This surname of ROSSO is a Spanish topographic name for someone who lived by a rose bush. The name was derived from the Old Spanish word ROSAL, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form ROSALE (rose). There are numerous places named with this word in the provinces of Granada, Huelva, Orense and Pontevedra, and the surname may derive from any of these. In a town it can also be a house name from a dwelling bearing the sign of the rose. It is also found, especially in Europe, as a nickname for a man with a 'rosy complexion'. The name is also spelt ROSA, ROSAL, ROSE and ROUZE. 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. A notable member of the name was Salvator ROSA (1615-73) the Italian painter and poet, born near Naples. At Rome, his rebellious talents as a painter brought him fame, but he made powerful enemies by his satires and withdrew to Florence for nine years. After that he returned to Rome, where he died. His 'Satires' were published in 1719.
The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.
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