2021, Volume 18, Issue 2

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Anna F. Litvina
Fjodor B. Uspenskij

National Research University
Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE)
Moscow, Russia

Partimofey Turgenev and the Weird Name of His

Voprosy onomastiki, 2021, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp. 33–53 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2021.18.2.017

Received on 3 February 2021

Abstract: This paper dwells upon an uncommon precedent of choice and functioning of a name of a 17th century member of the Turgenev family. This individual case draws our attention to certain common processes of Russian onomastics evolution in the era of the first Romanov tsars and the early Petrine period. One can see how religious and cultural orientation of the monarchs first influences their immediate circle and then — the society as a whole. The name-choosing tradition reflects, to some extent, the dominant trends of that era, but remains an original phenomenon evolving in accordance with its own patterns. The paper focuses on exotic and/or deliberately constructed personal names that could have existed as monastic or baptismal names but rarely made their way into lay documents. Their emergence in everyday use attests to a general overhaul of polyonymy system where a single individual could have received up to 4 or 5 personal names, both Christian and non-Christian, both lay and monastic, during their lifetime. Furthermore, the paper demonstrates that the name Partimofey (Portimofey) could have emerged under two different patterns. Moreover, the reason behind the two equally plausible hypotheses concerning this name is not some indecisiveness on part of the researchers, but rather the specifics of the transitional stage when the tradition itself had not yet adapted to the options brought to the foreground. Back then, the authors of lay documents were faced with a challenge of writing down unusual names, previously unknown to everyday life, and the form Partimofey was a bizarre outcome of domesticating the unknown.

Keywords: onomastics, name-giving in pre-Petrine Rus’, Medieval Russian polyonymy, dual naming of lay Christians, saints’ cult, Church calendar, patron saints, Turgenev family.

The publication was prepared as part of the project “Ancient Rus’ and the Petrine Epoch in Manuscripts: Commented Reading and Publishing” supported by the NRU Higher School of Economics Foundation for Human Sciences in 2021.


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