This surname of POAGE is a Provencal and Catalan topographic name for someone who lived at a high place, or a habitation name from any of the numerous places in southern France and north eastern Spain named with the Old Provencal word PUY meaning hillock. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form PODION. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The name has numerous spellings which include POGGIO, PEUX, PEY, POUEY, POY, PEUCH, PIOCH, POUEIGH, DEPEUX, PUGIN, POGGETTI and POZZOLO, to name but a few. Gian Francesco Bracciolini POGGIO (1380-1459) was the Italian humanist, born in Florence. In 1403 he became a secretary to the Roman curia. At the Council of Constance (1414-18) he explored the Swiss and Swabia Convents. In 1453 he retired to Florence and became chancellor and official historian to the republic. His writing include letters, moral essays and a collection of humerous stories. 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. Central Italian heraldry has been much influenced by the church. Families deriving their titles from popes have incorporated papal insignia in their arms, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys. The heraldry is reflected by the history of the country which has been used as a battlefield for successive German, French, Spanish and Austrian invaders. Italian heraldry has however developed certain characteristics shown by the use of horse-head shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses at tournaments. Crests are rare but when they do appear are quite ostentatious.
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