Explanatory alphabetical list of Romano-British place-names
Part 7: L
[For information as to which names are included in this list and which not, and for an explanation of the abbreviations employed, click on Alphabetical List menu provided above]
LACTODORO see LECTOCETO
|but more probably||(Iter V)||(West Yorkshire)|
Few derivations have been offered by scholars, but Jackson thought the name might relate to early Welsh llain meaning 'sword blade' or 'spear blade', the name as a whole then meaning 'fort of the swordsmen or spearmen'.
But Lagentium is in fact a straightforward topographical name. It is a compound in the hill-letters l and n, where lag means 'hill steep' and ent means 'hill high'. The hill in question will be Red Hill just to the ESE of the fort, the hill rising steeply to a height of some 60 metres above the fort itself.
It is not clear whether the AI forms ever actually existed. It seems unlikely that Lagentium developed naturally to Legeolio or Lagecio, though Rivet and Smith point out that Lagecio comes close to Lagentium if one accepts that the t of Lagentium has been replaced by c, as often, and that the n has been lost at some stage of copying. It seems possible, however, that the AI form Legeolio is the result of confusion of Lagentium and Segeloci, the latter being two stops before Castleford in Iter V. Some copyist may have written down the Lage of Lagentium and then when he turned back to his primary text his eyes fell on the ge of Segeloci rather than that of Lagentium, and then he added loci to what he had already written, thus giving the form Lageloci. If one omits the intervocalic c one has Lageloi, and this form may have been "improved" to Legeolio. But oddly enough, if one omits lo from Lageloci one has Lageci, which with the simple addition of an o ending yields the Lagecio of Iter VIII. It does rather appear, then, that the Castleford fort was never called Legeolio or Lagecio, but that these names are creations of medieval copyists.
But note that the Celtic name may actually have been Lagendion, including the old-style element nd meaning ‘hill-summit’. One sees the same element in Carbandion (Carbantium) at Harrogate, Clindum at Clint and Cambrolanda (Cambroianna) at Slack, west of Huddersfield. The point is that the n2 -people who came to be called the Brigantes appear to have migrated to what is now Yorkshire on being evicted from their land in Lincolnshire by l1-people moving up from the south (see Chapter 23, 2.6 and ‘Ptolemy’s Celtic tribes in Britain’, 9.3). It is thus likely that Castleford on the Aire was one of the first places they came to in modern Yorkshire, so one would expect the place-name to include old-style nd rather than inversion-type nt, since the migration started during the period when old-style names were being coined, as evidenced by the old-style bal element of Banvobalum (Bannovalum) at Caistor-on-the-Wolds and old-style cal in Croconcalana (Crococalana) at Ancaster. Later, probably early in the first century BC, the n2 -people were dislodged from the Castleford area by an l2 -people (the Lag element in Lagentium). Apparently the n2 -people moved west and took over Eccleshill in Bradford from an r-people, the name of Eccleshill now becoming Cambrodunon (Camboduno).
Possible example of confusion of two names
[The entry for Lagentium was last modified on 17 May 2021]
LAGECIO see LAGENTIUM
The correct form is normally taken to be Luguvalium. The first element is widely thought to be the name of the god Lugus and the second element is thought to be derived from hypothetical val/valio taken to mean 'strong', the name as a whole perhaps meaning 'rampart of the god Lugus'. Rivet and Smith, on the other hand, and apparently following Jackson, see the name as incorporating a hypothetical British personal name Luguvalos, the name then meaning 'town of Luguvalos'.
Ravenna's Lagubalium, however, is early, it is Flavian, and it appears to be a straightforward topographical compound in which the inversion-type element lag meaning 'hill steep' is qualified by the old-style element bal meaning 'high hill'. Both AI forms of the name show the change from b to v, and the Iter II form doubles the second l in the name, presumably by assimilation to the Latin word vallum, referring here to Hadrian's Wall. Both AI forms change initial lag to lug, and whilst this does not affect the meaning of the name it has misled countless scholars into seeing an association with the name of the god Lugus.
Example of b → v
Example of modifying a name by assimilation to a foreign word
Richmond and Crawford see this name as being derived from hypothetical landa, taken to have meant 'a piece of land' originally, but to have developed through 'enclosure', 'sacred enclosure' and 'cloister' to 'church', with a diminutive in ending, the name then meaning 'the small enclosures'. They locate Landini somewhere on the Roman road leading northwards from Silchester. Rivet and Smith see Landini as a variant form of Londinium at London.
