This Italian surname of MANGINI now widespread throughout Europe in its many forms of spelling was originally from a medieval given name, from the Latin DOMINICUS meaning 'of the Lord'. The name was borne by a Spanish saint (1170-1221) who founded the Dominican order of monks, and whose fame gave an added boost to the popularity of the name, already well established because of its symbolic value. In 1212 St. Dominic founded the Order of Friars Preachers. Born in Calaruega in Old Castile, he studied at Palencia acquiring such a name for piety and learning that in 1193 the bishop of Osma made him a canon and relied on his help to reform the whole chapter according to the Augustine rule. He led a life of rigorous asceticism and devoted himself to missionary labours among Muslims and 'heretics'. In 1204 he accompanied his bishop on a political mission, and had to travel round the south of France three times. By 1220 the Dominicans adopted a poverty so rigid that not even the order as a corporation could hold houses or lands, and thus they forced themselves to become beggars. The order spread all over the world, including France, Italy, Spain and Austria, and in England, from their dress, they became known as the Black Friars. He was canonized in 1234 by Gregory IX. The name is also spelt DEMANGE, DOMINIQUE, DEMONGE, DOUMIC, MINGHI, MENJAUD, MENICONI, MENEGONE and DOMINKA, to name but a few. 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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