The surname of MANZO is an Italian and Spanish nickname for someone supposedly resembling an ox. The name was derived from the Italian word MANZO, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MANUS (tame). The name may also have applied to a timid, mild and inoffensive person, or an occupational name for someone who worked with oxen. The name is also spelt MANZI, MANSI, MANZITTO, MANZONI and MANSO. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy. A notable member of the name was Alessandro MANZONI (1785-1837) the Italian novelist and poet, born in Milan of a noble family. He went to Paris from 1805 to 1807, published his first poems in 1806, married happily in 1810 and spent the next few years in writing sacred lyrics and treatise on the religious basis of morality. The work which gave him European fame is his historical novel 'I Promessi Sposi' (The Betrothed), a Milanese story of the 17th century, the most notable novel in Italian literature. Despite his Catholic devoutness, he was a strong advocate of a united Italy, and became a senator of the kingdom in 1860. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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