Landini appears to be a straightforward topographical compound in the hill-letters l and n, where the nd element means 'hill summit'. The fort of that name will have been up on the high ground at Streatley on the Thames, the function of the fort no doubt being to control the important crossing of the river at Streatley. The full name of the fort was probably Landini Tamese, Tamese being the name after Landini in Ravenna. It was probably felt necessary to distinguish this Landini from another one somewhere else, just as today we have names such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Regarding the above disagreement as to the identification of Landini, Ravenna does not normally repeat place-names. Two exceptions which come to mind are Celovion and Celunno at Chesters on the North Tyne, and Corda and Ratecorion at Leicester. In each case the compiler of Ravenna simply did not realise that two different names on two different maps did in fact refer to the same place. It seems unlikely that he would not have recognised Landini on his map as London, the capital of the province, if in fact Landini had been at London. And if he had recognised Landini as London he would not have included both Landini and Londinium Augusti in his list. Secondly, it is more likely that he would start his list of names leading over to Ventaslurum (Caerwent) at Streatley, at an important crossing of the Thames, than at Leucomago at Leckhampstead. He simply chose not to list Landini before Leucomago because he planned to list it later between Caleba at Silchester and Brinavis at Bicester. He behaved in exactly the same manner in the case of Ypocessa (Y Gaer, west of Brecon), Abisson (Durham) and Tagea (Strageath). It thus seems clear that Landini was not at London but on the Roman road leading northwards from Silchester, indeed at Streatley on the river Thames.
Rivet and Smith see a derivation from hypothetical British lano, taken to mean 'plain, level ground'.
The order of names in Ravenna indicates that Lano was the Roman fort at Bochastle on the river Leny, and it seems quite clear that the names Lano and Leny are related. Now, if the l of Lano were the hill-letter l then one might have expected to see a b or t meaning 'high' or a c meaning 'steep' in the name, such are the hills around Bochastle. It is therefore more likely that the l is the river-letter l, applied to minor rivers and tributaries, used here in the sense that the Leny is one of the headwaters of the river Teith. In other words the Romans simply transferred the name of the river to the fort which they built on the banks of the river at Bochastle.
Lavatris is generally accepted as the correct form of this name, perhaps derived from hypothetical British lavatro taken to mean 'water-trough, tub, bath', though perhaps in the sense of 'river-bed' - Richmond and Crawford observed that the river Greta brawls over many rock-beds near the fort.
The fort at Bowes stands on an outcrop of raised ground jutting up out of the general slope of the southern flank of a high, steep hill on the northern side of the River Greta. That alone would justify the use of the old-style element lav meaning 'hill slope'. But the use of the element appears in this case to be more localized, for the fort stood on the southern side of that outcrop of raised ground, with its northern wall up near the castle and church and its southern side apparently further down the slope, nearer to the Greta. The fort thus appears to lie on a slope, hence the lav element. But note that Lav is an old-style topographical element and so will have been coined at least 150 years before the Roman army set foot in this area. Thus, if there had been no Iron Age hillfort or settlement on the same site or nearby, then the name must have been transferred to Bowes from an Iron Age hillfort or settlement somewhere else in that region. The most likely candidate is the hillfort known as Castle Steads (NGR: NZ 111 074) just west of Gayles, at a point some 14 kilometres southeast of Bowes as the crow flies. This seems rather far to transfer a name, but the hillfort is within sight of the Roman road which ran from Scotch Corner to Bowes and then on to Brough-under-Stainmore, so the transfer is certainly possible. The hillfort does indeed stand on a slope, its highest point being a little above the 250 metre contour and its lowest point around the 230 metre contour. The element Lav, meaning ‘hill slope’, is thus entirely appropriate for the site.
The aris part of Lavaris might be just an ending for the lav element, or the r could be the hill-letter r, lavar then being an old-style compound in which the hill-letter r is qualified by the element lav. The t in the AI and ND forms is intrusive. The adjective 'high' in old-style elements is represented by b before the hill-letter. Even if one argues that the t was originally placed after the r in the name, this would yield the inversion-type element art meaning 'hill high', but the old-style and inversion-type elements in the name would be in the wrong order. There can thus be little doubt that the t in the AI and ND forms is indeed intrusive - it may have been added by assimilation to some other name in that same region, perhaps Valteris/Verteris.
