„Oliwa” – pochodzenie nazwy podgdańskiego klasztoru cystersów. Przyczynek do badań
At the end of the 12th century, the regent of Pomerelia Sambor I founded a Cistercian monastery near Gdańsk. The monks, who came there from their home monastery in Kołbacz, called the new monastery “Oliva”. In the Cistercian tradition, this name referred to the Biblical symbol of the olive tree. Historians favour an allegorical etymology of the monastery’s name, but some scholars attempt to link it to the symbol of the Mount of Olives. In the 20th century Polish linguists put forth a hypothesis about the Slavic provenance of the monastery’s name. Reconstructed as “*Oława”, it was supposed to be a river name. According to this hypothesis, the name “Oliva” is supposed to have resulted from the Cistercians changing the original name due to a phonetic association with the Mount of Olives (“Montes Olivarum”). However, not only the absence of the supposed original name in the source texts speaks against this hypothesis, but also the Cistercian custom of giving monasteries completely new names, often allegorical. The authors of the hypothesis also completely disregarded the meanings the Cistercians were giving to Biblical symbols. What is especially important in this case is the relation between the olive tree and the monastery’s patrons: the Blessed Virgin and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.