Foundations - Vol. 3, No. 6 - Contents & Abstracts

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FMG news

Details of our AGM on 22 October 2011, and information about the future plans for the Foundations journal, and progress on our library catalogue.

Charles F H Evans award

Submissions are open for the 2011 prize, deadline 31st October 2011.

Kata of Georgia, Daughter of King David IV the Builder, as Wife of
Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos (Rafał T Prinke)

Medieval Georgian-Byzantine marriages open a wide range of interpretative problems. The article focuses on the identity of the husband of Kata, a daughter of David IV the Builder, a Bagratid king of Georgia. After discussing in detail three hypotheses proposed so far, the author argues that the most plausible is that of the sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, son of emperor Alexios I and father of emperor Andronikos I.

Who was Agatha, The Ancestress of Scottish and English Kings? (Armin Wolf)

In memoriam Szabolcs de Vajay († 2010)

It is disputed whether Agatha was a daughter of Yaroslav of Kiev († 1054) or of Liudolf of Brunswick († 1038). Her Brunswick origins, first shown by Szabolcs de Vajay (1962), will be further supported and strengthened with new arguments in this paper. No sources exist which name Yaroslav as Agatha’s father. William of Malmesbury calls her sister to a Hungarian queen, yet does not mention to which. Still there is concrete testimony to her being a daughter of a brother of Emperor Heinrich III. Heinrich III did not have a full brother, but his half-brother Liudolf of Brunswick died when Agatha was still a young girl. Thereafter Agatha apparently grew up among her closest relatives in the imperial court, and was sent from there to Kiev, where she married, not a Rus but instead the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward, who was living there in exile. The couple then spent around 10 years in Hungary before coming to England with three children in 1057.  As daughter of Liudolf of Brunswick Agatha descended on the female side through her grandmother, the Empress Gisela, from the Emperors Otto the Great and Charlemagne, as well as from the old Anglo-Saxon kings.

Update on Solomon, the Exilarch, c.715-759 CE (Don C Stone)

In 2006 Foundations published David H Kelley's two-part article “The Political Role of Solomon, the Exilarch.”  The present brief note mentions some material published since then which is relevant to Kelley's treatment of the Exilarch Solomon.

Some Internet Resources for Medieval Genealogy: 11 (Chris Phillips)

An ongoing guide to useful online resources for medieval genealogists

Y-DNA and records of medieval land inheritance in Rolandh and Tepponen lineages
of Vehkalahti, Finland
(M Sjöström)

The study assesses family legends in the process of critical reconstruction of lineages through the 1400s-1500s. Despite a tradition of kinship, the clan has two distinct Y DNA haplotypes. The article argues that the Tepponen lineage is likely to be descended from a son-in-law of one branch of the late-medieval Roland family. Landed inheritances (moisio, or homesteads) in the later Husula, Vehkalahti, are the principal basis for the genealogical reconstruction of this clan whose several branches continue to the present day, having meanwhile (in the 1600s-1800s) become known by the surname Piljerta and its variations. Possession of allodial land indicates that the earliest division in the 1400s was between three lineages. The unusual denominator 216 in the mantal figures enables us to draw some plausible solutions to specific problems in the branching. An historical record is lacking for individual family members during the late-medieval period, although they are referred to in a genealogical chart recorded by Tilas. Contemporary documentation for individuals is found only from the 1540s onwards. The Tilas chart is evaluated critically, and is cross-referenced against contemporary documentation from the 1500s and 1600s. DNA-testing indicates that the Pyötsaari and Heikkilä branches diverged at two brothers, probably born c.1430-c.1450. The article argues that Sihvo Jussinpoika of Husula, lord of Junnila (fl.1618-1633) was the youngest son of Johannes Råland, rather than the latter's great-grandson. This reconstruction fits the proposal that four brothers shared the Junnila-Knuuttila patrimony. On the basis of recorded mantal figures and joint liability for cavalry service obligations, the author argues that the Jaakkola lineage in Husula is a branch of the Junnila.

Obituary: David H Kelley (Don C Stone)

An obituary for David Humiston Kelley, a founder member of FMG and author of several articles in Foundations, who died in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on 19 May 2011, aged 87. 

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