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RE: Re: [sig] Mongol/Russian interaction: request from Laurel Queen of Arms for comments

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  • L.M. Kies
    ... I hope we don t need proof that all, or even most, converts changed their names - just that it was appropriate and encouraged and therefore reasonable to
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 18, 2007
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      >Okay, maybe I missed something in my reading of this, but the Catholic
      >encyclopedia article does not support the position that all (or even
      >most) converts to Christianity took Christian names.

      I hope we don't need proof that all, or even most, converts changed their names - just that it was appropriate and encouraged and therefore reasonable to replicate in the SCA. We'll probably never find hard evidence of commoners changing their names on conversion for the simple fact that there isn't a lot of period written information about commoners. (Unless Paul Wickenden has some hidden gems tucked away...)

      I think the Orthodox have followed this rule of name-changing more strictly than Catholics, at least according to the sources I posted previously. And yes, those referenced pre-period text, but these same texts were carefully preserved, studied and dutifully followed in medieval Russia.

      In Russia, even Western Christians with perfectly good Christian names are known to have changed their names to a more Russian Orthodox one when they joined the Russian royal family. Peter the Great's second wife, Katherine, would be an example (formerly Marta). Katherine the Great would be another (originally Sophie). Granted, these are post-period, but I already mention Princess Konchaka who changed her name to Agrafa. Princess Olga took the name Yelena when she was converted to Christianity in Byzantium in the mid 900s. (After she was sainted, Olga became a Christian name.) Depending on whether they were born before or after the conversion of Rus, Boris and Gleb may also have been examples of Russians who took Christian names on conversion (Roman and David).

      The documented (see Paul's naming stuff) Russian practice of giving an "Old Russian" name at birth and a "Christian" name a few days or weeks later at baptism could also be considered a type of "conversion naming" but at the very least indicates the importance of Christian names in Rus.

      Sofya
      (who seems to have gotten her old Russian/English name passed just in time... ;-)

      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Lady Sofya la Rus
      Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
      http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser
      "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
      --------------------------------------------------------------------




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    • Rod Giffin
      ... That s not what is meant by the passage at all. Give no names to your children in Baptism **but those of canonized saints or of the angels of God.**
      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 18, 2007
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        Tamara Duran wrote:
        > On 7/18/07, Rod Giffin <rbgiffin@...> wrote:
        >
        >> The Catholic Encyclopedia contains probably the best accessible
        >> description of the tradition of taking a Christian name. See
        >> http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10673c.htm The description remains
        >> largely the same in the Eastern and Western Rites. Note there are many
        >> examples of Byzantine usage in the article, including examples of adult
        >> converts.
        >>
        >
        > Okay, maybe I missed something in my reading of this, but the Catholic
        > encyclopedia article does not support the position that all (or even
        > most) converts to Christianity took Christian names. It gives three
        > examples of adult converts -- all of them royalty -- taking Christian
        > names upon conversion, but nowhere that I can see does it suggest that
        > the practice was widespread, nevermind universal. The article points
        > out that even Christian children weren't always baptised with
        > Christian names:
        >
        > "But while various Fathers and spiritual writers, and here and there a
        > synodal decree, have exhorted the faithful to give no names to their
        > children in baptism but those of canonized saints or of the angels of
        > God, it must be confessed that there has never been a time in the
        > history of the Church when these injunctions have been at all strictly
        > attended to.
        > They were certainly not heeded during the early or the later Middle Ages."
        >
        >
        That's not what is meant by the passage at all. "Give no names to your
        children in Baptism **but those of canonized saints or of the angels of
        God.**" was the exhortation. This does not insinuate that the practice
        was ignored, but rather that it was being *misused*. People were using
        the names of famous dead people (often martyrs, sometimes on their way
        to sainthood, but nonetheless uncanonized), instead of canonized saints
        or angels. It was a mistake, and was being corrected.

        "History preserves ***sundry*** examples of such a change of name in
        adult converts <cathen/04347a.htm>." The author chose three historic
        people that someone might recognize, as examples. If the example was
        George the Janitor, would it mean anything to you?

        I said the practice was widespread, and that it predated the Council of
        Nicea. I didnt say it was universal. The practice differs in various
        cultures. In Russian Orthodoxy, it appears to have been and be very
        nearly mandatory, although it is gently proposed. In some other areas
        it is the law.

