Names and Arms for Sara and Giuseppe Sala di Paruta

Sara and Giuseppe live in our neighboring barony of Dragonship Haven. Her name and arms had been registered but she wanted to tweak them, while his were being registered for the first time.


Per pale sable and vert, a poodle salient contourny Or, collared and langued gules, and in sinister canton a bezant.

Sara already had similar arms registered, but with a talbot sejant, which she wanted to swap for a poodle salient.

Poodles are documented as period, being known from at least the fifteenth century. The poodle illustration is adapted from the submissions of Briana Heron of Caid, using the period shearing for water dogs without ornamental pompoms.


Per pale sable and vert, two sprigs of rue and a covered salt-cellar shedding salt Or.

Giuseppe wanted his arms to share a common field with his wife’s, but wasn’t sure what charges it should bear.

After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a cant on the household name “Salaparuta” or “Sala di Paruta” using the medieval name for a covered salt shaker, and the Italian/Latin word for common rue: “above a salte, a pair of rutas.”

Canting arms, using rebuses, puns, and alliteration, were very common in medieval heraldry, being well adapted to a society with low literacy but a taste for symbolism and wordplay.


Sara Sala di Paruta

Sara is an Italian form of the common female name Sarah, attested in Sicily in the 15th C.

S.n. Sara, “… Ma può risalire direttamente alla forma ebraica Sārāh; cfr. Sara mulier iudea uxor quondam Buxacce, a.1400.” Found in “Dizionario Onomastico della Sicilia”, Caracausi, G., 1994, Palermo. Translation by Maridonna Benvenuti: “But it can be directly traced to the Jewish Sārāh form; cfr. Sara mulier iudea uxor quondam Buxacce, year 1400.”

SENA Appendix A states that Italian names may take an unmarked locative byname. Sala di Paruta was the medieval name of a village and associated castle in Sicily that is currently known as Salaparuta.


Giuseppe Sala di Paruta

Giuseppe is an Italian form of the common male name Joseph, attested as the name of a Sicilian living in Rome during the 16th C.

“Giuseppe Sicilano” is one of many men named Giuseppe listed in “Names of Jews in Rome In the 1550’s” by Yehoshua ben Haim haYerushalmi, drawn from Nota Ebrei, a 16th C. rabbinical archive.

SENA Appendix A states that Italian names may take an unmarked locative byname. Sala di Paruta was the medieval name of a village and associated castle in Sicily that is currently known as Salaparuta.


Sala di Paruta

Sala di Paruta was the name of a village and an associated castle in medieval Sicily.

When the first tower of the castle was built in 1296, it and the village were known as “Sala Della Donna” (“Hall of the Lady”). The castle became the seat of a barony known as Baronia Sala Della Donna (“Barony of the Hall of the Lady”).

In 1462 it became the feudal lands of the Paruta family, and shortly after 1500 they renamed the castle and the associated barony “Sala di Paruta” (“Hall of the Parutas”).

In 1561, following the death of Giovanni Matteo Paruta, who had been Baron of Sala di Paruta, his daughter and only heir, Fiammetta Paruta, wed Giuseppe Alliata, who became Baron Sala di Paruta. (Their son was later named Duke Sala di Paruta.)

Throughout this period, the village that surrounded the castle was known by the same name, Sala di Paruta, but during the eighteenth century, the name was combined into a single word, “Salaparuta”, which is its modern name.

Below are three references in history books attesting to the existence of the territory, castle, and/or barony named Sala di Paruta.

Pervenuta veidesi finalmente questa gran Baronia in potere di Giolamo Paruta, il quale nel 1503, accrebbe di novelle fabbriche l’Abitato della vassalla Popolazione esistente in quella, che oltre più d’ un secolo traeva la fua forma (a: Amico Lexic. Topograph., Sic. Vol Mazar. V. Sala Paruta), e però ove fi disse nella mia Sicilia Nobile, essere stata ella edificata da Antonio Paruta nel 1507, fu uno de i sbagli, che mi fece prendere l’ autore genealogico, da cui ne fu cavata la notizia (b: Mugnos Fam. Paruta t. 3. f. 15. ma il millesimo citato del 1507, che volea dire 1503, fu error di stampa, poiché nel mio manuseritto originale 1503. cosi segnato leggesi.) Dalla Famiglia di Paruta cominició ad appellarsi la detta Terra col novello nome di Sala di Paruta, suppressovi l’antico di Sala di Madonna Alvira, e dalli Signori di Paruta fece passaggio ne i Signori Agliati.

