15-16th Century Terminology

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  • 15-16th Century Terminology

    For a script I am working on, it is essential that I know how one would address a king in the 15-16 century in areas such as Slovakia, Poland etc. Your highness? Your majesty? My king? None of these sound right.

    I have searched all over but found no source.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Jason

  • #2
    Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

    Since you say this information is "essential", you might want to contact a professor at a university - perhaps via the school's website/e-mail. Or, maybe the OED. Or, maybe a librarian at a good-sized library.

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    • #3
      Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

      no need to worry about this. they hire language consultants for period pieces. just write the story that sounds right and those tiny nuances will be fixed if it ever goes into production.

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      • #4
        Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

        Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
        no need to worry about this. they hire language consultants for period pieces. just write the story that sounds right and those tiny nuances will be fixed if it ever goes into production.
        And lawyers to check over any rights criss-crosses.

        As for research, I'm in the middle of a dense one at the moment. Pre-colonial Congo. Virtually all their history was of the "oral variety", and not much archaeological work has been done -- too many revolutions and wars constantly going on, not to mention that nasty slave trade business for three centuries. Since I do all my research up front, before getting very far even into the outline, it's been mighty hard to get this one up and running.

        If I sell this one, they're going to have to pay me big-time for all this work...

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        • #5
          Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

          Originally posted by Manchester View Post
          Since you say this information is "essential", you might want to contact a professor at a university - perhaps via the school's website/e-mail. Or, maybe the OED. Or, maybe a librarian at a good-sized library.

          Thanks, but I tried already, and they had no idea! I guess if no one knows, then no one would care right?

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          • #6
            Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

            Originally posted by catcon View Post
            And lawyers to check over any rights criss-crosses.

            As for research, I'm in the middle of a dense one at the moment. Pre-colonial Congo. Virtually all their history was of the "oral variety", and not much archaeological work has been done -- too many revolutions and wars constantly going on, not to mention that nasty slave trade business for three centuries. Since I do all my research up front, before getting very far even into the outline, it's been mighty hard to get this one up and running.

            If I sell this one, they're going to have to pay me big-time for all this work...
            From the researching I was doing, I found something that might be of interest to you.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highness#African_usage

            It's good to know that "Majesty" is more exalted than your "highness". That way if I am praised, I will know whether to take slight, or pompouslydemand more praise!!

            As fa as money goes with selling it, I hope they do pay you big time!

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            • #7
              Re: 15-16th Century Terminology

              Answer --

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Polish_monarchs
              Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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              • #8
                Re: 15-16 centrury terminology

                Originally posted by JasonO View Post
                From the researching I was doing, I found something that might be of interest to you.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highness#African_usage
                ...
                Ha, I might throw "Kabiyesi" in there for a colloquial use, thanks. I'd already found that the king at the time of my story is called MweneKongo, although he doesn't actually show up in the story.

                As for my struggle on this tale, I had gotten so wrapped up in detailed research, I finally gave myself a break and dove into the outline to break it into some decent scenes and rhythm. So, 8 pages of terms and definitions and foreign names I can barely pronounce has now become 23 pages of semi-story!

                Ah, relief! I am definitely a writer, not a researcher...

                (But you definitely can't skip the research stage...)

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                • #9
                  Re: 15-16th Century Terminology

                  Originally posted by JasonO View Post
                  For a script I am working on, it is essential that I know how one would address a king in the 15-16 century in areas such as Slovakia, Poland etc. Your highness? Your majesty? My king? None of these sound right.

                  I have searched all over but found no source.

                  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

                  Thanks.

                  Jason
                  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...e_alliance.jpgAll the Polish royal correspondance from that era has been collected & scanned - it is on the Internet. eg: http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/docmetadata?id=3241



                  For an English comparison - if you have an old King James Bible around you'll probably have the letter that the translators wrote to King James in 1611 - it used to be often included with the preface.

                  It is painful to modern sensibilities:

                  TO THE MOST HIGH AND MIGHTIE PRINCE, JAMES BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, &c.

                  THE TRANSLATORS OF THE BIBLE wish Grace, Mercy and Peace, through JESUS CHRIST, our Lord. GR E A T and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which Almighty GOD, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of ENGLAND, when first he sent Your Majesty's Royal Person to rule and reign over us ...
                  For spoken, we have the records of parliament. I chose Sigismund Augustus because there are nice English translations of the debate in Parliament over his marriage:

                  Transcipts of parliamentary sessions:

                  King: I wish that all people enjoyed true freedom of loving. I cannot break my marriage vows without offence to my conscience... There are no genuine grounds for divorce...

                  Archbishop: Your Royal Highness, grounds for divorce could be found.....

                  King: No doubt they could - if I were a man of ample conscience, but such I am not....

                  Envoy: It diminisheth us, Your Majesty, that you should have taken as your wife a woman from such a family....
                  I'm sure the English translation was very liberal .. feel free to track down the pre-translated version you like. In particular I've seen the 'if I were a man of ample conscience' translated a few different ways. It was a very famous speech - a man standing up for the love of his life. Parliament seemed to be mainly annoyed by the fact that he'd made his own decisions instead of letting them run his life.

                  Good luck,

                  Mac
                  Last edited by Mac H.; 08-05-2011, 01:31 AM.
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