Italian Men's Names in Rome, 1473-1484

by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (Kathleen M. O'Brien)


© 2003-2007 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 1.2, updated 20 March 2007


Name Construction Patterns

A Typical Name

The vast majority of names found in these records have only one given name (or a compound given name) and only one byname. Some examples of this type of name include:

Frequency:Construction Pattern:Years:
156[given name or compound given name] [byname]
     Pietro di Giuliano1482
     Domenicho Jachobacci1483
     Nicholo de Grassi1484
     Piero Fiorentino1482
     Girolamo da Siena1484

In some cases, the single byname seems to be an inherited surname. In other cases, the single byname seems to be a literal byname. For example, in the name Pietro di Giuliano, the byname di Giuliano likely indicates that Pietro's father was named Giuliano. In the name Girolamo da Siena, the byname da Siena likely indicates that Girolamo was from Siena.

In many cases, we simply do not have enough information about these men to be able to determine whether their byname is an inherited surname or is a literal byname. A good example of this situation is Simonetto Balistari. It is impossible to tell within the context of the document whether his byname is Balistari meaning because his father's byname was Balistari or because Simonetto was, at one time, a crossbowman (the original meaning of Balistari).

It is worth noting that many of the bynames seen in these records are partially or completely Latinized. Whether this is an oddity of these records (which may be the case as they are for an academic institution), or whether this trend reflects the shifts in the Italian language going on at that time, I do not know.

Two Bynames

In the handful of cases where two bynames are used, one byname appears to be an inherited surname and one appears to be a literal byname. There is a single case where both bynames may be literal.

In some cases, the literal byname is a locative byname that indicates the place that the persion is from. For example, in the name Giovanni Deondi da Padova, the byname da Padova likely indicates that Giovanni is from Padova. The four examples of this type of name are:

Frequency:Construction Pattern:Years:
4[given name or compound given name] [inherited surname] [locative byname that includes the particle da]
     Domenico Calderini da Verona (standardized)
         (only appears once)
1473, 1474
     Giovanni Deondi da Padova
         (also recorded as Giovanni da Padova)
1482
     Francesco Pellati da Padova (standardized)
         (more often referred to as Francesco da Padova)
1473, 1474
     Antonio de Leoni da Tivoli
         (more often referred to as Antonio de Leoni)
1482

In other cases, the literal byname is a patronymic byname that indicates the given name of this person's father. For example, in the name Alessandro dantonio Turchi, the byname dantonio likely indicates that Alessandro's father was named Antonio. The two examples of this type of name are:

Frequency:Construction Pattern:Years:
 
2[given name or compound given name] [patronymic byname] [inherited surname]
     Alessandro dantonio Turchi
         (only appears once)
1482
     Egidio dandrea di Tocho
         (more commonly referred to as Egidio di Tocho) (only appears once)
1482

In one case, both bynames appear to be literal. In the name Valentino dantonio da fiorentino, the byname dantonio likely indicates that Valentino's father was named Antonio. The byname da fiorentino may indicate that Valentino (or perhaps his father) was from Fiorentino.

Frequency:Construction Pattern:Years:
 
1[given name or compound given name] [patronymic byname] [locative byname that includes the particle da]
     Valentino dantonio da fiorentino
         (only appears once)
1483

If the byname da fiorentino is an inherited surname rather than a literal byname, then this example fits into the pattern of

[given name or compound given name] [patronymic byname] [inherited surname]

shown in the examples immediately preceeding this section.


Medieval Scotland | Medieval Names Archive | Italian Men's Names in Rome, 1473-1484


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