        Orderic.
      • Tamara Duran
        ... That statement is not supported by the text: Any one who glances even casually at an extensive list of medieval names, such as are perhaps best found in
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 18, 2007
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          On 7/19/07, Rod Giffin <rbgiffin@...> wrote:

          > Tamara Duran wrote:
          > > On 7/18/07, Rod Giffin <rbgiffin@...> wrote:
          > >
          > >> The Catholic Encyclopedia contains probably the best accessible
          > >> description of the tradition of taking a Christian name. See
          > >> http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10673c.htm The description remains
          > >> largely the same in the Eastern and Western Rites. Note there are many
          > >> examples of Byzantine usage in the article, including examples of adult
          > >> converts.
          > >>
          > >
          > > Okay, maybe I missed something in my reading of this, but the Catholic
          > > encyclopedia article does not support the position that all (or even
          > > most) converts to Christianity took Christian names. It gives three
          > > examples of adult converts -- all of them royalty -- taking Christian
          > > names upon conversion, but nowhere that I can see does it suggest that
          > > the practice was widespread, nevermind universal. The article points
          > > out that even Christian children weren't always baptised with
          > > Christian names:
          > >
          > > "But while various Fathers and spiritual writers, and here and there a
          > > synodal decree, have exhorted the faithful to give no names to their
          > > children in baptism but those of canonized saints or of the angels of
          > > God, it must be confessed that there has never been a time in the
          > > history of the Church when these injunctions have been at all strictly
          > > attended to.
          > > They were certainly not heeded during the early or the later Middle Ages."
          > >
          > >
          > That's not what is meant by the passage at all. "Give no names to your
          > children in Baptism **but those of canonized saints or of the angels of
          > God.**" was the exhortation. This does not insinuate that the practice
          > was ignored, but rather that it was being *misused*. People were using
          > the names of famous dead people (often martyrs, sometimes on their way
          > to sainthood, but nonetheless uncanonized), instead of canonized saints
          > or angels. It was a mistake, and was being corrected.

          That statement is not supported by the text:

          " Any one who glances even casually at an extensive list of medieval
          names, such as are perhaps best found in the indexes to the volumes of
          legal proceedings which have been edited in modern times, will at once
          perceive that while ordinary names without any very pronounced
          religious associations, such as William, Robert, Roger, Geoffrey,
          Hugh, etc. enormously preponderate (William about the year 1200 was by
          far the most common Christian name in England), there are also always
          a very considerable number of exceptional and out-of-the-way names
          which have apparently no religious associations at all. Such names, to
          take but a few specimens, as Ademar, Ailma, Ailward, Albreza, Alditha,
          Almaury, Ascelina, Avice, Aystorius (these come from the lists of
          those cured at the shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury) are of quite
          frequent occurrence. "

          Either way, this is only relevant for a study of names given to
          baptised Christian children -- not adult converts from other faiths.

          > "History preserves ***sundry*** examples of such a change of name in
          > adult converts <cathen/04347a.htm>." The author chose three historic
          > people that someone might recognize, as examples. If the example was
          > George the Janitor, would it mean anything to you?

          History may preserve sundry examples, but until the College of Arms
          has a photocopy of some in their hot little hands, just saying so
          doesn't do us a lick of good. Are any of the "sundry" in Medieval
          Russia -- or elsewhere in the sway of Medieval Eastern Orthodoxy --
          or they all in 2nd C Syria ?


          > In Russian Orthodoxy, it appears to have been and be very
          > nearly mandatory, although it is gently proposed. In some other areas
          > it is the law.

          *This* is the statement that we need documentation for. One Tatar
          princess is not proof of a "very nearly mandatory" practice.

          Believe me, I know how frustrating it is -- you've been studing the
          stuff for years, to the point where you know in your gut that a thing
          is so, and then somebody demands you "prove" what you think should be
          obvious. Maybe the "sundry" statement would be sufficient for
          Laurel's purposes, I don't know. I'd guess not, though. I think a
          good solid quote from a scholarly source writing specifically about
          Medieval converts to Eastern Orthodoxy -- preferably in a Russian
          flavor -- would be useful, though.

