Mystery Monday: Ebresia

Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.

There are not many names in use in 11th-century France that are neither (a) new Christian/saint’s name imports nor (b) in use in preceding centuries. Today’s mystery name is one, a feminine name found in Marseille in the early part of the century. While it can possibly be connected with the prototheme ebur, given a lack of any clear explanation for the deuterotheme, this identification remains at the “possible” rather than “plausible” level. We’d love to upgrade it. Have you found any other examples of this name? Do you have thoughts about the ending -esia? Please let us know in the comments!

Ebresia

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2 Comments

Filed under dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Ebresia

  1. Brian M. Scott

    Morlet I:78a has Evrasia (Pol. Irm. IX, 178; Pol. Reims XXII) and Evresia (Pol. Reims XVII, 29) classified as Gallo-Frankish hypocoristics of the ebur theme with a suffix ultimately of Latin origin; if Morlet is right, these would be the same name, and your conjecture would be correct.

    However, it occurs to me that it’s conceivable that these names in Morlet are actually Eurasia and Euresia. Peter Apianus and Bartholomaeus Amantius, Inscriptiones sacrosanctae vetustatis non illae quidem Romanae, sed totius fere orbis summo studio, 1534, p. CCCIII, does have an inscription showing such a name:

    M. AVR. EVRETO CONIVGI CARISSIMO QVI VIXIT ANN. LXIII. M. VIII. SEPTIMIA FELICISSIMA VXOR ET M. AUR. EVRETUS ET SEPTIMIA EVRESIA ET AVR. PVDENCIANVS FILIO CARIS. NEGOTIANTI PVLLARIO PATRI B. M. F.

    In this case Ebresia could still be an actual example of the name that Morlet was assuming; we just wouldn’t have any other examples.

    I did find one more instance with v, but it raises questions of its own. Rudolf Coronini, Reichsgraf von Cronberg, 1731-1791, was born in Gorizia (German Görz) in northeastern Italy. According to the Oesterreichische National-Encyklopädie, oder alphabetische Darlegung der wissenswürdigsten Eigenthümlichkeiten des österreichischen Kaiserthumes, (A bis D), Wien, 1835, his favorite occupation in his free time was studying the history of his ‘fatherland’ (however exactly that may have been defined) and writing monographs on various aspects thereof. The saint Evresia of the monograph Ragguaglio storico della vita e del martirio de Sta. Evresia is therefore likely to be associated with the territory of the Austrian Habsburgs.

    Unfortunately, I can find no other reference to this saint. I did, however, find a saint Eurosia (or Orosia), patron saint of Jaca in northeastern Spain, one version of whose legend says that she was born Dobroslava into the ducal family of Bohemia in 864, taking the name Eurosia when she converted to Christianity. Despite the different vowel, it is at least conceivable that Coronini was writing about this somewhat legendary figure: she is said to have been martyred by the Moors.

    After all this I’d still say that Morlet’s ebur hybrid is the likeliest hypothesis.

  2. Could it be a lenited form of Greek Euphrasia?

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