Talk:Counts of Louvain

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Linguistic question[edit]

1. Although the County was a fee of the Holy Roman Empire, the functional lordships were principally subject to Angevin hegemony during this time: the Kings of England would spend one year in England and the next administering Flanders, and their control of the trade routes was a much more immediate influence than the Emperor in Aachen or Cologne, separated by the entire width of the Ardennes in between. The administration only returned to Germany after the Battle of Bouvines (1205).

2. The consequence was that although the local population and administration used Early Flemish (see Brabantse Yeesten, a 1444 chronology of the Duchy by the Town Clerk of Antwerp, whose family was from a village a couple of miles south of Brussels), the governance was in Mediaeval French/Latin.

3. "Leuven" is a modern anachronism encouraged by Flemish Nationalists as a matter of political pressure to improve their claim on what was for much of its life a French-speaking town (as demonstrated in the historical names of the older establishments listed on the Leuven page). This also shows a number of forms which would certainly have been pronounced similarly to the French Louvain: the Brabantse Yeesten itself uses the older Loven form. I therefore suggest that an NPOV would prefer the French form, with Leuven as a secondary index. Jel 11:55, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

County of Brussels[edit]

What is the attribution for a separate County of Brussels? In 1000 the place was at best a few houses and a chapel by a bridge over the river Senne. Although local tradition suggests there may have been a small ducal keep erected nearby during the eleventh century, no trace of it in either documentation or archaeological digging has thus far been found. As there is, however, evidence of a castrum belonging to the Count's Chatelain, tentatively identified as founders of the de Montfort family, on the ridgeline of the plateau overlooking the river plain a mile to the south-east, just north of the fifteenth-century Ducal Aula Magna: the current thinking among the local specialists is that it would have been highly unusual to have had two keeps in such close proximity in such a small town, and there is consequently considerable doubt of the one in town.

By 1300, it had a population of only around 8000, despite having been the seat of the Duchy of Brabant for a hundred years. In point of fact, even the term Brussels is inaccurate prior to then, as the general term was an earlier form, Bruocsela. It is also quite clear that the County of Loven reached as far as the Dender and Schelde, leaving no room for an odd little County of No-where in between. I therefore think that "Count of Louvain and Brussels" simply covers a single county with two towns of note in it, rather than two counties, as is suggested here. Jel 11:55, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: all moved. Favonian (talk) 14:55, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

– Per Article titles, Wikipedia prefers to use "the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." While the spelling of the present-day city is Leuven in Flemish, and while that is also sometimes used in English, in this historical context a search of Google books and Google Scholar confirms that the exonym "Louvain" predominates in reliable sources: Google books gives these numbers: 2,480 for "Count of Louvain", 157 for "Count of Leuven". Google Scholar has 77 for "Count of Louvain" and 12 for "Count of Leuven". A good parallel can be drawn with the city of Aachen (or Aix-la-Chapelle) and the Treaties made there - we correctly have Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668) and Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), because in the historical context those are the names used. (As it happens, per Google books and Google Scholar "Louvain" is also used much more than "Leuven", but I do not think that is the main issue here.) Moonraker (talk) 07:07, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Moonraker (talk) 07:07, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

The move is not desirable for scientific (historiographic) reasons. Witger (talk) 07:30, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

I am sorry, but I do not understand what you mean please explain. -- PBS (talk) 08:50, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

The statistics mentioned here above seem to be presented misleadingly. I checked the number of hits on Google today. The variant "count of Leuven" gives 215,000 hits and the variant "count of Louvain" only 34,900. Kindly verify.Witger (talk) 14:43, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

