Full text: Interferenz-Onomastik

Nicoletta Francovich Onesti 
Latin (and Greek) Interference in Late Gothic. 
Personal Names and other Linguistic Evidence from 
sixth Century Italy 
1. Gothic Names from Italy 
The total number of Late-Gothic personal names recorded in sixth-century 
written sources from Ostrogothic and post-Ostrogothic Italy amounts to a 
quite considerable corpus of about three hundred names. Most of these were 
transmitted through Latin or Greek texts, such as Cassiodorus’ letters and 
chronicle, Jordanes’ history, Procopius’ Gothic War, Ennodius’ works, and 
also legal transactions, epitaphs and other inscriptions, and many other minor 
sources.1 In two instances, Gothic names were also written down in the Gothic 
language by five members of the Arian clergy of Ravenna: this is the case of 
the so-called „documents of Naples and Arezzo“, two bilingual papyri of the 
mid-sixth century containing original Gothic subscriptions with autograph sig¬ 
natures intermingled with the Latin text.2 Very seldom do the sources allow us 
to know about family relationships and the genealogy of people bearing 
Gothic names. In some cases however we do get to know the office or status 
of such persons, and in the Ostrogothic kingdom there were positions that 
were typically held by Goths and their associates, such as military service, ad¬ 
ministrative supervisors, aristocratic comités, Arian clergy, court nobility and 
high standing functionaries, and such police-like officials as the saiones.3 
Generally speaking, Arian believers can also be expected to be of Gothic 
1 The personal names here mentioned are recorded in the following historical 
sources: Italian 6th-century papyri (ed. Tjader and Marini); inscriptions published in 
CIL, 1LCV, Rugo, Fiebiger, Mastrelli, Bierbrauer and Donati-Susini. Latin authors: 
Orosius’ Historiae, Cassiodorus’ Variae and Chronica, Jordanes’ Getica, 
Anonymus Valesianus, Marcellinus Comes, Gregory of Tours’ Historia 
Francorum, Flodoard of Reims; Epistolae of pope Gelasius and Pelagius I, 
Epistolae of Avitus of Vienne, Ennodius’ Epistolae and Panegyricum, Gregory the 
Great’s Epistolae and Dialogi; Continuatio Havniensis. Greek historians: Proco¬ 
pius' Bellum Gothicum, Malalas’ Chronographia, John of Antiochia’s Chronicle. 
According to the edition of Jan-Olof Tjader (1954-1982), the two legal deeds were 
written down in Faenza in 538 (Tjader f8, the so-called „Arezzo deed“) and in 
Ravenna in 551 (Tjader P34, „Naples deed“). Their previous edition was by G. 
Marini (1805) and the first linguistic study by H.F. Massmann (1838); cp. P. 
Scardigli 1973. About their Gothic names see also H. Penzl 1977 and N. Francovich 
Onesti 2005. 
1 Amory 1997, p, 348. 
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