— From “Della Sicilia Nobile“, by Francesco Maria Emanuele e Gaetani, 1775, p 263, citing “Lexicon Topographicum Siculum”, by Vito Amico, 1759.

English translation of key passage: “From [1503] the Paruta family began to call this land by the new name Paruta Hall, dropping the old name Hall of Lady Alvira…”

Alvira Giano Andrea suo primogenito, che a’investi Onofrio ed avo dell’ultima dei Paruta, la Fiammetta, con la quale passava di direitto nel 1561 nella casa Alliata la baronia sposando essa Fiammetta un Giuseppe Alliata: la quale baronia già sotto di Girolamo dopo il 1507 aveva preso nome di Sala di Paruta, o Salae Parutarum, sostituito al primo di Sala donne o Sala di Madona Alvira.

— From “Archivio Storico Siciliano“, published by “Scoieta Siciliana Per La Storia Patria” with “Scuola di paleografia di Palermo”, 1889, p 272.

English translation of key passage: “The barony had already under Girolomo from 1507 taken the name of Paruta Hall, or Salae Parutarum, replacing the earlier Hall of the Lady or Hall of Lady Alvira.”

Giuseppe Alliata… Sposó Donna Fiammetta Paruta, figlia di Giovanni Matteo, Barone della Sala di Paruta. Dotali in Notar Giacomo Scavuzzo di Palermo, li 6 maggio 1561; il matrimoni fu celebrato nela Parrocchia di San Giacomo la Marina di Palermo, li 8 successivo.

— From “The History of Feuds and Noble Titles of Sicily From Their Origins To Our Days, Volume Nine”, by Francesco San Martino De Spucches and Mario Gregorio, 1940, p. 292.

English translation: “Giuseppe Alliata… Wed Lady Fiammetta Paruta, daughter of Giovanni Matteo, Baron of Paruta Hall. Dowry recorded by Giacomo Scavuzzo of Palermo, May 6, 1561; the wedding was celebrated in the Parish of St. James the Mariner of Palermo on the 8th.”

Name and Arms for Lady Angelica di Nova Lipa

Lady Angelica is an established member of the society, serving as the chatelaine of the Canton of Whyt Whey, but had never registered her name or arms, an oversight I was pleased to help correct.


Gules, eight fleurs de lys in annulo Or.

In our first round of consultation, Angelica identified red and gold as her preferred colors, and the Florentine fleur de lys as her desired primary charge, but pinning down the optimum arrangement required multiple iterations before this design emerged as the favorite.


Angelica di Nova Lipa is the name of a Northern Italian woman during the Renaissance whose family hails from the Slavic village of “New Linden” on the other side of the Adriatic Sea.

Angelica appears as a woman’s name in many parts of Europe during the late medieval period, including in northern Italy and adjacent areas of central Europe.

“Angelica” is a Florentine woman’s name dated to 1427. (In “A Listing of all Women’s Given Names from the Condado Section of the Florence Catasto of 1427” by Juliana de Luna.)

“Angelica” is a Roman woman’s name dated to 1527. (On p. 87 in “Sac de Rome,” by Jacques Bonaparte, 1830. Image)

“Angelica” is a Venetian woman’s name dated to 1615. (In “Names from Sixteenth Century Venice” by Juliana de Luna.)

“Angelica” is a Hungarian woman’s name dated to 1230/1356. (In “Nıi neveink az Árpád-korban” by Edina V. Jurkó, at University of Debrecen’s Department of Hungarian Linguistics.)

di <placename> is a rare but attested form for northern Italian names. (SENA Appendix A states “Locative bynames in the northern and central areas normally take the form da X, but de X and di X are rarely found.”)

Italian and South Slavic name elements may be used together for the period of 1100-1600, according to SENA Appendix C.

