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Hagiotoponyms in France: Saint popularity, like a herding phase transition
journal contributionposted on 11.10.2021, 09:43 by Marcel Ausloos
A spectacular order-order-like transition is presented in the distribution of hagiotoponyms in France. Data analysis and displays distinguish male and female cases. The respective hapax values point to a very large variety of saints with a specific devotion. The most popular ones are St. Martin and the apostles. The less popular ones are not so well known. These features are explained in terms of herding in agent behaviors: people have either preferred popular saints with supposedly good links to God, whence a herding behavior, or (non-herding) agents have preferred to name their local human settlement through a reference to some holy person(s) with more local specificities, - yet with moral or religious leadership, and conjectured to have good contact with God, whence at least locally defined as a saint.