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More name help

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  • Elizabeth B. Naime
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 1999
      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
      arrival.

      Elspeth the ill-named, zhena Viktrovna
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