The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This Italian surname of STEFANI was originally a baptismal name 'the son of Stephen'. The name was derived from the Greek EREOAVAS, meaning crown. It was often given as a monk's name, and was a popular name throughout Christendom in the Middle Ages, having been borne by the first Christian martyr, stoned to death at Jerusalem three years after the death of Christ. The name is widespread in many forms which include STEPHEN, STEFANSEN, STEPUNIN, STEPOVICH, STETSKIV, STEVEN, STEFFEN, ESTIENNE, THIEBLE, STEFAN, THIEBLOT, ETIENNOT and STIEVENART. Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. The Church played a very important role in Central Italian heraldry and many Italian families who derived their titles from popes incorporated elements of the papal insignia, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys, on their Coats of Arms. As in the rest of Europe, the turbulent history of Italy in the Middle Ages is reflected in its heraldry. Traces remain from the successive invasions of the Germans, French, Spanish and Austrians. Certain characteristics, such as the use of horse-shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses during tournaments, remain uniquely Italian. A notable member of the name was Agostino STEFFANI (1654-1728) the Italian priest, operatic composer and diplomatist, born in Castelfranco. In 1688 he settled at the Hanover court. He wrote 'Stabat Mater', several operas and vocal duets.
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