Example of addition of intrusive letter - t
[The entry for Lavaris was last modified on 16 March 2021]
LAVATRES/LAVATRIS see LAVARIS
|Lacobrinda||Lavobrinta (80)||Caer Gai|
Rivet and Smith prefer the spelling Levobrinta and see the first element as referring to a river and as being derived from hypothetical levio, taken to mean 'smooth'. They also see brinta as a river-name and note the suggestion of Williams that Brinta (a river in the Venice region) involves a cognate of Old Irish brenn, taken to mean 'to gush forth'. For the whole name Levobrinta Rivet and Smith thus suggest a meaning 'smooth gushing one'.
But it seems clear from the order of names in Ravenna that Lavobrinta was the Roman fort at Caer Gai, which stands on the summit of a steep, high hill. It thus seems probable that the Celtic name was Lacobrinda, this comprising the inversion-type element lac, meaning 'hill steep', qualified by the old-style compound brinda, which includes br meaning 'high hill' and nd meaning 'hill summit'. One sees the c → v change in a few other names, such as Leviodanum and Ravatonium, the original lec and rac elements in these names referring to the steep river embankments at Doune and Stracathro respectively.
Example of c → v
Example of d → t
|(Iter II, VI)||(Northamptonshire)|
Rivet and Smith regard Lactodurum as being the correct form. They refer to Jackson's belief that the first element is derived from hypothetical British lacto meaning 'milk', the name as a whole then meaning 'walled town of the milk-producers, dairymen', but they themselves prefer to see the first element of the name as a pre-existing water-name of a mildly figurative kind, something like 'milky water', possibly the old name of the river Tove, which they regard as being Anglo-Saxon.
However, the original Celtic form, Lectoseto, is topographically correct - lect is an inversion-type element meaning 'hill steep high' and set an inversion-type element meaning 'hill high'. The name is thus entirely appropriate for Towcester. The Ravenna form has replaced the s of Lectoseto by c. The compiler of the AI has confused the two Ravenna names Lectoceto and Lutudaron by taking the first part of each with the second part of the other, to yield Lectodaron and Lutuceto, the former then changing very slightly to Lactodoro. The river-letters corresponding to the hill-letters l and s of Lectoseto are t and b and these both survive, with the b changed to v, in the modern river-name Tove, which is thus Celtic and not Anglo-Saxon. Rivet and Smith see Lactora, now Lectoure in the Gers region of France, as being the only Continental parallel for their Lactodurum. It may be noted that Lectoure actually stands on a promontory with high, steep sides, so we can be confident that lact/lect is a topographical element and has no connection with milk.
Example of s → c
Example of confusion of two different names
LEGEOLIO see LAGENTIUM
This is generally believed to be a place-name obtained by transferring the river-name Lemana to the Roman fort at Lympne. The river-name is thought to be derived either from hypothetical lem, taken to mean 'elm', so giving a meaning 'river in an elm-wood', or from hypothetical lim, taken to mean 'marsh', thus giving a meaning 'marsh, flooded area, marshy river'.
But it appears that in fact the place-name was transferred to the river, for the letters l and m in Lemanis are most likely to be just the hill-letters l and m. There can be no doubt that the people who used the hill-letters l and m did at some point settle in that region. One sees the hill-letter l in the place-name Anderelion, incorporated in the river-name Anderelionuba (though this is actually given as a place-name in Ravenna, the name having been transferred by the Romans from the river to a fort built on the banks of the river concerned), and one sees in the river-names Durbis (the spelling actually given in Ravenna) and Rutupis the river-letters t (changed to d in Durbis) and r corresponding to the hill-letters l and m. And the modern river-name Rother also includes the river-letters t and r corresponding to the hill-letters l and m - the East Rother apparently used to flow into the sea near the fort at Lympne until the Royal Military Canal was dug during the Napoleonic period. It thus seems quite clear that the l and m of Lemanis are indeed the hill-letters l and m, and that the river-name Rother is actually Celtic. It was the Romans who called the river Lemana, taking the name from the fort Lemanis at Lympne.
