The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, May 03, 2017


In the Averoigne cycle, the name Guillaume with variant Villom seems particularly associated with the cathedral-city Vyones.

In “Maker of Gargoyles”, as the cathedral is built, a Guillaume Maspier delivers some plot-development reports. The love-interest in Smith’s “Rendezvous in Averoigne”, Fleurette, was the daughter of one Guillaume Cochin from the same town. Meanwhile a “Villom” family makes its home there as well.

The name is natively German, Wilhelm. Guillaume is its central French form dating from, as best I can uncover, not long before AD 1100 (wi -> gui). Every Englishman knows that “William” is old Norman; newer Norman would be something like “Villiom”. The Occitan equivalent is Guilhèm. This is similar enough to Guillaume that an author may allow for a central-French transliteration of an immigrant from the south, which he or she may not do for his Norman counterpart.

Based on this name alone, twelfth-century Averoigne contains elements from all France (excepting Provença, per “Maker”). Vyones seems most populated by people of the centre and south. The Villom family had come from the north but are exceptional.

posted by Zimri on 17:00 | link | 0 comments

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