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[albanach] Re: Annals of Connacht and a bit more

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  • Sharon L. Krossa
    ... Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason to believe that Etain was used by
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 29, 2000
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      At 5:29 AM -0500 2/25/2000, Diana Cosby wrote:
      >The Annals of Connacht are Irish based. Am I correct in assuming that
      >the names listed such as Etain or Rois would be feminine names used in
      >Scotland during the medieval period as well?

      Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything depends on exactly
      which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason to believe that
      Etain was used by Scottish Gaels. As for Rois -- I am not so sure. A
      lot depends on exact period, even for Scotland. (It can be important
      to note the dates the names were used in the annals.) Rois isn't a
      native Gaelic name, and so not only is it limited to certain dates in
      Ireland, it may or may not have made it to Gaelic Scotland. (Although
      Gaelic Scotland had similar influences to Ireland, they didn't always
      adapt the same names, etc.)

      >One last question, we're having a discussion as if the term pirate was
      >used during the medieval period, and more importantly could have been
      >applied to to a Scot. The word pirate from Websters: Etymology: Middle
      >English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin pirata,
      >from Greek peiratEs, from peiran to attempt. Documentation of the Latin
      >use of the word pirata can be found in "Suetoni Tranquilii Vita Divi
      >Iuli," where it is described how Julius Caesar is kidnapped by pirates.
      >http://www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/suet.caesar.html
      > So, would it be safe to have an English maiden refer to a Scot in 1296
      >as a pirate?

      Not based on the Julius Caesar evidence (Julius Caesar was a *long*
      time before 1296!). Of course, this doesn't mean that it *is*
      unreasonable, just that Caesar doesn't help. What you need is 13th or
      14th century evidence. Unfortunately, the Concise Scots Dictionary
      indicates that "pirate" in Scots is a 16th century and later term.

      Note, however, that if the person using "pirate" is *English*, the
      question is whether the word was used in the sense you mean in
      England -- there you want to go to the OED (rather than Websters)
      which will give you dated examples.

      Sharon
      ska Eafric
      Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
      Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
      http://www.stanford.edu/~skrossa/medievalscotland/
      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/
    • Diana Cosby
      Sharon L. Krossa wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason to believe
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 2, 2000
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        "Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything
        depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason
        to believe that Etain was used by Scottish Gaels. As for Rois -- I am
        not so sure. A lot depends on exact period, even for Scotland.
        ~I found the name Rois listed under from the document dated 1200-1300
        list of names used in Scotland.

        >Rois isn't a native Gaelic name, and so not only is it limited to certain dates in Ireland, it may or may not have made it to Gaelic Scotland.
        ~Thanks.

        >>So, would it be safe to have an English maiden refer to a Scot in 1296
        as a pirate?
        > Not based on the Julius Caesar evidence (Julius Caesar was a *long*
        time before 1296!). Of course, this doesn't mean that it *is*
        unreasonable, just that Caesar doesn't help. What you need is 13th or
        14th century evidence. Unfortunately, the Concise Scots Dictionary
        indicates that "pirate" in Scots is a 16th century and later term. Note,
        however, that if the person using "pirate" is *English*, the question is
        whether the word was used in the sense you mean in England -- there you
        want to go to the OED (rather than Websters) which will give you dated
        examples.
        ~Thanks. The person who would use it is English, and she calls a
        Scottish knight it when he abducts her a 'pirate.' The year--1296. I
        found a site with a Scottish legend that says:
        Scottish law once required fishermen to wear a gold earring, which was
        used to pay for funeral expenses if they were drowned and washed ashore.
        http://tqjunior.advanced.org/5391/legends.html

        I found this interesting and thought maybe this was where the
        introduction of putting the gold earring and pirate together.

        Thank you very much for your help!
        Diana Cosby
        cosby@...
      • Sharon L. Krossa
        ... You found the name Rois where? I m not clear on what document you are refering to above. ... Scottish law may not have required it -- I d want a citation
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 2, 2000
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          At 4:17 PM -0500 3/2/2000, Diana Cosby wrote:
          >"Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything
          >depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason
          >to believe that Etain was used by Scottish Gaels. As for Rois -- I am
          >not so sure. A lot depends on exact period, even for Scotland.
          >~I found the name Rois listed under from the document dated 1200-1300
          >list of names used in Scotland.

          You found the name "Rois" where? I'm not clear on what document you
          are refering to above.

          >>Rois isn't a native Gaelic name, and so not only is it limited to
          >>certain dates in Ireland, it may or may not have made it to Gaelic
          >>Scotland.
          >~Thanks.
          >
          >>>So, would it be safe to have an English maiden refer to a Scot in 1296
          >as a pirate?
          >> Not based on the Julius Caesar evidence (Julius Caesar was a *long*
          >time before 1296!). Of course, this doesn't mean that it *is*
          >unreasonable, just that Caesar doesn't help. What you need is 13th or
          >14th century evidence. Unfortunately, the Concise Scots Dictionary
          >indicates that "pirate" in Scots is a 16th century and later term. Note,
          >however, that if the person using "pirate" is *English*, the question is
          >whether the word was used in the sense you mean in England -- there you
          >want to go to the OED (rather than Websters) which will give you dated
          >examples.
          >~Thanks. The person who would use it is English, and she calls a
          >Scottish knight it when he abducts her a 'pirate.' The year--1296. I
          >found a site with a Scottish legend that says:
          >Scottish law once required fishermen to wear a gold earring, which was
          >used to pay for funeral expenses if they were drowned and washed ashore.
          >http://tqjunior.advanced.org/5391/legends.html
          >
          > I found this interesting and thought maybe this was where the
          >introduction of putting the gold earring and pirate together.