Note that it is the ther of the river-name Rother which corresponds to the Lem of Lemanis. The hill-letter l is used in an inversion-type manner as is the corresponding river-letter t, changed to th, in Rother. At some time around 100BC people who used the hill-letter m were displaced westwards towards the upper reaches of the East Rother river, but by that time they were coining inversion-type names and so they added their river letter r in an inversion-type manner to the previous name of the river, Ter. The river thus became the Roter, which at some point changed to Rother. One sees the same use of m in an inversion-type manner in Ravenna's Mutuantonis, which was between Pevensey and Lympne, apparently at Hastings.
Example of doubled consonant in the ND form - nn
[The entry for Lemanis was last modified on 9 November 2019]
Rivet and Smith see this as a river-name transferred to a fort, the river-name being hypothetical Leucara, based on hypothetical leuco, taken to mean 'bright, shining, white', the sense of the river-name being 'shining one'.
The eu vowel combination is unusual and somewhat suspect. It seems likely that the element leuc was originally letuc, an inversion-type element meaning ‘hill high steep’ (cf. the litac of Alitacenon), and that the intervocalic t was dropped at some stage. But if the c in the name actually belongs to the hill-letter r, then the missing consonant may have been another c, lec being an inversion-type element meaning ‘hill steep’. The Roman Leucaro was most probably at the point where the road from Carmarthen to Neath crossed the river Loughor, probably in the Pontardulais/Fforest area. Celtic Letucaro/Lecucaro may have been on the same site, but is just as likely to have been somewhere else in the vicinity, the name then being transferred by the Romans to the new fort which they built close to the river. The best candidate for Celtic Letucaro/Lecucaro is apparently the earthwork on Graig Fawr (NGR: SN 618 068), a little to the northeast of Pontardulais. The earthwork stands at the top of a high, steep hill and overlooks the river Loughor, so that a name of the form Letucarosena, which means the ‘Letucaro river’, would be entirely appropriate for the Loughor. Letucarosena is a river-name of the kind having a river-element, here sena, attached as a suffix to a place-name, here Letucaro. The river-letter s in the river-suffix corresponds to the hill-letter r in the place-name. The t and ar of Letucarosena were dropped at some stage and the c underwent the common change to g, so that Letucarosena became Ravenna’s river Leugosena.
[The entry for Leucaro was last modified on 11 September 2020]
This name is generally thought to be derived from hypothetical leuco, taken to mean 'bright, shining, white' and hypothetical magos, taken to have meant 'field, plain' originally and 'market' later, the name as a whole then perhaps meaning 'clear plain' (i.e. clear of trees and scrub) or 'bright plain, white plain' (i.e. chalky).
Leucomago is, however, a topographical compound in the hill-letters l and m, where the inversion-type elements leuc and mag both mean 'hill steep'. The order of names in Ravenna appears to indicate that Leucomago was at Leckhampstead, on the way from the important crossing of the Thames at Streatley to Cunetione at Mildenhall, the next-following name in Ravenna's list (actually spellt Cunetzione in the list). The Leck element of Leckhampstead is presumably derived directly from the Leuc of Leucomago.
As explained in the entry for Leucaro the element leuc was probably letuc originally, the intervocalic t having been dropped at some stage.
LEVATRIS see LAVARIS
Rivet and Smith prefer the spelling Leviodunum and see the first element as being derived from hypothetical levio, taken to mean 'smooth'. The dunum element they consider to be derived from hypothetical Celtic dunos, assumed to have meant 'hill' originally but to have taken on the meaning 'fort' later. For the whole name they suggest a meaning 'smooth fort' or 'slippery fort', "with reference perhaps to a native rather than a Roman construction".
