Impressive Epithets on low nobles

Oct 2016
1
Under the sun
#1
While studying the Albigensian Crusade, I came across a Count of Foix, himself a vassal of the County of Toulouse named Roger-Bernard II, who was known as "the Great". I've never come across such a minor character with an impressive cognomen like that. Further examples/reasons for this title would be appreciated
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,312
Dispargum
#2
I assume there was a Roger-Bernard I. Was there a Roger-Bernard III, IV, etc? It's my humble opinion that suffixes like 'the great' are applied to distinguish one person from among many with the same name. The best examples I can provide are the Carolingians:
Charles Martel
Charles the Great aka Charlemagne
Charles the Bald
Charles the Fat
Charles the Simple

Imagine how confusing it would be if they were all just Charles. I suspect adding Roman numerals after their names was a later convention.

I agree it's unusual to see 'the Great' given to a minor nobleman. Might it be a kind of joke or pun, like maybe they used 'the Great' when they really meant 'the Tall' or 'the Fat?'
 
Nov 2010
7,666
Cornwall
#4
It's all to do with the origin of surnames and stuff. Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar etc, to distinguish him from his father I think. Obviously that sort of system can't go on forever so surnames (son of, from...) appeared.

There's a big thread on it somewhere.