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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

However, it is not a question of "St. Thor" but rather "St. Thorlac" (feasts July 20 and Dec. 23)
or the like. People were not given the name of a god as such; it was incorporated as an
element only. Modern Icelanders who name their children "Þórr" or "Óðin" are doing
something that is unattested in the Middle Ages. The question is thus to what 
extent the heathen overtones of such a name were perceived. St. Þorlákr's parents,
related to one of the oldest Christian families in Iceland, obviously weren´t worried. 
However, the thoroughly evil "Freydís" who kills a number of people in one of the sagas about
Vínland is probably a fictional character whose name (the gods are "Freyr" and "Freyja"; "dís" means "goddess") reflects her violent and unfeminine role in this saga. 
Meg

________________________________

From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture on behalf of Bill East
Sent: sun. 27.2.2005 09:54
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] Christian (and not so Christian) names


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture 


	
         
         
        P.S. Would St Thor be more shocking, really, than St Dionysius? 
         
        Respondeo:
         
        I would have thought so, because you already have a Dionysius the Areopagite in the New Testament; a biblical saint to whom future Dennises can refer back. Likewise there is a New Testament Apollos, although very few people seem to have emulated his name; fonts have not been greatly burdened by little Apolloes. Curious that Christians of a certain tradition generally plundered the Old Testament rather than the New for strange names: Ezra, Ezekiel, Jedediah, Obadiah, rather than Tychicus or Aristarchus.
         
        Bill.
         





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