arisad, is a white plaid, having a few small
                            stripes of black, blue, and red. It reached from the neck to the
                            heels, and was tied before on the breast with a buckle of silver or
                            brass, according to the quality of the person." After some
                            additional remarks concerning the brooch, he continues, "The plaid
                            being plaited all round, was tied with a belt below the breast."

                            Unlike his remarks on the leni-croich, Martin does not specifically
                            say that he was told that this style was in use a hundred years ago;
                            however, he does refer to it as "ancient." Admittedly this is not
                            necessarily reliable, but does imply that he was *told* that it was
                            an outdated fashion, possibly one of some age. (Of course, it's all
                            hearsay. ;)

                            Rowen Brithwallt
                          • Sharon L. Krossa
                            ... Yes, but I think such claims to antiquity are unreliable, especially as to detail. Consider, wearing a plaid *was* ancient (at least a few hundred
                            Message 13 of 17 , Apr 2, 2001
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                              At 5:07 PM +0000 4/2/2001, rowengr@... wrote:
                              >--- In albanach@y..., "Sharon L. Krossa" <krossa@a...> wrote:
                              ><snip>
                              >> To be honest, just
                              >> at the moment I can't recall whether there is any description of a
                              >> Gaelic woman wearing a plaid earlier than Martin Martin circa 1700
                              >> (where he describes it as being belted, I think), though there are a
                              >> couple 17th century drawings that show Highland women wearing a
                              >plaid.
                              >>
                              >> The earliest reference I have to the word "arisad" is in
                              >> English/Scots, not Gaelic, and is also from Martin and circa 1700. I
                              >> don't know if that term was used earlier or not. (And don't quote me
                              >> on the spelling, either ;-)
                              >
                              >
                              >A little bit more on this, as I've been wrestling with the same
                              >question of late. :)
                              >
                              >Martin Martin's commentary (about 1695) was:
                              >
                              >"The ancient Dress wore by the women, and which is yet wore by some
                              >of the vulgar, called arisad, is a white plaid, having a few small
                              >stripes of black, blue, and red. It reached from the neck to the
                              >heels, and was tied before on the breast with a buckle of silver or
                              >brass, according to the quality of the person." After some
                              >additional remarks concerning the brooch, he continues, "The plaid
                              >being plaited all round, was tied with a belt below the breast."
                              >
                              >Unlike his remarks on the leni-croich, Martin does not specifically
                              >say that he was told that this style was in use a hundred years ago;
                              >however, he does refer to it as "ancient." Admittedly this is not
                              >necessarily reliable, but does imply that he was *told* that it was
                              >an outdated fashion, possibly one of some age. (Of course, it's all
                              >hearsay. ;)

                              Yes, but I think such claims to antiquity are unreliable, especially
                              as to detail. Consider, wearing a plaid *was* 'ancient' (at least a
                              few hundred years), so however long or short it had been worn belted,
                              women wearing a plaid in some fashion was 'ancient Dress'. And his
                              description of the women's clothing on S. Kilda around the same time
                              does not include the plaid being belted (though it does describe the
                              men's attire as belted) -- see

                              http://www.MedievalScotland.org/clothing/refs/martinkildawomen.shtml

                              Also, from other evidence I know that Martin has been wrong about
                              supposed historical practice that he reports. On page 175 of the
                              Birlinn reprint of Western Isles, he says "It was an ancient custom
                              in the islands that a man should take a maid to his wife, and keep
                              her the space of a year without marrying her; and if she pleased him
                              all the while, he married her at the end of the year, and legitimated
                              these children; but if he did not love her, he returned her to her
                              parents, and her portion also; and if there happened to be any
                              children, they were kept by the father; but this unreasonable custom
                              was long ago brought into disuse." And yet all of the evidence we
                              have (and we *do* have evidence) indicates that this is nonsense and
                              at best a total garbling and misunderstanding (and so
                              misrepresentation) of actual marriage law and practice.

                              Further considerations are that he may not have been told anything --
                              he may have just decided. Now, he was a Gael himself, but that
                              doesn't mean he was immune from including unsupported comments and
                              claims in his account.

                              Sharon
                              Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
                              Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
                              http://www.MedievalScotland.org/
                              The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
                              The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
                              Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
                              Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
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