In a Google search of the world wide web I also find more uses of "Count of Leuven" than of "Count of Louvain", but that does not measure the usage in reliable sources. It seems rather possible that the matter is highly coloured by Wikipedia itself and its mirror sites, but in any event usage on the web is not the touchstone here. Moonraker (talk) 18:49, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Verified, I got 69 "count of Leuven" vs 263 "Count of Louvain" using 1980+ search. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:04, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose While Google Scholar and Google Books do give more hits for "Louvain", the city is referred to as Leuven everywhere else on this Wikipedia. I think for consistency's sake we should stick with Leuven, while of course having both names for the city/title in the header of every article (regardless of the result). Oreo Priest talk 15:51, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
As reliable sources use "Louvain" far more than "Leuven" (please see above), any other uses of "Leuven" on Wikipedia may be incorrect. In any event, the issue here is how reliable sources refer to these mediaeval counts. If it is suggested that any status quo must always prevail, there would be no point in having such discussions! Moonraker (talk) 18:01, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't support "Leuven" because that is the current name for this article, I support it because it is the name used everywhere else in the English Wikipedia. The distinction is important. I think it is more important to match the name of the city used elsewhere than to match the use by historians on this specific subject. Oreo Priest talk 22:06, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment, as the English name of this place is Louvain, it should be spelled like that everywhere on English language Wikipedia, for consistensy. It shouldn't matter if it is a text about the Medieval counts or present day tourist attractions and local government. Mr. Atom Scania (talk) 22:26, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
    See my comment below. -Oreo Priest talk 22:19, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the use of the English name for this place on English language Wikipedia. Mr. Atom Scania (talk) 22:22, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
    The city does not have a local English name. The French name (Louvain) was more used historically, as was the case for a great many cities in Europe. Nowadays, the Dutch and local name (Leuven) is much more widely used. The debate here is over whether we should follow historical or modern use for the naming of the city/county in this article. Oreo Priest talk 22:19, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, b/c I in my experience English sources are more likely to use Louvain. Srnec (talk) 02:44, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
A comment to Oreo Priest in retrospect: If that is the case, maybe I should have voted the other way... The main issue must be consistency. All articles about the same town should use the same name for the town, regardless of if it is in present use or about historic noblemen. Mr. Atom Scania (talk) 19:51, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. Oreo Priest talk 20:03, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: [NB: after the fact -Oreo Priest] Wikipedia should not get involved in what could be regarded as an act of linguistic imperialism. Everybody knows that the subject is politically sensitive. User:Witger

Requested move2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was A close on procedural grounds. I was invited here via a heads up on my talk page by Morgengave the editor who opened this second requested move. As an administrator, I am closing this multiple request on two counts. The last request which was only closed on 7 March 2012, was phrased correctly: It is not the name of the town which is relevant, what is relevant is what the title is called in modern English language reliable sources (eg those published over the last quarter of a century or so). As was pointed out by Moonraker unsing WWW ghits is not acceptable as a survey device, as it returns unreliable sources as well as reliable ones. Ghit surveys should restrict themselves to scholar and books after say 1986 (the last 25 years) -- to avoid sampling free out of date Victorian publications which can distort Ghit surveys.

Secondly as a procedural issue. It is less than six months since the last request to move, no procedural irregularity (or even fresh evidence), had been presented. To reopen such requests is bordering on disruptive, because part of the reason for the WP:RM process, to to put these type of disputes to bed for a reasonable length of time, so people can concentrate on article content and other more constructive pastimes as it is unlikely that consensus will change so quickly (EG: as I close this the editors who have expressed an opinion in this new survey and who did so in the last survey have not changed their positions).

So to those who want to overturn the last requested moves, wait at least six months before putting in another request and make sure that when the request is put in there is convincing evidence presented to show that modern English language reliable sources use "Count of Leuven" rather than "Count of Louvain". If you disagree with my close of this irregular request then take it to WP:ANI. If another uninvolved administrator reverts my close then I will not seek to overturn that revert.-- PBS (talk) 10:17, 15 April 2012 (UTC)}}

Requested multiple moves:

– In recent years, a trend is visible towards preferring Leuven as the English name for this Belgian city. This is also the case when discussing its historical counts. Google reveals this preference markedly (note that a part of the Louvain-usage stems from Wikipedia and its copy sites itself; hence, real usage of Louvain is even lower than the below numbers). Morgengave (talk) 21:41, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