But the order of names in Ravenna points to the fort at Doune as having been Leviodanum. This fort stands at the top of a steep embankment on the northern side of the river Teith. The Celtic name will thus have been Lecilodanum, where the inversion-type element lec means 'hill steep' and the inversion-type element danum means 'summit of hill'. One sees the same c → v change in Ravatonium (Stracathro), where the name was earlier Rascatonion and the s was lost or omitted, and also in Lavobrinta (Caer Gai), where the original lac element refers to the steep slopes on three sides of the hill on which the fort stands. The river-letters corresponding to the hill-letter n are l (for minor rivers) and m (for major rivers). The river Teith has two headwaters, one of them being the river Leny, including the river-letter l, so the river-letter m was probably applied to the Teith itself. The hill-letter l in the middle of Lecilodanum is l1, corresponding to the river-letter t, so the river-name corresponding to the lodanum part of Lecilodanum would have a form such as Tem. The initial L of Lecilodanum is l2 and the people who used this hill-letter would place their river-letter t at the end of the existing river-name, as usual. The river-name would now have the form Temit . Omission of intervocalic m and the change of t to th then yielded the modern river-name Teith.
Example of c → v
[The entry for Leviodanum was last modified on 11 February 2021]
|(Perth & Kinross)|
Rivet and Smith see this name as a duplicate of Leviodanum.
Lecimocsava, apparently the Celtic form of Levioxava, is however a straightforward topographical compound in which the hill-letters l and m are used in inversion-type manner and the hill-letter s in the old-style manner. The element lec means ‘hill steep’ and ocs means ‘steep hill’. The steep hill in question will be the northern flank of the Ochil Hills. Note that ocsava, perhaps mocsava or even Lecimocsava, will actually have been the name of the Castle Law hillfort immediately southwest of and high above Abernethy, though it is possible that Mocsava or Lecimocsava was a new settlement, replacing the hillfort, at or near Abernethy itself. The Romans then transferred the name of the hillfort or settlement to a fort which they built at or close to Abernethy. Note that the river-name corresponding to Lecimocsava would have a form such as Arbet or Arbete (the hill-letter l is l2, so the corresponding river-letter t is placed at the end of the existing river-name), which with the change of b to v and then v to n would become Arnet or Arnete. Presumably later settlers coined the name Aberarnete, referring to the location of their settlement at the mouth of the river Arnete. Aberarnete may then have been shortened to Abernete, this later becoming the modern Abernethy. But for some reason it was the initial part Arne of the river-name which survived as the modern river-name Earn. At some stage the intervocalic m of Lecimocsava was dropped and the c changed to v, this yielding Leviocsava, appearing as Levioxava in Ravenna. The c → v change is seen also in Lavobrinta, where the original Lac element referred to the steep slopes on three sides of the hill on which the fort at Caer Gai stands. Note, finally, that if the above reasoning is correct then the nethy of Abernethy has nothing to do with any "Pictish" king called Nectan or Nechtan, as is commonly supposed.
Example of c → v
[The entry for Levioxava was last modified on 06 August 2020]
Rivet and Smith see the first element of Longovico as being connected with Welsh llong meaning 'ship', and the second element as being derived from hypothetical vic, said to mean 'fight', the name as a whole having a meaning such as 'place of the Longovices', where Longovices is a hypothetical ethnic name meaning 'ship fighters'.
However, with one very minor change the earlier name Lincovigla is in fact topographically correct - the v must have been a b originally. The element vigl is not possible - it would have to be vilg. But keeping to the gl, the element bigl is just an old-style element meaning 'high steep hill', referring to the high, steep hill on which the fort stands. Bigl is the earliest element of the name and it qualifies the inversion-type element inc meaning 'hill steep'. Finally the people who coined inversion-type names in the hill-letter l (most probably l2) arrived on the scene and for them the location was a hill (l) called Incobigla, this being written down as Lincobigla.
But the form Longovico evidently did exist at some later date. The name Lincovigla appears within a group of Flavian forts in Ravenna, so it would appear that at some date Flavian Lincovigla was abandoned, but its vicus lived on as Lincoviglavicus, and it is this form which was shortened to Longovico, perhaps via an intermediate Lingovicus. The change of the first vowel from i to o is irrelevant so far as the meaning of the name is concerned, but it was this change which misled Rivet and Smith into seeing a connection with Welsh llong meaning 'ship'.