Nova Lipa is a village between Vinica and Črnomelj in the White Carniola region, adjacent to the historic Venetian province of Istria, now part of modern Slovenia. In the Slovene language, the name means “new linden” (like the tree) and is distinguished from Stara Lipa (“old linden”), another village centered one mile to the north. (There are also paired adjacent villages named Nova Lipa and Stara Lipa a hundred miles to the east, in modern Croatia.)

While we haven’t been able to find a period source that refers to the village by this exact name prior to 1600, we believe it has been continuously occupied for more than a thousand years, and has been known by this name for more than four hundred years, as shown below.

The area of the village has been inhabited for thousands of years, and was previously the location of a Roman-era settlement. (Archeological site identified in 2006; Image.)

The area of Nova Lipa and Stara Lipa are listed together in fourteenth and fifteenth-century German-language texts as Linten, Linden, Lindenn, Lynden, or Lindenn, with references such as “dacz der Linten”, 1334, and “czu der Lindenn,” 1463, both found under the heading “Nova Lipa, pri Vinici v Beli krajini” (or in English, “Nova Lipa, near Vinica in White Carniola”), in “Historična topografija Kranjske (do 1500)” by Miha Kosi, Matjaž Bizjak, Miha Seručnik, and Jurij Šilc, at the Milka Kosa Historical Institute. (Image)

The linkage of these historical listings to the modern location of Nova Lipa is justified by an accompanying note: “Lokalizacija glede na [Urb. Nemškega viteškega reda, f. 216] iz 1490, kjer gre očitno za Staro in Novo Lipo” (or in English, “located via page 216 of the ‘Estate Records of the Teutonic Knights of 1490,’ where it is clearly for Stara Lipa and Nova Lipa”), citing “Urbar Nemškega viteškega reda za posest v okolici Ljubljane, Metlike, Črnomlja in Velike Nedelje 1490,” Codex 164 at the Central Archive of the Teutonic Knights in Vienna, which provides a listing of properties owned by Teutonic Knights in the vicinity of Črnomelj.

These listings of Linden are recorded in German, the language of the ruling Habsburg family and other elites, but local farmers in the fourteenth century would have spoken a Slavic language, a predecessor of modern Slovene, in which the village name would have been “Lipa.” For example “de Lipa” appears as a locative byname for numerous Czech men in 1310–1404. (Including “Heinrecus de Lipa 1383-1386” p. 43, and “Wenceslaus pernář de Lipa 1404” p.171 in “Registrik jmen osobnich”, a registry of personal names, by Wacslaw Wladiwoj Tomek, 1875; Image, Image.)

Although all of the residences in the area were originally considered to be a single village, some of the homes eventually formed a separate cluster on the southern side of the valley as residents shifted buildings to the hillsides to preserve open land for farming. (A sociological survey of patterns of town organization in the local area states that “Vas Nova Lipa (Bela krajina) je zato, da bi se ohranila rodovitna zemlja v bližnjem podolju, pomaknjena na višji, močno vrtačast svet, kjer hiše stojijo med vrtačami ali tik ob njih.” or in English, “New Lipa village (White Carniola), in order to maintain fertile soil in a nearby valley, moved higher, to an area of karst depressions where houses stand between sinkholes or adjacent to them.” In “Morfologija Vaških Naselij v Sloveniji” by Vladimir Drozg, 1995; Image.)

This southern group of buildings was soon recognized as a distinct place known as “Nova Lipa,” growing large enough by the 1600s to justify construction of its own church, the “Nova Lipa Church of the Holy Spirit.” (“Nova Lipa Cerkev sv. Duha,” dated to the 17th century by the Slovenian Cultural Ministry; Image.)

Although we do not have an exact date for the church’s construction, the village would have existed for a number of years prior to the building of the church, as churches were only erected in established population centers. Dr. Miha Kosi, a Slovenian historian with expertise in medieval geography of the region, believes the village was formed prior to 1600, during the Renaissance period: “When the village was divided, i.e. Nova Lipa was established, I don’t know, but obviously only after the middle ages, but before 17th c. (the building of the church of Holy Spirit).” (Personal communication, June 2017; Image.)