|Cornish (and Other) Personal Names from the 10th Century Bodmin Manumissions|
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Cornish (and Other) Personal Names from the 10th Century Bodmin Manumissions
by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
© 1999, 2001 by Heather Rose Jones; all rights reserved.
Name FormatsThe freed slaves are mostly identified simply by a given name. Two bear patronyms while in other cases family relationships are indicated, but in ways that cannot be interpreted as functioning as a byname. One of the former bears a second byname in addition to the patronym. About half of those identified as owners bear some sort of byname, primarily high-ranking titles, either secular (king, duke) or religious (bishop), but in a few occasions, patronyms. The witnesses overwhelmingly bear bynames indicating a religious office (priest, deacon, etc.) but sometimes a secular occupation or title (steward), or patronym. With one exception, this group is the only one where non-occupational, non-patronymic bynames appear, but they are very few and difficult to interpret with certainty. Among the owners and freed slaves, bynames appear in both Latin and Old English entries roughly in proportion to the total number, but among the witnesses, individuals appearing in Old English records disproportionately do not have bynames, while individuals appearing in Latin records disproportionately do. (Remember that these bynames are overwhelmingly religious offices.)
Among the slave-owners, the only people with bynames bear Old English given names. In all, eleven individuals (in 18 separate entries) fall in this group. (Some also appear as witnesses.)
SlavesOnly two of the freed slaves bear something that could be interpreted as a byname -- both including patronyms. One is a Cornish name appearing in a Latin entry, the other an Old English name in an Old English entry and also includes an unidentified non-patronymic byname. Förster suggests interpreting hate as "hight" (is called).
Byhstan Hate Bluntan sunu (E 53)
WitnessesThere are 176 witness entries that include a byname. For bynames that appear more than a few times, only representative examples are given and the full number noted in the text.
Religious OccupationsThe vast majority of witnesses' bynames are religious offices, whether in Latin or in Old English. In many cases, the same individual appears with both versions of the same position; in others, the same individual appears with different designations, perhaps because one is less specific, perhaps because of a change of position.
Latin presbiter is the element that most often alternates with other titles for what appears to be the same individual, in four cases alternating with Latin diaconus, four more times with Old English messepreost (in one of these also alternating with Latin clericus and sacerdos), twice with Latin clericus only, and twice with Latin episcopus (one of whom also appears as pravost and one as diaconus), and once with Latin sacerdos only. Other alternations include Old English messepreost with diaconus, Latin monachus with clericus, Latin diaconus with discipulus, Latin praeside and diacon with Old English portgereva, and the previously mentioned Latin centurion with Old English hundredesmann.
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