Quick and Dirty Russian Names
Sofya Jakovleva Kliucheneva
Period Russian Language
However, names written in Cyrillic are not registerable in the SCA, and not readable by the vast majority of SCA members. So we must somehow convert the original Russian into the Latin alphabet. There are many ways to do this. In the SCA, we usually use the modern systems of transliteration.
These systems work fairly well, however, they are NOT period. The Old Cyrillic alphabet is not identical to the modern Russian alphabet. And modern English is definitely not the same as Old English, Middle English, or even Elizabethan (aka Early Modern) English. As far as I know, Paul Wickenden of Thanet was the first to try to address Spelling Russian Names in Period English. He analyzed the book Of the Russe Commonwealth to see how its English auther, Giles Fletcher, handled Russian names in 1591 C.E. I have gone on to provide my own analysis of ways to write Russian in Early Modern, Middle and Old English at Spelling Russian in Period English, if you are interested. But again, the modern transcription systems have been the standard for the SCA College of Arms, so that is what I will show here.
Transcribing Modern Russian into Modern English
Russian Name Construction
Given Names - two types:
Maria, Anastasiia, Ekaterina
Old Russian names - given at birth. Based on traditional, pre-Christian names. Often look like nicknames.
Peredslava, Milka, Deretka
Bynames - many, many types:
Anna Semenova, Marina Alekseeva, Evdokia Mikhailovicha doch'
Physically or Psychologically Descriptive Names - fairly common, usually adjectives or pseudo-patronymics or based on Old Russian names. Adjectival forms usually end in ii/oi/yi for men and aia/iaia for women, but others are also used. Check the references! (Sound familiar? Just assume you need to check on the grammar for all these bynames.)
Bezubaia (toothless), Milka (dear), Krasnaia (red or beautiful)
Occupational Names - quite popular, though still dwarfed by the number of patronymics. Many survive in patronymic form as Russian surnames.
Sadovnik/Sadovnikov (gardener), Pistsov (scribe), Brazhnik/Brazhnikov (brewer)
Dubin (oak), Osina/Osinin (aspen), Bereza/Berezin (birch), Gribov (mushroom)
Locative Names or Toponyms - Not very common. Most often formed as adjectives, but there are other forms. However, the construction "iz + placename" does NOT seem to be one of them.
Dmitrii Donskoi (ditto for the Don River)
Surnames - starting to be seen in period, but not really relevent for SCA purposes. Based on above bynames.
These types are discussed in much more detail in Paul Wickenden's work, either in his dictionary or in articles on The Russian Archive.
Selected References:Eastern Orthodox Saints' Lives //www.orthodox.net/links/saints-by-name.html
Greek Orthodox Calendar of Saints' Days //www.goarch.org/eu/chapel/calendar.asp
Omniglot, a guide to written language. //www.omniglot.com/writing/cyrillic.htm
Paul Wickenden of Thanet, Dictionary of Russian Names. //www.sca.org/heraldry/paul
Paul Wickenden of Thanet, The Russian Archive. //www.goldschp.net/archive/archive.html
Paul Wickenden of Thanet, Spelling Russian Names in Period English. //www.goldschp.net/archive/fletcher.html
Predslava Vydrina, Russian Personal Names: Name Frequency in the Novgorod Birch-Bark Letters //www.s-gabriel.org/names/predslava/bbl
Sofya la Rus, Spelling Russian in Period English. //www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/spelling.html
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