University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

A note on transliteration and nomenclature,   pp. xvii-xx PDF (453.9 KB)

Page xx

nizable. Omission of the definite article from personal names was considered
but eventually disapproved. 
 Armenian presented great difficulties: the absence of an authorita tive
reference source for spelling names, the lack of agreement on transliteration,
and the sound-shift by which classical and eastern Armenian b, d, g became
western Armenian p, t, k and—incredible as it may seem to the unwary—vice
versa, similar reciprocal interchanges involved ts and dz, and ch and j.
The following alphabet represents western Armenian letters, with eastern
variants in parentheses: a, p (b), k (g), t (d), e, z, e, i, e, i, t, zh,
i, 1, kh, dz (ts), g (k), h, ts (dz), gh, j (ch), m, y, n, sh, o, ch, b (p),
ch (j), r, s, y, d (t), r, ts, u or v, p, k, o, k, o, f. Many spellings are
based on the Armenian texts in the Recueil des historiens des croisades.
 In standardizing names of groups, the correct root forms in the respective
languages have been identified, with the ending "-id" for dynasties and their
peoples but "-ite" for sects, and with plural either identical with singular
(as Kirghiz) or plus "-s" (Khazars) or "-es" (Uzes). In cases where this
sounded hopelessly awkward, it was abandoned (Muwahhids, not Muwahliidids
or Muwahhidites, and certainly not Almohads, which is, however, cross-referenced).
 The use of place names is explained in the note preceding the gazetteer,
but may be summarized by saying that in general the most familiar correct
form is used in the text and maps, normally an English version of the name
by which the place was known to Europeans during the crusades. Variant forms
are given and identi fied in the gazetteer. 
 Despite conscientious efforts to perfect the nomenclature, errors will probably
be detected by specialists; they are to be blamed on me and not on individual
contributors or editorial colleagues, for I have been accorded a free hand.
Justifiable suggestions for improvements will be welcomed, and used to bring
succeeding volumes nearer that elusive goal, impeccability in nomenclature.
[Princeton, New Jersey, 1962] 
Reprinted from Volume I, with minor modifications. 

Go up to Top of Page