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.
Today’s name is one of those names where it feels like we should recognize it, but we don’t. We’ve got two examples (two different variant spellings) of it from the same collection of Latin records from Genoa in 1376, and a bit of sleuthing around reveals it also as the surname of a German rabbi,
Joseph Ottolengo, who was given permission in 1558 by Cardinal Madruzzo to print Hebrew books in Trento (neat!). The prototheme Otto is well-known; but just what is the deuterotheme?
If you have any thoughts or ideas, or any other neat stories about German Jewish printers, please share in the comments!