  • "Counts of Leuven" has 175000 hits; "Counts of Louvain" only 11000 (factor: 16:1)
  • "Count of Leuven" has 239000 hits; "Count of Louvain" only 31200 (factor 8:1)
  • "Godfrey I of Leuven": 106000 hits; "Godfrey I of Louvain": 15700 hits (factor 7:1)
  • "Godfrey II of Leuven": 10300 hits; "Godfrey II of Louvain": 1430 hits (factor 7:1)
  • "Godfrey III of Leuven": 21200; "Godfrey III of Louvain": 3030 hits (factor 7:1)
  • "Henry I of Leuven": 36300; "Henry I of Louvain": 64100 hits (factor 1:2) - Louvain is more used here
  • "Henry II of Leuven": 6710; "Henry II of Louvain": 8390 hits (factor 1:1)
  • "Henry III of Leuven": 4420; "Henry III of Louvain": 4660 hits (factor 1:1)
  • "Lambert I of Leuven": 171000; "Lambert I of Louvain": 10600 hits (factor 16:1)
  • "Lambert II of Leuven": 5490; "Lambert II of Louvain": 9660 hits (factor 1:2) - Louvain is more used here
  • "Otto of Leuven": 8;"Otto of Louvain": 6 (factor 1:1)
  • Total: 775428 versus 159776 (factor 5:1)

I know that Google is not the perfect measurer of contemporary usage, but it's a really good one; it's one of the best tools available. Seen the very strong differences between the two names, I believe that it's safe to assume that we have a real and clear preference among English speakers for "counts of Leuven". As Wikipedia aims to follow the contemporary common usage in English, I suggest that we move the pages as mentioned above. PS: The previous move from "counts of Leuven" to Louvain (done in March 2012) has been done without elaborately checking the current English usage. The arguments that these sites are influenced by Wikipedia itself do not hold ground (Wikipedia now uses "Louvain" and thus increases the count of "Louvain"-sites - still Leuven is much more popular). The argument that the usages of Leuven is somehow less reliable does not make sense, as it would imply that 5 out of the 6 English-language sites dealing with these counts would be wrong! Morgengave (talk) 21:41, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Please see the recent move discussion just above. While the spelling of the present-day city is Leuven in Flemish, and while that is also sometimes used in English, in this historical context a search of Google books and Google Scholar confirms that "count(s) of Louvain" predominates in reliable sources: Google books gives these numbers, much the same as a month ago: 2,460 for "Count of Louvain", 155 for "Count of Leuven". Google Scholar now has 78 for "Count of Louvain" (up one from March) and still 12 for "Count of Leuven". It still seems to me very likely that the opposite result for ordinary Google hits has been influenced by Wikipedia, but in any event we do not need to worry about that because what counts is reliable sources. Moonraker (talk) 22:47, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
    • As said above, I doubt that 5 out of 6 websources are unreliable. Perhaps they are on average less academic, that's all. I think the overwhelming usage on Google Search weighs much more heavily than Google Books. Let's be honest - many of the books on Google Books are old and do no longer reflect contemporary usage. To give one analogy: Google Books favours Bombay over Mumbai (19mio vs 1mio) while Google Search has 100mio hits for Bombay and 350mio for Mumbai. Wikipedia uses the contemporary name - Mumbai. Morgengave (talk) 22:56, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per my reasoning from the first requested move. Oreo Priest talk 22:59, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The Google hits recorded in the preamble (far too long for inclusion there, by the way!) are entirely misleading. Such high numbers are always just rough estimates from Google – and I do mean rough! (Is the proposer even aware, by the way, that a search on a phrase needs to have it between quotation marks? It is hard to tell from how the searches have been reported – but clearly not, going by those numbers.) Look at this ngrams search, comparing occurrences in books from 1920 to 2008, with this input: Counts of Louvain,Count of Louvain,count of Louvain,counts of Louvain,Counts of Leuven,Count of Leuven,count of Leuven,counts of Leuven. And then look at a Googlebook search on "counts of louvain and" (case is irrelevant here; but with quotes!): 56 genuine hits. Compare "counts of leuven and": just 8 genuine hits. NoeticaTea? 01:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, as you can see above the quotation marks are there so I did the search with these marks. The search has been done yesterday, using It can be a rough approximation, but it's one that heavily favours "Leuven" and I doubt it's so rough that it would misinterpret search results by 5:1. As said also, Wikipedia refers to contemporary usage. Books from 1920 can hardly be considered contemporary. See also my above remark on Google books for Bombay and Mumbai. Morgengave (talk) 08:30, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for historiographic reasons. Witger (talk) 07:20, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

