Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility)/Archive 1

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Somehow this talk page exists without a corresponding article. Most of the information anyone who winds up here is probably looking for seems to be at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(names_and_titles) -- Someone else 20:49 Apr 9, 2003 (UTC)


"Monarch" seemed to be the most encompassing single word to apply here after duly consideration the discussion on "styles" below. Anyway there is usually a bit more latitude on these for a talk page.

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JHK, thanks for the timely comments to HJ: the rest of us are of course partly to blame for not sorting out these styles, fixing a standard and then implementing it. It has to be done, and I think HJ otherwise has some right to impatience.

I think most of us agree that the standard form will here be English - and we need to explain clearly that this is not out of anglocentrism, but because individual titleholders weren't attached to one place throughout their ruling careers (Carlos I, Karl V) - and that the territory to which the title attaches should be appended after "of", with family surnames (superseded by the higher title) removed to the body of the article.

The outstanding questions can, I think be summed up as, Should it be "Casimir III of Poland", "Casimir III, King of Poland" or "Casimir III the Great, King of Poland". Personally, I'm for dropping the cognomen (as we would a family surname, but partly also because they can be translated variously - bold v. brave), though it can of course be linked from and included in the body of related articles. As for the "King of", I'm undecided: on balance I think I'd sooner leave that out too, for brevity and to avoid pointless rows over "Margrave" v. "Elector" (chortle!).

I'm for a new "Royal and noble styles" (is there a word for both?) page, which can serve as both article and standard. I'm willing to start it - as soon as we've agreed on (of course!) a title for it. User:David Parker

David, I can't find a word that covers both. I prowled through some reference books and have some suggestions over at History basic topics. I have decided against [Honorifics], myself - it needs to be reserved for the linguistics folks. Maybe Royal and noble styles is the best idea. --MichaelTinkler

Me here -- I like Royal and noble styles as well. I don't think Helga is at all frustrated -- I think she just doesn't even want to bother with coming up with a viable solution because in her mind, there isn't a question. If we were all the historians that she considers herself to be, we'd just know which person the article is about. I'm going to start redirecting to so-and-so of such and such -- going for most important title as title of the article. I suggest that links within articles then be the William, Duke of Normandy = William I of England type, where the events are pre 1066 (if you follow). I'm hjaving a real problem redirecting, though -- it doesn't seem to work at all on these royal titles. HELP!!! JHK

I've been having similar troubles, JHK - "view" mode refreshing to "edit", redirects not refreshing to the new page, etc. My way round it is to just type ".../Maximilian_I_of_the_Holy_Roman_Empire" in the address bar. DP
Thanks, David -- now, if I can just figure out who the hell all these people are, since the names and numbers often don't match up...User:JHK
JHK (and MT and other interested parties): Indeed: I'm having second thoughts now about leaving out "king of" - I was about to start Philip II or Orleans when I realised how odd it looks without "duke of". Maybe for now we should have the title just for dukes, counts and lower sorts; but I suppose for the sake of consistency that means it should really be "king of" too. I think the language issue seems to be resolved apart from the odd Oskar: are we all agreed about leaving out names after the ordinal in the main article heading proper too? I think we shouldn't rush into too many changes until we're absolutely clear about the standard to adopt. DP
I'm all for Duke of, etc, but no king of. I hate of the HRE, and also think that '...,HRE' is awkwrd -- but think that starting titles with titles (e.g. Russian Czar... or HRE...) is not a good way to do things. Also, I think almost all Cognomens should be left out -- except where the norm is the cognomen -- e.g. Edward the Confessor, Louis the Pious, Louis (or Ludwig?) the German, Charles the Bald. Putting it to the vote now. I think absoulutely none of this silly Charles V John Albert stuff!! User:JHK
That all sounds agreeable to me - how about "Emperor Charles V" and his predecessors/successors as the sole exception? No solution seems ideal here. but we do refer to it (and I think many did then too) as just "the Empire". User:David Parker

Yikes! I'm not sure what's being agreed to -- too many indentions! I would agree to 'Reginbald, Duke of Slobovia' and 'Reginbald II, Duke of Slobovia'. David - you are proposing that we include 'Emperor' as the pre-name title of those who actually ruled? What about people who failed to rule (Jobst of Moravia?)? Aargh. MichaelTinkler

Sorry, Michael, I missed this one earlier - yes, I was suggesting plain "Emperor Wenceslaus", but we seem to have opted for "Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor", which may be an anachronism but is OK by me. Yes, there are always going to be problem cases, as in my "Rupert, King of the Germans" - we really need a lawyer to look into this one. DP

And just a note from me to say that I'm following along even if not contributing. Most of the cases in question here are too early and outside of my area of interest for me to have a worthwhile opinion. Though I agree wholeheartedly with J's idea of sticking with the "common name" where it seems appropriate. I was involved in much the same discussion when I wrote Duke of Marlborough and Duke of Wellington. While admittedly there have been others with, technically, those names there's a point at which you have to say "OK, the guy I'm writing about is *way* more famous than the other ones." On the third hand (?), I seem to recall wimping out over William of Orange so I'll just hush ma mouf....--Paul Drye

