Sunday, January 29, 2012


Cressida was the name Shakespeare chose to use in his play Troilus and Cressida, although she was also known by Criseyde, Cresseid, Criseida and Briseida, all derived from Chryseis and Briseis, whose names appear in the Iliad but have no real connection to Cressida or Briseida. In fact Cressida's real first form was Briseida, whose story was invented by French poet Benoit de Sainte-Maure for his Roman de Troie. As Briseida, the daughter of Calchas, her story is told numerous times in medieval and Renaissance literature as part of the Trojan War. She falls in love with Troilus, son of King Priam, but there is a love triangle with a man named Diomedes. Some authors chose to use names similar to Briseida, and others, such as Boccacio,
Chaucer, and Shakespeare, chose to use names beginning with a C. To this day there is still no definite spelling.

Benoit Sainte-Maure - Briseida
Azalais d'Altier - Brizeida
Guido delle Colonne - Briseida
Giovanni Bocaccio - Criseida
Robert Henryson - Cresseid
Geoffrey Chaucer - Criseyde
William Shakespeare - Cressida

Cressida, English, from the original (as close as it can get) spelling, Chryseis/Khryseis, is Greek, meaning "gold/golden." Shakespeare anglicized it. She gets a bad rap because she started out with Troilus and ended up with Diomedes. Back then it was a big no-no, but today I think most people would roll their eyes. In fact, I think it had to do more with Diomedes being Greek and Troilus being the prince of Troy.

In 2010 there were no baby girls named Cressida (or Cresseid, Criseyde, Chryseis, etc). However, there were 20 named Briceida, 8 Briceyda, 98 Briseida, 5 Briseidy, 71 Briseis, and 57 Briseyda. Weird, huh?

Feel free to come up with your own nicknames for this beauty, since the majority chooses Cressy.
It is a moon of Uranus, and I believe the most well known namesake is Cressida Cowell, author of "How to Train Your Dragon."
Cressida Blueberry

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