Post by Peter Stewart Post by Hans Vogels
It looks like consobrini (consobrinus/consobrina) are used loosely for first cousins.
patrueli for children of the patruus (fathers brother)
amitini for children of the amita (fathers sister)
consobrini for children of the avunculus (mothers brother)
matrueli for children of the matertera (mothers sister)
I should have made clearer yesterday that the last two are the wrong way
round: consobrini are sons of sisters, matrueles are sons of maternal
The term "matruelis" was so rare that it seems to have been unknown to
most medieval lexicographers, or at least escaped defining in their works.
The authoritative Roman jurist Ulpianus had clearly defined it as a
child of the mother's brother, and this is the only sense given in
classical dictionaries, for instance in *Thesaurus lingae latinae* as
"avunculi filius", son of a maternal uncle, in Lewis & Short "a mother's
brother's son, a cousin-german, first-cousin on the mother's side".
The child of a maternal uncle was also the principal meaning given by Du
Cange ("ex matris fratre natus"), though he also noted definitions as
pertaining to a maternal aunt or the child of a step-mother ("pertinens
ad marteram", glossed a "materteram", and "filz ou filles de marratre").
These are both given in a late-14th century glossary in the Bibliothèque
nationale that was edited by Mario Roques in *Recueil général des
lexiques français du Moyen âge* (1938), vol. ii p. 250. There is no
entry for "martera", presumably a scribal error as Du Cange pointed out
- the definition given for "matertera" (p. 249) is the usual, maternal
aunt ("tente, suer de la mere").
The word "matruelis" is not included in any of the other glossaries
edited by Roque. It was defined by Osbern of Gloucester in the late-12th
century as pertaining to a mother's sister ("matris mee soror, que etiam
matruelis dicitur"). This was understood by Hugutio of Pisa as extending
to the son or daughter of a maternal aunt ("matrueles dicuntur filii vel
filie matertere"). The editors of *Novum glossarium* in 1959 cited only
Hugutio's definitions derived from Osbern, as a noun: "a) tante du côté
maternel ... b) cousin germain" and as an adjective: "de la tante".
So the website Hans linked to is not wrong on this point, but just
following a medieval definition that was at odds with the strictly
By the way, on the extension of "consobrinus" to cover any sort of
cousin this 1972 article by Archie Bush may be useful: