Should the LNAB for the House of Savoy be Savoie or Savoia?

+7 votes
134 views

I want to merge some duplicates of a few people in the House of Savoy, so I need to know what Last Name at Birth to use. I found Category:House of Savoy, and the profiles in that category use Savoy. But the house is Italian, and the Italian name is Savoia, so shouldn't we be using that?

in Policy and Style by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (423k points)

3 Answers

+5 votes

Even though Savoie is today in France, the ruling family has a much more intrenched history in Italy so that Savoia seems more appropriate. Particularly since the presumptive founder of the dynasty Humbert I was count of Sabaudia or Sapaudia which changed into the modern names over time and the local people didn't speak either French or Italian. In Savoyard it's called Savouè.

by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (528k points)
+6 votes
To add a bit to Helmut's answer

Before I even started in the European Aristocrats project, the decision seemed to be to use Savoie, and I'm not sure of the reasoning for this. Perhaps because as Helmut says that Savoie is now in France and certainly during the medieval period they seemed to be aligned more with France?

However they gradually gained more territory in Italy and from about 1563 they made Turin (Torino in Italian) their capital, and later were created Kings of Sicily, then Sardinia, and finally  became the modern Kings of Italy.  In which case it seems more appropriate to use Savoia.

My vote goes towards using Savoia as the LNAB.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (437k points)
John, in Norman Davies' chapter on Savoy in Forgotten Kingdoms he explains that the two parts of the kingdom maintained their ideas about being French and Italian. These feelings helped lead to the eventual split.
John, I agree fully: Only Savoia should be the used as the dynastic name for the Dukes of Savoia, for the Kings of Sicilia, Sardegna and Italy of that House. .

Albertus
+3 votes
In a case where many languages have been used, would it not be reasonable to use a well-known English version of the name, which exists in this case? The Savoy district in London is named after the house, because they owned it. I think most books written in English use Savoy still.
by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
We are striving to be an international site. Certainly, at the moment English is the language used overwhelmingly, but that may not be always so in the future. There are discussions concerning bilingual biographies, categories and projects are working on bilingual formats etc. WikiTree style guides suggest to go with names as they were used at the time and in the place in question, and all issues with last names for medieval nobility not withstanding, that was certainly not English for Savoia.
That's interesting Helmut. Will be interested to see how those projects develop. If we are talking about a multi-lingual name for the family in its medieval period then Sabaudia comes up I guess as a Latin option? On the other hand I have no strong opinions, but I doubt that Italian and French can be seen as equally strong contenders. I understand the language in the original core lands of Savoie were always considered a type of French even if very different from standard French. The family eventually of course became a kingdom with Italian territory on the other side of Mont Blanc, who spoke related dialects that were however considered types of Italian! So Savoie sounds very acceptable to me also, and maybe more easy for modern readers to process.

The problem with medieval nobility is that they usually did not have a last name. What they are known under now is all relatively new naming. Charlemagne was not given that name at birth and he would have most certainly not known what to make out of "Carolingian". Old High German Karling may have done it, or Latin Karolingus. So we have to decide what name to give the old houses of nobility and the best way is to discuss pros and cons in order to reach a consensus. There is no clean cut solution that will satisfy everybody. How to call the rulers of Savoia? It is speculated that Humbert/Umberto was Burgundian. If that is correct he would have spoken a Germanic language, most likely Old Franconian, or Latin (Sabaudia or Sapaudia)(Burgundian died out in the 6th century). The locals spoke Arpetan (Savouè). It was for the longest time part of the Holy Roman Empire, so the Germans have a plug (Savoyen). The links to Italy started early with marriage into the Arduin family from Turin (Old Franconian/Latin). Later developments also increased the Italian connection (Savoia). France only succeded in 1860 to annex the state (Savoie) after a rigged plebiscite.

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