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Gratz Coat of Arms / Gratz Family Crest

Gratz Coat of Arms / Gratz Family Crest

The Spanish surname of GRATZ was an ethnic name for a Greek. The name was derived originally from the Latin GRAECUS, meaning one who came from Graecia (Greece). In some cases it may have been merely a nickname for a crafty or guileful person, for these were the qualities traditionally attributed to the Greeks. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GRACCHUS, GRAZIA, GRAZZI, GRACA, GRAZZINI, GRACIAN, GRAZIOLI, and GRAZIOTTO. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. GRACCHUS was the name of a famous Roman family to which belonged Tiberius Sempronius (slain 212 BC) a distinguished opponent of Hannibal in the second Punic War. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. A notable member of the name was Morales y GRACIAN (1601-58) the Spanish philosopher and writer, born in Belmonte, Aragan. He entered the Jesuit order in 1619 and later became head of the College at Tarragona. He is best known for his three-part allegorical novel 'The Critic' (1651, 1653, 1657) in which civilization and society are portrayed through the eyes of a savage. 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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Last Updated: April 12th, 2023

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