Saturday, August 27, 2011

Clerical Names

At a used bookstore the other week, I picked up a copy of Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope: The Commentaries of Pius II, an Abridgment, which I have just started to look into. Early on, the author mentions an imperial delegate, Heinrich Senftleben, Dean of Breslau. To my eye, this "Senftleben" looks like "Sanftleben", "to live soft".  But perhaps that is not at all the derivation; Zenklava in the Czech Republic was also known as Senftleben.

Jaroslav Pelikan's history of Christian doctrine mentions one "Nausea",  bishop of Vienna late in the first half of the 16th Century. On following this up, I learned that the bishop's family name was "Grau"; "grauen" in German is to become queasy. I suppose it speaks to a rage for classicism or a sense of humor that he would have gone by a Latin equivalent.

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