A late contribution, while the RM was being closed: on Google searching[edit]

Morgengave, I do not doubt that you have the best intentions; and you have done good work in performing and reporting Google searches. Note, however, that your use of quotation marks was ambiguous. For all we can tell, reading this, they are simply to quote the words that you used and were themselves no part of the search string. Compare this way of reporting such searches. Plain Google searches on:

aristocracy "counts of Leuven": 66 hits
aristocracy "counts of Louvain": 93 hits

That way, people can instantly understand your searches, and check them if they want to. (A handy hint: substitute %22 for ", if the quotation marks around the phrase upset the syntax.) Now let's try to reconstruct one of your actual paired searches, from above:

"Lambert II of Leuven": 79 hits
"Lambert II of Louvain": 100 hits

Clear, yes? See why I am a little sceptical about your numbers, also. Look at these results, without the quotation marks:

Lambert II of Leuven: about 1,310,000 hits
Lambert II of Louvain: about 692,000 hits

We are then back with wild and meaningless results, which depend on all sorts of factors in how the searches were set up, where they were launched, and so on. Getting certainty and clarity out of Google is an art. We try!
Strings like this are very useful also:

"counts of leuven were": 4 hits
"counts of louvain were": 2 hits

And then there are the ngram searches, which appear to be getting more and more reliable, and genuinely useful.
NoeticaTea? 10:47, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not convinced that searching general Google hits without further analysis is all that productive. Take for example the 'aristocracy' count above. It is relevant to the decision process that Britannica returns counts of Leuven (because other modern tertiary reliable sources carry more weight as they are presumably surveys of secondary sources themselves),and that two others returned were Lambert I, Count of Louvain and Lambert II, Count of Louvain -- at the very least -Wikipedia needs to be used on general searches. Google books have an advantage of publication dates (allowing publication date to be used to exclude old books) and Scholar seems to be weighted to more modern publications. "And then there are the ngram searches" what are ngram searches? -- PBS (talk) 11:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article on it: n-gram ;) Google has a simpler explanation of their implementation here. I made a comparison of "Count of Louvain" vs. "Count of Leuven" here. Seems rather solidly in favor of the current name. Favonian (talk) 11:59, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  1. My contribution in this subsection is only about technique with Google searches, and reporting such searches. Much improvement is needed in these RM discussions. Do not read anything beyond that into what I have said here.
  2. If you have not heard of ngrams (a major tool for exploring questions of usage in published works – our usual "reliable sources"), you might like to reconsider whether you are competent to deal with RMs as an admin.
  3. Even though I oppose the move, I think it is disgraceful that you closed the RM "procedurally". Where is the consistency? Other admins will re-open an RM they have closed, even. On request! Who made the rules that you seek to impose, above? Other admins point out that a fresh RM can be opened at any time. On this occasion, it was an important multiple RM, and fresh evidence was brought to bear. You are out of line. I will not challenge the closure myself at ANI; but I will support any such approach.
Note: For procedural transparency and fairness, let any challenge at ANI be signalled here at this talkpage.
NoeticaTea? 12:32, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

While I understand the procedural grounds for its closing, I do not think your primary argument is so strong that it trumps all of the others. I too disagree with the Ghit procedure, and I will concede that scholarly sources have a tendency to use Louvain. On the other hand, I think it is much more logical to use the same name for the city/county everywhere in the encyclopedia rather than haphazardly changing it for every topic where the field shows a slight preference one way or the other.

Further, the "consensus" which closed the first rm was based on misinformation; after the move was closed 4-2, one of the supporters of the move realized, based on facts, that he should have voted in the other direction, making it 3-3, and not a consensus at all. Especially given that more voices have emerged aware of the move, I think that rejecting the rm's reopening was not correct. -Oreo Priest talk 15:44, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

While the ghit and n-gram analyses are an improvement over the yes-it-is, no-it-isn't type of discussions from a few years ago, there is still no replacement for the human element. I realize the only reason the human element is necessary at all is because of software parameters that do not provide for categories, but still it seems like a feature rather than a bug. Neotarf (talk) 19:40, 16 April 2012 (UTC)