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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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Meeting in the Shadow of Heroes? Personal Names and Assembly Places

Meeting in the Shadow of Heroes? Personal Names and Assembly Places

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Meeting in the Shadow of Heroes? Personal Names and Assembly Places
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

John Baker

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0002

This chapter examines the likelihood that celebrated individuals were commemorated in the names of assembly sites as part of a display of political authority or cultural affiliation. Focusing primarily on the names of Domesday hundreds, it draws comparisons with the personal names in other well-established Anglo-Saxon corpora (including charter bounds, narrative sources, Domesday Book and place-names), in order to assess the social context of those individuals commemorated in hundred-names. The chapter then evaluates the probability that such names could carry specific political or cultural resonance at the time of naming, and there are clear indications that this may sometimes have been the case, perhaps especially in the first half of the 10th century. While the evidence implies that the hundred-names arose in a number of different circumstances, the analysis suggests that reference to heroic figures may have been one motivating factor in the naming of sites of assembly.

Keywords:   Domesday hundreds, place-names, hundred-names, assembly sites, Anglo-Saxon corpora, naming, heroic figures

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