AMERICA: a brief account of the deriva tion and meaning of the word. The name Amalric (in Old High German Amalrich or Amelrich; Gothic Amala-reiks or -reikis; variants Am-el, Am-ul and Am-il-rih, -rich or ric) originated among the Goths in northern and central Europe; was adopted by other nations of the Teutonic stock before the great migra tion of those kindred peoples; and was carried into all west European countries — even to England and the Mediterranean coasts — by the Northern conquerors between the 5th and 12th centuries. The famous East Gothic dynasty of the Amato received its name, accord ing to tradition, from a national hero whose mighty labors had earned for him the title Amal, which, as we shall presently explain, was a purely democratic term, connoting personal character and achievement, without the slightest implication of social rank.
From the dynastic name, the Goths as a race, or, more narrowly, the East Goths, were famil iarly called Die Amelungen; the Amal king in the 4th century ruled from the Baltic to the Black Sea; at the of the 6th century a king of the West Goths in Spain and France, a grandson of Theodorich the Great, was called Antalarich. The word of democratic meaning thus spread through a few lands was destined to live, in the centuries that followed, united inseparably with the other short word which appears in the name of the West-Gothic king.
The signification of the compound is of ex traordinary interest. Its second member appears in Old English (for example, in the Anglo Saxon epic of Beowulf) as ric, meaning power ful, or when a substantive, control, domain or empire — the modern German Reich. Ac cording to von Humboldt (Examen Critique,' Vol. IV) and Professor von der Hagen, the fundamental meaning of the first member (its root, am, often occurring in the dialects of Iceland and Scandinavia in the forms wpm, ambl, etc.) is labor, endurance of great toil. Accepting this view, we find that the title of the Gothic national hero, Amal, expressed popular appreciation of ((the man of great or laborious enterprises.' Simply that. In order to show that Amal, when uniting with the aristo cratic monosyllable, retained its original value, so characteristic of the people who used it every day ; that, at least, they never thought it meant "the mighty,' as some authorities have asserted recently; we need only point to the facts that they prefix it to ric, which itself signified °mighty,' and that folk stories served to remind them constantly of the primitive meaning of the first member. Amalric, then, was the name which compacted the old ideal of heroism and leadership common to all Germanic tribes, the ideal that stands out most clearly in the character of Beowulf — the Amal of Sweden, Denmark and Saxon England. The compound plainly meant what the north Euro pean hero-stories described: The man who ruled because he labored for the benefit of all. In France this name was softened to Amaury. Thus, a certain theologian who was born in the 12th century at Bine, near Chartres, is called indifferently Almaric of Bene or Amaury of Chartres. England, in the 13th century, could
show no 'more commanding figure than Simon of Montfort-l'A mousy, Earl of Leicester, to whom King Henry once said, eIf I fear the thunder, I fear you, Sir Earl, mote than all the thunder in the world." A Norman Amalric was that Earl Simon, creator of a new force, and a democratic one, too, in English politics. eIt was," says the historian Green, °the writ issued by Earl Simon that first summoned the merchant and trader to sit beside the knight of the shire, the baron, and the bishop in the parliament of the realm." In Italy, after the Gothic invasion, the Northern name suffered comparatively slight euphonic changes, which can be easily traced. As borne by a bishop of Como in 865 it became Amelrico or Amelrigo. But the juxtaposition of the two consonants and r presented a difficulty in prononciation which the Italians avoided: they changed ir, first, to double r, and then to a single r. Still, 600 years after Bishop Amelrigo died, the Floren tine merchant, explorer and author usually re tained the double r in his own signature, writ ing Vespucci," and, by the way, accenting his Gothic name on the penultimate (Amerigo, not Amerigo). In Spain the name must have been rare, since it was often used alone to designate the Florentine during his residence in that country. There was, ap parently, no other Amerigo or Arnerngo in the Spanish public service early in the 16th century. We must again look toward the North for the scene of the next important change, and among the men of a Northern race for its author.
Martin Waldseemiiller, a young German geographer at Saint Die, in the Vosgian Moun tains, whose imagination had been stirred by reading Amerigo's account of voyages to the New World, bestowed the name America upon the continental regions brought to light by the Florentine. It is not enough to say, with Mr. John Boyd Thacher Vol. III compare also his interesting 'Continent of America' ), that Waldseemilller this designation. As editor of the Latin work, the Introducticd (5 May 1507), he stated most distinctly, with emphatic reiteration, his reasons for this name-giving; placed con spicuously in the margin the perfect geographi cal name, America, and at the end of the volume put Vespucci's narrative. Further on a large map of the world, separately published, he drew that fourth part of the earth which was the 'Introductio's' novel feature—marking it firmly, °America." It is impossible to adopt the suggestion of Professor von der Hagan, that Waldseemfiller was distinctly conscious of giv ing the new continent a name of Germanic ongin. eQuia Americus invent," says the 'In troductio,"Americi terra sive America nuncu pare fleet." But the case stands otherwise when we ask why Europeans generally caught up the word. Its association with so many men be fore Vespucci certainly commended it to North ern taste.