2015 №1 (18)

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Vladislav V. Alpatov
Moscow City Teacher Training University
Moscow, Russia

Place-Names with Biblical Associations in England and Other Countries of Western Europe: A Chronology and Motivation

Voprosy onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics), 2015, Issue 1 (18), pp. 17–46 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2015.1.002

Received 24 March 2015

Abstract: The article is devoted to classification and description of place-names with Biblical associations from the Old and New Testament. The analysis is mainly based on English toponymy, however, frequent parallels are drawn from Germany and France, also, to a lesser degree, from Belgium, Holland, Scandinavian countries and Russia. This approach allows to define the chief groups of name-givers and the basic motivations for the transference of names in Western Europe. The author distinguishes between two broad periods in this process: prior to the Reformation and posterior to it. In the first period, the strongest impetus to the transference of Biblical names is given by the Crusades, Biblical names are then bestowed on monasteries, private residences of nobility and parts of the Orders’ property. The second period is determined by the new Scriptural mindset of Protestantism, especially Calvinistic and other Nonconformist movements. As contrasted to the first period, Biblical names are then mostly used for churches, charities, private residences of pastors and religious landowners. The author discusses the evolution of names transference from the 7–9th centuries to the present time, establishing peaks of Biblical place names attestation frequency (13–14th and 18–19th centuries) and groups of names which dominated in different periods. Particular attention is paid to some specific ways of naming and the description of toponymic microsystems. The author consolidates a large number of language data scattered in different publications and suggests new explanations for some place names.

Key words: place-names with Christian associations, Biblical allusions, English placenames, transferred placenames, motivation of place-names, nomination strategies, name studies


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