Example of b → v
Example of addition of vicus to a fort name
Example of shortening, simplification, of a name by deleting internal letters
|Lindinis||Lindinis (26)||Dunium?||Dundon Hill|
Dunium is the only place mentioned by Ptolemy as being in the territory of the Durotriges, so it was presumably a place of some importance. Furthermore, a building-stone found near Cawfields on Hadrian's Wall bears an inscription (RIB 1672) which has been expanded to read 'CIVITAS DUROTRIGUM LENDINIESIS', and another found near Housesteads bears an inscription (RIB 1673) which has been expanded to read 'CIVITAS DUROTRAGUM LENDINIESIS', so Lindinis was evidently also a place of some importance. It is thus possible that Ravenna's Lindinis and Ptolemy's Dunium are two different names for one and the same place - Ptolemy's form has simply lost the initial Lin and changed dinis to Dunium.
As for Lindinis, Rivet and Smith see a derivation from hypothetical British lindo, taken to mean 'pool, lake', though Richmond and Crawford thought 'lake-river' or 'river that forms pools' might be implied. As to Dunium Rivet and Smith prefer the form Dunum. They appear to see this form as a representation in Latin of Celtic dunon, from hypothetical Celtic dunos. They take the view that the meaning was originally 'hill', developing later to 'fort'. They identify Ilchester as Lindinis and Hod Hill as Dunum.
The order of names in Ravenna appears to indicate that Lindinis was at Dundon Hill, though it is not clear whether the name in Ravenna refers to the hill-fort itself or to a possible Roman post at the foot of the hill. But lind is just a topographical compound in the hill-letters l and n, where the old-style element nd means 'hill summit', so the name is certainly appropriate for the hill-fort at Dundon Hill. The dun of the modern name suggests the name is derived from Ptolemy's Dunium rather than from the earlier Lindinis of Ravenna. But it must be noted that Dunium may have been a place quite separate from Lindinis, though probably in the same region of the country.
LINDUM (Ptolemy: in the territory of the Damnoni) see BANNATIA
|Lindum||Lindum Colonia (104)||Lindum||Lindo||Lincoln|
|(Iter V, VI, VIII)|
The name is generally considered to be derived from hypothetical British lindo, taken to mean 'pool, lake', Richmond and Crawford thinking the name referred to the marshes and pools of the Witham, in particular Brayford Mere.
But Lindum is a straightforward Celtic topographical compound in the hill-letters l and n, where the old-style element nd means 'hill summit'. The Roman fort was at the top of the slope on the northern bank of the Witham at Lincoln.
|Lindinonaco||Lintinomago (214)||Yetts o' Muckhart|
Rivet and Smith prefer the form Litanomagus. They see Litano as being derived from hypothetical British litano, taken to mean 'broad, extensive', and mago as being derived from hypothetical magos, taken to mean 'field, plain' originally and 'market' later. Litanomagus would then perhaps mean 'broad place' or 'place with a broad view'.
Richmond and Crawford took Litinomago as their main form, but their variant form Lintinomago is probably closer to the original Celtic name. Litinomago appears to comprise the inversion-type elements lit and mag respectively meaning 'hill high' and 'hill steep', but one would not expect to see the ino ending in the middle of the name after the later of the two elements. The Litinomago form is thus incorrect. The original Celtic name was probably Lindinonaco, where lind is a compound in the hill-letters l and n, the nd element meaning 'hill summit' (the compound is also present in Lindum and Lindinis). The inversion-type element nac means 'hill steep'. The elements appear at first sight to be in the wrong order, but there are names in which an old-style element in one hill-letter is followed by an inversion-type element in that same hill-letter, for example Omirededertis (original form of Ravenna's Omiretedertis) and Bannatia. The structure of the name Lindinonaco is thus in order. The m in Lintinomago will just be the result of n/m confusion at some stage of medieval copying. The ind element of Lindinonaco clearly refers to a location on the summit of a hill, so presumably Lindino was the name of the hill-fort on top of the hill on the northeastern side of Castlehill reservoir. The name became associated with the hill itself since Lindinonaco means, in modern English, 'steep hill called Lindino'. Presumably Lindinonaco was the name of a new Celtic settlement (replacing the hill-fort) at the foot of the hill and the Roman fort then took its name from that settlement. At a later date the adjacent hill called Lendrick Hill will have taken its name from the fort. This all suggests that the Roman fort was just north of Yett's o' Muckhart, in the bend of the river Devon just east of the end of the reservoir. Lintinomago should apparently be taken together with the following Ravenna name, Devoni, the two together forming a place-name corresponding to modern names of the kind Newcastle-upon-Tyne or Stoke-on-Trent.
