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« Duly (foot)noted | Main | Gwendolen »

August 03, 2009



This is similarly impressionistic, and not entirely relevant for your 19th-century purposes -- but I've never seen the terms "Romanist" or "Romanism" used in the 16th or 17th C., even though EEBO assures me they were.

"Romish" -- as in "those of the Romish persuasion" -- does appear, but that and the rest of those Rome-related terms seem vastly less popular than "Papist," "Papistry," "Popery," and the like.

My sense is that the epithets linking Catholics to the Pope aren't so much about belittling their faith as merely local -- though that's clearly a concern of lots of early Protestant polemics -- but about branding them as disloyal to their country and monarch (and unthinkingly obedient to a foreign prince).

At any rate, it makes sense to me that "Rome"-related epithets might be more popular in a later period than in oh, say, 1606, when allegiance was a more pressing concern . . . although of course I haven't done the quantitative or interpretative work here.

Mr Punch

Are you suggesting that Pise regards "Romanist" as a local usage? I read him as contrasting its implication with the universality of "Catholic."


Mr. Punch: No--I'm agreeing with you (and Pise), that the point of "Romanist" is to empty the "Catholic" bit of any meaning (they're "Romanist," therefore "not universal").


he makes a link to puseyism, which ought to connect it with the rise of the oxford movement in terms of timing, yes?

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