This surname of MANSOUR is a Spanish and Portugese nickname for a mild and inoffensive person. The name was derived from the Spanish and Portugese word MANSO (tame and docile). The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MANSUS. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. MANSUR 'the victorious' was the name adopted by the second 'Abbasid caliph Abu Ja'far Abd Allah b Muhammad' (circa. 710-775). He held military commands during the struggle against the Umayyads under his brother al-Saffah, whom he succeeded in the year 754. An astute politician, he defeated several revolts, establishing a firm government dominated by the Abbasid family, and founded a new capital for the empire, Baghdad (762). He overcame considerable opposition to ensure the succession of his own son Mahdi and died while leading his fifth pilgrimage to Mecca. 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. Portugese surnames share many of the features of Spanish surnames, in particular Arabic and Visigothic influence. A notable feature of Portugese surnames is the class of religious names referring to festivals of the church or attributes of the Virgin Mary. One respect in which Portugese names differ from those of the rest of the Iberian peninsular, is that some were adopted at a comparatively late date and honour saints who did not give rise to surnames in other languages. Portugese names typically have the ending 'eiro'.
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