This early and very interesting surname, popular throughout Europe, is of Ancient Greek, pre Christian, origins. It derives from the word "episkopos", translating as the overseer, from the elements "epi", meaning on or over, plus "skopein", to look. The early Christians adopted the word for the headman of their local communities, and from the 4th century a.d. it was applied to a religious leader. Derivatives of "episkopos" include for example "obispo", in Spanish, and "bischof" in German, and "yepiskop" in Russian.. However spelt, and there are over one hundred forms ranging from Bisp, Evesque and Vesque, to Vesco, Bischop, Yepiskopov, and Piscotti, the surname did not refer to a bishop as such. It was either occupational, and described somebody who served in the household of a bishop, or it was a nickname for a person who played the part of a bishop in the travelling theatres of the medieval period. In England there was the strange custom of electing a "boy bishop" on St. Nicholas's Day, the 6th of December, and some nameholders may well derive from that source. The earliest of all surnames and hence their recordings are in England and Germany. These date from the 12th century and examples include Thurstan le Byssop, of the county of Essex in the year 1240, and Berchtoldus Episcopus of Oberweiler, Germany, in 1296, and Haintz der Pischoffer of Tiefenbach, Germany, in 1396. The first recorded spelling of the surname anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Lefwinus Bissop, which was dated 1166, in the Pipe Rolls of the city of Nottingham, England. This was during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • EPISCOPI — Graece Ε᾿πίοκοποι, Magistratus apud Athenienses nomen; qui per provincias, et regiones ditioni suae commissas excunebant, quo illas in officio ac fide continerent. Latinis vero sic dicebantur, qui pani praeerant, leg. ult. §. 7. D. de Muner. et… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Episcopi vagantes — (singular: episcopus vagans ) are persons who have been consecrated as Christian bishops outside the structures and canon law of the established churches and are in communion with no generally recognized diocese. Also included are those who have… …   Wikipedia

  • Episcopi (Warda) —     Warda Episcopi mentioned in list of property c. 1125 30 in MS. of D. and C. St. Paul s, Liber L., ff. 47 50. Identified with Castle Baynard Ward …   Dictionary of London

  • Episcopi vagantes —  (лат. странствующие епископы) представление, что епископ, даже отлученный от церкви, может продолжать посвящать в духовный сан священников, поскольку его положение в священной иерархии имеет неуничтожимый и непрерывный характер …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Canon episcopi — Der Canon episcopi war eine kirchenrechtliche Vorschrift im Frühmittelalter, die sich gegen Zauberei und Aberglaube wandte und in der die nächtlichen ekstatischen Flüge von Frauen im Gefolge der heidnischen Göttin Diana ausdrücklich als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brachyrhaphis episcopi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Brachyrhaphis episcopi Clasificación científica Reino: Animalia Filo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Canon Episcopi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Página del Decretum de Burcardo de Worms, que recoge gran parte del texto del Canon episcopi. El Canon episcopi es un documento eclesiástico medieval que contiene abundantes referencias sobre la bru …   Wikipedia Español

  • Church of St Martin, Kingsbury Episcopi — Church of St Martin Location: Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset, England Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Huish Episcopi — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.035093 longitude= 2.810152 official name= Huish Episcopi population = 1,940ref|population shire district= South Somerset shire county = Somerset region= South West England constituency westminster=… …   Wikipedia

  • Canon Episcopi — The Canon Episcopi is an important document in the history of witchcraft.ref|Stephens It is first attested in the Libri de synodalibus cuasis et disciplinas ecclesiasticis composed by Regino of Prüm around 906, but Regino considered it an older… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.