          --Kazimira
        • Rod Giffin
          ... Please stop that. Not one of the examples given in the article is 2nd C Syrian. The first mentioned, as an example of the practice is from the 5th C
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 19, 2007
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            Tamara Duran wrote:
            > History may preserve sundry examples, but until the College of Arms
            > has a photocopy of some in their hot little hands, just saying so
            > doesn't do us a lick of good. Are any of the "sundry" in Medieval
            > Russia -- or elsewhere in the sway of Medieval Eastern Orthodoxy --
            > or they all in 2nd C Syria ?
            Please stop that. Not one of the examples given in the article is 2nd C
            Syrian. The first mentioned, as an example of the practice is from the
            5th C Byzantium, the second is from 7th C. Rome, and the third is from
            9th C. England. The article, as I said from the outset, is simply a
            description of the practice. Nothing more.

            As for this and the rest, it is totally irrelevant to the possibility of
            a Mongol/Rus persona named Ivan Batu. We've established already that
            the Rus came into close contact with the Golden Horde, including enough
            contact for intermarriage or the possibility of blended name under
            existing SCA name submission rules, and that the use of the paragraph
            from Wikipedia was inappropriate for the return. It actually smacks of
            the result of a Google search, not reading the article to get things in
            context, since the very next paragraph of the article contradicts the
            conclusion that was reached by the College, and stated in the return.

            Orderic.
          • Shannon Anderson
            I continually find myself in the position of having to advise people who are selecting a name or device for the first time. I m NOT a herald, though I ve held
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 19, 2007
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              I continually find myself in the position of having to advise people who are selecting a name or device for the first time. I'm NOT a herald, though I've held the office before for a small group.

              Maybe it's just a human dynamics issue, but I find I get better results when people are not too attached to any name or device. That's what I recommend, anyway. Obviously, if you're in love with a name/device you are going to want that and only that.
              But for new members, before they get attached to something, I've been suggesting that they approach the Heralds (at events, at workshops etc.) with a spirit of "I have an interesting proposition!" I know many heralds who love to work with new ideas and love a challenge. That being said, heralds and most anyone would bristle at being approached with "I demand x, y, z and I want it now."

              So, I've had personal and vicarious success with a less defined approach. I recognize that it's not always possible to go into the name/device process with such flexibility, esp. if a person has been playing in the society for a long time using a specific name or something. But whenever possible, I try to make the process a happier one for both applicant and herald.

              That being said, I know several people who've been outright tossed out of the submission process for false reasons. Russian names have been given a much more comfortable precidence, but I hear Chinese names are being given a rough time lately...

              Margarita




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            • Tim Nalley
              What about Italian/??? contacts at Kaffa and other trading sites on te Balck Sea run by theGenoese and Venetians? I m sure that mechanics being mechanics some
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 19, 2007
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                What about Italian/??? contacts at Kaffa and other
                trading sites on te Balck Sea run by theGenoese and
                Venetians? I'm sure that mechanics being mechanics
                some of them married locals, some of which converted
                to Catholicism...if they wanted to get married in a
                Catholic church. Beisdes Canae did they have to take
                completely Christian names?
                --- Rod Giffin <rbgiffin@...> wrote:

                > Tamara Duran wrote:
                > > History may preserve sundry examples, but until
                > the College of Arms
                > > has a photocopy of some in their hot little hands,
                > just saying so
                > > doesn't do us a lick of good. Are any of the
                > "sundry" in Medieval
                > > Russia -- or elsewhere in the sway of Medieval
                > Eastern Orthodoxy --
                > > or they all in 2nd C Syria ?
                > Please stop that. Not one of the examples given in
                > the article is 2nd C
                > Syrian. The first mentioned, as an example of the
                > practice is from the
                > 5th C Byzantium, the second is from 7th C. Rome, and
                > the third is from
                > 9th C. England. The article, as I said from the
                > outset, is simply a
                > description of the practice. Nothing more.
                >
                > As for this and the rest, it is totally irrelevant
                > to the possibility of
                > a Mongol/Rus persona named Ivan Batu. We've
                > established already that
                > the Rus came into close contact with the Golden
                > Horde, including enough
                > contact for intermarriage or the possibility of
                > blended name under
                > existing SCA name submission rules, and that the use
                > of the paragraph
                > from Wikipedia was inappropriate for the return. It
                > actually smacks of
                > the result of a Google search, not reading the
                > article to get things in
                > context, since the very next paragraph of the
                > article contradicts the
                > conclusion that was reached by the College, and
                > stated in the return.
                >
                > Orderic.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >




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              • Tamara Duran
                ... Sorry ! It was posted in the context of a discussion about whether the Eastern Orthodox practice of converts taking new Christian names could be used to
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 19, 2007
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                  On 7/20/07, Rod Giffin <rbgiffin@...> wrote:
                  > The article, as I said from the outset, is simply a
                  > description of the practice. Nothing more.