          Scottish law may not have required it -- I'd want a citation of the
          evidence before believing that. However, the idea that there was a
          custom (tradition, not law) of sailors wearing earrings in order to
          be able to pay for something should they die and/or become injured I
          expect is true. I recall being told of some such tradition (and I
          cannot recall what I was told the gold was to pay for, I'm afraid,
          nor can I recall whether it was an earring or some other form of
          jewelry) by a scholar who studied Scottish maritime matters. I cannot
          recall in what time period, either, unfortunately.

          But the question here is

          1. When did the custom date from (and was it specifically an earring,
          and if not, from when was it specifically an earring?)
          2. When did gold earrings become specifically associated with sailors
          in the minds of those not connected to sailors?
          3. When did the gold earring get associated not generally with
          sailors, but specifically with pirates?

          I have a suspicion that the answer to when people would see a gold
          earring on a man and think "pirate" could date from the 19th or
          perhaps even 20th century. Remember that one of the key elements
          would be that wearing of earrings by men probably had become unusual
          for people to have started associating the wearing of them with a
          specific, disreputable occupation. It may even be that the
          association dates from well after the time when pirates were common,
          even though the tradition of sailors wearing earrings undoubtedly
          existed earlier. (Of course, if we could find some earlier evidence
          that people associated earrings with pirates, we'd be set!)

          Anyway, the point is all pretty moot, anyway, since the earliest
          English example of a form of "pirate" that I can find (in the OED,
          2nd edition) dates from 1426. So even in English the word just wasn't
          around yet in 1296.

          Finally, in general I urge caution when encountering web sites or
          books that relate legends, traditions, and such when they don't give
          specific dates (let alone specific dates and citations). In the year
          2000, something could be only 19th century and still qualify as an
          "old tradition". With so much "Scottish tradition" known to be only a
          couple centuries old (or younger), one especially has to look for the
          dates and the evidence to back it up.

          Regards,
          Sharon
          Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
          Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
          http://www.stanford.edu/~skrossa/medievalscotland/
          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/
        • Diana Cosby
          Sharon L. Krossa wrote: You found the name Rois where? I m not clear on what document you are referring to above. ~Feminine Given Names in the Annals of
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 3, 2000
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            "Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: You found the name "Rois" where? I'm not clear
            on what document you are referring to above.
            ~Feminine Given Names in the Annals of Connacht:
            http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/mari/AnnalsConnacht/FemGivenNamesAlpha.html
            *The entry is dated 1530

            >Scottish law may not have required it -- I'd want a citation of the evidence before believing that. However, the idea that there was a custom (tradition, not law) of sailors wearing earrings in order to be able to pay for something should they die and/or become injured I expect is true. I recall being told of some such tradition (and I cannot recall what I was told the gold was to pay for, I'm afraid, nor can I recall whether it was an earring or some other form of jewelry) by a scholar who studied Scottish maritime matters. I cannot recall in what time period, either, unfortunately.
            ~What I could easily elude to in my story is to not have the English
            maiden call him a pirate, but subtly have her tie in the gold earring
            with the fact that he's a scoundrel. Then I could let the reader assume
            that this is the origin of the earring being tied into a pirate.

            >I have a suspicion that the answer to when people would see a gold earring on a man and think "pirate" could date from the 19th or perhaps even 20th century. Remember that one of the key elements would be that wearing of earrings by men probably had become unusual for people to have started associating the wearing of them with a specific, disreputable occupation. It may even be that the association dates from well after the time when pirates were common, even though the tradition of sailors wearing earrings undoubtedly existed earlier. (Of course, if we could find some earlier evidence that people associated earrings with pirates, we'd be set!)
            ~Very true. Thank you very much for your insight. I think I'll stay
            away from the 'pirate' can of worms. I can achieve the effect I'm
            looking for by subtle implication.

            >Anyway, the point is all pretty moot, anyway, since the earliest
            English example of a form of "pirate" that I can find (in the OED,
            2nd edition) dates from 1426. So even in English the word just wasn't
            around yet in 1296.
            ~True. Thank you very much.

            >Finally, in general I urge caution when encountering web sites or books that relate legends, traditions, and such when they don't give specific dates (let alone specific dates and citations). In the year
            2000, something could be only 19th century and still qualify as an
            "old tradition". With so much "Scottish tradition" known to be only a
            couple centuries old (or younger), one especially has to look for the
            dates and the evidence to back it up.
            ~Excellent point. I have quite a few reference books here that I
            usually refer to. The 'tradition' I found on the net is a 'new,'
            intriguing find, and I didn't have any in-house sources to refer to.
            I'm amazed at the error in dates on the net compared to what I have in
            my research books here.
            Sharon, my sincere thanks again for your explanation and patience in
            explaining this all to me.
            Diana Cosby
            cosby@...
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