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Sprimont Chp1JPG.jpg
Municipal flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Sprimont in Liège province
Location of Sprimont in Liège province
Sprimont is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Sovereign state Belgium Belgium
Region  Wallonia
Community Wallonia French Community
Province  Liège
Arrondissement Liège
Coordinates 50°30′0″N 05°40′0″E / 50.5°N 5.666667°E / 50.5; 5.666667Coordinates: 50°30′0″N 05°40′0″E / 50.5°N 5.666667°E / 50.5; 5.666667
Area 74.28 km²
– Males
– Females
12,782 (2006-01-01)
172 inhab./km²
Unemployment rate 12.57% (1 January 2006)
Mean annual income €13,224/pers. (2003)
Mayor Claude Ancion (EC-cdH-MR)
Governing parties EC-cdH-MR
Postal codes 4140, 4141
Area codes 04

Sprimont is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liege. On January 1, 2006 Sprimont had a total population of 12,782. The total area is 74.28 km² which gives a population density of 172 inhabitants per km².

Sprimont is an ancient name, whose earliest written records are 855 and 856 AD. These are located in the Abbey de Stavlot. The etymology of Sprimont is debatable. A priori it seems to the name of a place; however some historians propose it is possible it derives from an actual person (BULLETIN ET ANNALES DE L'ACADEMIE D'ARCHEOLOGIE DE BELGIQUE TOME XXXVII, BULLETIN DE LA INSTITUTE ARCHEOLOGIQUE LIEGEOIS TOME VII).

At this point one should keep in mind that spellings (of Sprimont) may be different depending on (1) the written language, and (2) the time period (i.e. century). Since Sprimont is more than 1,100 years old, one is likely to see various spellings. However, since about 1,000 A.D., 'Sprimont' seems to be exclusively used. For example, Ernst cites SPIRISMONTE in 888 A.D., and Martine & Duraud cites SPRISMONT in 1049.

In BULLETIN DE LA INSTITUTE ARCHEOLOGIQUE LIEGEOIS TOME VII, further references to Teutonic (SPIR-BOUM, SPEREBOUM, SPER-BOUN) and Frisia are made (SPIRI, SPERE, SPER), as well as Latin (sorbus). These can translate into more modern words as 'speer,' 'hasta,' and 'lance.'

The consensus is the roots are of Latin origin. The suffix 'mont,' likely is from mons. This could mean either a hill, or mount, but some historians point out that many geographic names with the suffix are not on a hill, but some are even in a valley. This brings into question if 'mount' does indeed mean 'hill.' Another source indicates 'mount' was used in Roman times to indicate a 'way-station' for travelers. This makes sense, but researching ancient roads, then analyzing all geographic places on these roads to cross reference 'mont' would be needed.

As for the prefix of Sprimont, 'spri,' more debate is required, as its origin seems to be lost to antiquity. Ancient written documents (insert reference) indicate several Latin origins; spiris, spers, ... Regardless of the meaning of the root word, one must also consider the usage in the context of the name itself. For example, if it does indeed refer to the species of wood, in those ancient times, what was the connotation? (reference) argues in persuasive ways, that 'spri' means 'lance.'

Concluding the etymology of Sprimont, the active might mean 'Mounted Warrior,' whereas the passive might mean 'Lance of Defense.' This is from mont de SPIRIS.

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