                  Sorry ! It was posted in the context of a discussion about whether
                  the Eastern Orthodox practice of converts taking new Christian names
                  could be used to support registrations of mixed Mongol/Russian names
                  in the SCA, so I was trying to assess it from that angle. Will
                  relievedly stop now. :^)


                  > As for this and the rest, it is totally irrelevant to the possibility of
                  > a Mongol/Rus persona named Ivan Batu. We've established already that
                  > the Rus came into close contact with the Golden Horde, including enough
                  > contact for intermarriage or the possibility of blended name under
                  > existing SCA name submission rules, and that the use of the paragraph
                  > from Wikipedia was inappropriate for the return. It actually smacks of
                  > the result of a Google search, not reading the article to get things in
                  > context, since the very next paragraph of the article contradicts the
                  > conclusion that was reached by the College, and stated in the return.


                  Yes ! I've noted that in the pile of stuff I've been forwarding.

                  Speaking of name changes, Puppy posted some interesting info on
                  Princess Agrifa on the Mongols list & since we were just discussing
                  her, I asked him if I could cross-post:

                  ------------------------------v
                  I did some reading last night ("Moscovy and the Mongols:
                  Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304-1589" by Donald
                  Ostrowski) and came up with one name of interest: Konochaka / Agrafa.
                  She was the sister of the Khan of the Golden Horde (or Ulus of Jochi,
                  or Qipchaq Khanate, choose your favorite name) at the time (Ozbeg) who
                  was allowed to marry a Russian prince. (Iurii) To marry a Russian
                  prince, she needed to convert to Christianity and was given a new name
                  as part of her baptism. Not sure how this would help with a name
                  submission to the college of heralds as it is name change and not sure
                  how it would have been used in practice nor am I sure of the exact
                  lineage of either name, but so far its the only person I found with
                  both a Mongol (probably Qipchaq Turkic actually) and a Russian (or at
                  least European Christian, possibly Greek / Byzantine) name.

                  Apparently such a practice was uncommon (earlier Khans did not want
                  the Rus to have legitimacy as rulers and later Khans refused to let
                  their women be converted from Islam to Christianity) and this was a
                  special case due to Iurii living with the Mongol ord for several
                  years, but they were subsequently murdered before they could have any
                  children.

                  Note the book said nothing about the Church requiring her to use her
                  baptismal name, just that they gave her one, though it is within
                  Mongol custom to have such a name change if she chose to use. (ie
                  Temujin -> Chinggis) The book said that there was a divide among the
                  Rus between the administrative faction which favored adopting Mongol
                  customs, and the religeous faction which opposed it. Its possible only
                  the church actually used her Christian name. As that was the faction
                  which ultimately won out when the Mongols were overthrown, they thus
                  wrote the history including the myth of Mongols providing no influence
                  on Russian culture and redefining Tsar from meaning a decendant of
                  Chinggis to Ceasar. But it could be that she used one name among her
                  Christian peers, and the other among her Mongol ones - such a practice
                  was done in China.
                  -------------------------^

                  It's a pity she was murdered -- I wonder what the story behind that was ?

                  --Kazimira
                • Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise
                  ... I think Laurel needs to have another look at the question of what constitutes appropriate sources. No letter of acceptance and return should cite an
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 23, 2007
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                    > Laurel's looking for all of the above, not just commoners
                    > intermarrying. The wording of the letter made it sound to me as
                    > though the College had been more or less assuming that there was
                    > sufficient contact between the two cultures for SCA purposes, but that
                    > some doubt had been thrown on this assumption by the article claiming
                    > that the Mongols kept themselves actually quite separate from the
                    > Russians. Hence the request for more information.

                    I think Laurel needs to have another look at the question of what
                    constitutes appropriate sources. No letter of acceptance and return
                    should cite an anonymous source as authoritative.

                    --
                    -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@...
                    "I thought you might need rescuing . . . We have a bunch of professors
                    wandering around who need students." -- Dan Guernsey
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