Say what?

Pothomous. I came across this word reading a Wikipedia article. I can’t find it in my American Heritage Dictionary (hardcopy). I went online and used and can’t find it there. I looked in a medical dictionary: nothing. I googled it. Google asks me if I meant “posthumous.” I don’t think so. The only reference to it is the Wikipedia article where I found it: Joan I of Naples.

Queen Joan (1328 – 12 May 1382) was a busy woman. According to Wikipedia, she was Queen of Naples, Countess of Provence and Forcalquier, Queen consort of Majorca and titular Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily, and Princess of Achaea.

And, the article says, Queen Joan had one pothomous son, Charles Martel of Naples. Pothomous? I even got out my old copy of the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume II (P-Z) that I bought about 25 years ago, being very careful not to drop it on my foot. It’s a huge two-volume dictionary with each volume weighing about 10 pounds. You mostly need a magnifying glass to view the entries in this dictionary; the font is about size 2 or thereabouts. Fortunately, a magnifying glass came with it. Yes, really.

Next, I had to look up the word “issue.” A lot of the Wikipedia entries that cover royalty say that someone died “without issue” or sometimes they have an Issue section. Ah. Oh. Hmmm.

Issue, in its third definition, means offspring or progeny. Oh . . . children.

Still don’t know what pothomous is.

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