Read books by AWers!


Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Historical terminology?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Nianne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Historical terminology?

    I'm looking for a word for the area outside of a walled city, like a medeival city. Outside the gate would be overflow housing, usually spreading out down the main road that leads to the city. In my historical reference (french) it uses the term fauxbourgh, which roughly means suburb, but I'm not completely happy with either of those words (one too archaic, the other too modern).

    Any suggestions for what to call this housing area?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    hamlet or village?
    Check my listing in the Absolute Write Library

  3. #3
    knows a hawk from a handsaw Shakesbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Suburb comes from from "sub urba" meaning below the city where most of the ordinary people lived in Ancient Rome, so it is not all that modern. Sometimes the areas outside city walls were slums, would that be appropriate?

    And my large kingdom for a little grave,
    A little little grave, an obscure grave . . .

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Hay-on-Wye, town of books
    ex mura - outside the walls?
    The Secret of Saynshand, a Steampunk adventure by Lesley Arrowsmith is now available on Smashwords and I have a blog at

  5. #5
    Ah-HA! Smiling Ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    The Great Wide Open
    A "fauxbourgh" would literally mean a "false town" - an interesting indication of how people thought of the area.

    Instead of giving it a general name, how about giving it a specific neighborhood name, like "Newstead" or "Exmoor" (ex mura)?
    "Crazy visions you got. Come with me to barber, we bleed you, you see right, everything good. I buy for you first leech."
    - The Wrong Sword

    And Read The Blog!

  6. #6
    Seanachie johnnysannie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Tir Na Og

    As in:

    Main Entry: hinĚterĚland
    Pronunciation: \ˈhin-tər-ˌland, -lənd\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: German, from hinter hinder + Land
    Date: 1890
    1 : a region lying inland from a coast
    2 a : a region remote from urban areas b : a region lying beyond major metropolitan or cultural centers
    Will's just 99 cents at both Amazon and B&N

    Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy - Romance Author

    Ms. Murphy's portrayal of a bitter, deeply wounded Marine was gripping and totally believable. I cried with him, felt his shame, felt his sorrow. Bravo, Ms. Murphy!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    The term would have been different in different times and places. The Roman term was "sub urbis". In Medieval times the suburbs were called various things, but there was a great effort to keep everything inside the walls. Walled towns had privileges that did not apply to areas outside the walls. Keeping the area immediately around the walls clear was also important for defense. Buildings against or near the wall could be used by attackers. Generally the first outlying villages were a few miles from the walled town, far enough that it would be inconvenientto walk the distance several times a day.

  8. #8
    ... Ariella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    The usual spelling in English is 'faubourg'. It's not a common word, but it is the exact term for what you're trying to describe.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Custom Search