I think such cases (there being only one holder of the title of historical note - except there were a few important Williams of Orange) should be delt with a page summarising the title and then redirecting to the significant person. I think there may also be a major variance here between British and Continental practice - our ducal (though not royal) styles for the last few centuries tend to include the family name before the title, but I don't think that's common practice for anywhere else. DP

come back and play in the early middle ages! You should see History of France! --MichaelTinkler

There are some changes that need making there -- although I think David P did a great job of putting together something fairly comprehensive!! I now have to grade exams -- and for some reason 80% are on the Turks and Mongols -- none on Ren-Ref, and none on the rise of centralized administrations under the Normans, Angevins, and Capetians (and attempts under the Salians).
Thanks, JHK - you should have seen it when I found it, Michael! A decision had been made by the article's originator to start it c.987, I think (leaving the earlier period presumably to "Gaul", "Franks", "Carolingians" etc.). I went along with that because with a subject so huge I'm in favour of breaking it up as much as possible, with a core skeleton article linking off where possible (you'll notice most of my articles are about half a dozen paragraphs if that, and deliberately so - I really hate those rambling bulk lifts from out-of-copyright encyclopedia articles that no-one ever reads). I think the period to 987 is really best covered in detail elsewhere, particularly since many of the earlier developments relate to parts of Germany and other countries too - or to smaller geographical areas - and are better discussed in terms of contemporary polities (imagine putting the Roman Empire under "Italy"!). But if I left any howlers in please tell me and I'll correct them pronto!
It's fast moving, I'll say - and all political. Our zone needs much expansion. I'm resolving to spend less time worrying about the overall picture of wikipedia and more time deepening the areas I care bout.
At least now we have a convention of sorts for when these things come up: it should make our lives a bit easier in future. DP

New query for you, JHK. I've wanted to use the terms "Elizabethan England" and "Victorian England" in various contexts; those don't seem to have existing links as such, and I wonder if perhaps links for Elizabethan period and Victorian period, with explanations, would be appropriate. If so, would those names be useful, or would there be better descriptions? Or is this already covered in "History of England" to an adequate extent? -- April

There is a page for Victorian era -- there should probably also be one for Elizabethan era. Period works for me, too. Alternatively, you could just pipeline Elizabeth I of England|Elizabethan....but I think it works better as a stubby explanation that links back to Elizabeth -- that way, you have a short article, maybe with links to the major players artistic and political. Anybody else want to weigh in?JHK
  • I made an article to Elizabethan era to match that for Victorian era (can't imagine how I missed that in my search), and put lists of those persons and events that came immediately to mind on both. Both link back to the queens in question, of course. I figure that if "period" is later decided to be better useage, those can be moved and redirected, but in the number of Wikipedia pages using the words "Victorian" or "Elizabethan", "era" was the term most likely to follow. Thanks for the input! -- April

Hi, JHK! Yet another nomenclature question: where should Theodora, Empress of Byzantium really go? Something like "Theodora of the Byzantine Empire"? Was she the only one? I have this vague memory of Justinian II renaming his wife Theodora, but I could be imagining things. -- April

Justinian I, I think - would she be Theodora, Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire? The British consorts I've been putting in usually have either surnames or some kind of princess identifier to single them out, but Theodora was rather unique, wasn't she? I can't think of another well-known Theodora, so maybe "Theodora" on its own would be all right? Deb

probably Theodora would be fine -- I put a call out to Michael Tinkler, though, since he knows Byzantine stuff much better than I.JHK

Well, there's even another reigning empress Theodora - wife of Emperor Theophilus (829-42) and mother of Michael III. She ruled as regent and ended up - much unlike the first Theodora - a saint. And then there are the important 10th century Theodoras (mother and daughter, ttypically referred to as 'T. the elder' and 'T the Younger') in Rome (the 'pornocracy'). Unfortunately, the Theodora empresses are surnameless, numberless, and known to historical references books only as 'Theodora the wife of Justinian' and 'Theodora the wife of Theophilus'. Maybe Judith Herrin does a better job in the brand new Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium, but our library hasn't gotten the copy I ordered. No help. Theodora I and Theodora II, though are NOT standard. MichaelTinkler

O.K. - I'd have a page for [Theodora, Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire] and then disambiguate into [Theodora, wife of Justinian I] and [Theodora, wife of Theophilus]. Honest. That's what I'd do. Actually, I would also look at the new Judith herrin book, but it's not available in our library yet! MichaelTinkler


If this has been resolved, perhaps someone could put a note on Wikipedia:naming conventions (common names) ? Also, what about monarchs/others where we happen to know their surname? Laurent, Prince of Belgium ? Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom or Elizabeth Windows ? Martin

That is all covered in detail on the royal naming conventions pages and all the names have been adjusted accordingly. STÓD/ÉÍRE