This Spanish, French, Italian and English name of AMAYA was originally from the medieval nickname or given name AMOR, originally rendered in Latin documents in the form AMOR, meaning 'love'. The name was popular in Spain, Italy and France and introduced into England by the Normans in 1066. There was a Saint Amor, of obscure history and unknown date, whose relics were preserved and venerated at the village of St. Armour in Burgundy. The German forms owe their origin to an 8th century evangelist who founded the monastery of AMORBACH in Franconia and a 9th century Belgium Saint who was sometimes confused with him. It is also possible that in some cases the surname arose from a nickname for a lovable person or a philanderer, or for someone who had played the part of Love in a pageant or mystery play. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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