More name help
- I'm delurking to introduce myself and ask for a bit of help with possible
names. I'll give you a little history: I first got involved in the SCA
over a decade ago, and since I didn't have any firm ideas on persona at
that time, I just went by Elspeth. It's my name, actually a diminutive of
it but I've used it most of my life among family and friends (and the SCA
seemed so much like family and friends that it just slipped in). If I'd
gone with a Celtic persona this would have been fine... ;-) A few years
ago and long after my first experiences with the SCA, I began to seriously
think about persona, and to try to find a time and place that was "me".
George Vernadsky's History of Russia made me fall in love with Kievan Rus'
and even after talking with mundane historians (and learning that
Vernadsky is not the last word on the subject), I know that this is still
"right" for me. Sometimes I wish I'd fallen in love with a time and place
where they wrote in a language I can read, but you can't have everything!
Now, I have never changed my name (I'm a really SLOW persona developer!)
because I think if I am going to change it, I ought to make sure the name
is right. A new name every month or two would be hard for other people to
keep up with! So I remain Elspeth, to which I sometimes add 'the
Ill-Named', until I can get this RIGHT.
From what I've read -- initially a library book on personal names in
Novgorod in this perios, later in the wonderful online book of Russian
Names (whose author I forget, but wish to thank nonetheless) -- if your
parents gave you a Slavic name that did not correspond with a saint's
name, any time after the conversion, you would also acquire a christening
name. The Slavic name could have been used informally (afaik only the
princes and such used non-saint names for public purposes -- feedback on
this?) and the christening name would have been used in written records
and from this I assume in formal situations. "Middle" names in the modern
sense didn't exist, but here I perceive a way to have three names fair and
square! Although they wouldn't be used all at once, hey, I'm greedy!
However I am having trouble distinguishing between names that would have
been christening names, and those that wouldn't. I think my favorite
choice, Daria, would have been a christening name (a 3rd century saint and
therefore Greek??). Can wiser heads than mine verify this, and has anyone
in a similar quest gleaned a list of non-saint feminine Slavic names? We
seem to be better respected as a sex in this period than in many others,
but women's names still don't make it into the record in the same numbers
as men's names do... and I am thinking that the Slavic names, being
informal, would be even less likely to be written down.
Feel free to respond publically if you think there is general interest, or
privately if something like this has been discussed to death prior to my
Elspeth the ill-named, zhena Viktrovna