Example of d → t
Example of n/m confusion
[The entry for Lintinomago was last modified on 27 February 2021]
|Litana||Litana (198)||(northeast of Wilderness Plantation)|
Rivet and Smith see this name as a corrupt form of Alauna, more particularly of the Alauna which they identify as the Roman fort at Ardoch, apparently because this fort is thought to be on the Allan Water. But the west wall of the fort is very close to the river Knaik (though only about one kilometre from its confluence with the Allan Water), so if the fort were going to take its name from a river it would take it from the river Knaik, not from the Allan Water. Richmond and Crawford, on the other hand, take Litana at face value and see it as being derived from hypothetical British litana, taken to mean 'large, extensive'.
Litana is listed in Ravenna amongst a number of forts which are said to be located at the point where Britain is narrowest, i.e. across the Forth-Clyde isthmus. The name itself appears to be a straightforward topographical name, where lit means 'hill high'. For reasons given in Chapter 22: The Antonine Wall, Litana is here identified as an early Antonine fortlet located around NS 604 725, to the northeast of the Antonine Wall fortlet at Wilderness Plantation, and built as part of the preparations for the construction of the Wall itself.
[The entry for Litana was last modified on 06 August 2020]
LITINOMAGO see LINTINOMAGO
Rivet and Smith prefer the spelling Locatrebe and see this form as being derived from hypothetical British loc, taken to mean 'lake, pool', and hypothetical treba, taken to mean 'to inhabit', the meaning of the name as a whole perhaps being 'lake village', or, as suggested by Richmond and Crawford, 'pool dwellers', in the sense of people living in crannogs.
But Locatreve as it stands appears to be a topographical name, locat being an inversion-type element meaning 'hill steep high' (the same element as the lucot of Lucotion). The second part of the name might just be the hill-letter r with an eve ending, or it might be the old-style element rev meaning 'hill slope'. The order of names in Ravenna appears to indicate that Locatreve was at Trawden, the Traw part of the modern name perhaps being derived from the treve of Locatreve.
|(Perth and Kinross)|
Rivet and Smith appear to see this name as a corrupt form of the tribal name Caledonii.
As it stands the name appears to include either the old-style element lod meaning 'hill summit' or the inversion-type element don meaning 'summit of hill'. If, then, the name refers to the actual site of the Roman fort at Dunning (not yet discovered), then that fort must have been up on the high ground south of Dunning. The high ground west of Findony Farm would appear suitable, as would Dun Knock, if there is enough space at the top for a fort. But it is possible that Lodone was actually the name of the hill-fort on Rossie Law and that the Romans simply transferred the name to a fort which they built at a convenient location nearby, somewhere in the vicinity of Dunning.
Note that if the initial L of Lodone is inversion-type then the name of the hill-fort on Rossie Law was probably just Done (a variation of Duno). Lodone, which then means 'hill called Done', may then have been a new Celtic settlement (replacing the hill-fort) down on low ground at the foot of the hill. The later Roman fort will then have taken its name from that new settlement.
|(97)||(Iter II-V, VII, VIII)|
|(Iter VII, IX)|
There is no generally accepted etymology for this name, though some scholars have held that the name means 'town of Londinos', where Londinos is a hypothetical personal name based on hypothetical londo, taken to mean 'fierce'.
Londinium, however, comprises a topographical compound lond, in the hill-letters l and n, with an inium ending. The old-style element nd means 'hill summit'. The Roman fort or Iron Age settlement was up on the high ground on the northern bank of the Thames in the City of London. The high ground is not high in absolute terms, but for the Romans, and the Celts before them, it was indeed high, and dry, in comparison with the extensive area of low-lying land to the east and south. Note that the vowel used in the lond element is of no consequence - the element appears as lond in Londinium, as lind in Lindum and Lindinis, as land in Landini and as lend in Lenda, a place-name transferred by the Romans to a river and listed as a river-name in Ravenna.
[The entry for Londinium was last modified on 06 August 2020]
LONGOVICO see LINCOVIGLA
Ptolemy places Loucopibia in the territory of the Novantae.
Jackson saw the first part of this name as being derived from hypothetical leuco, taken to mean 'bright, shining, white'. Rivet and Smith prefer the form Leucovia but follow Jackson regarding the derivation of the first part of the name.
This is a difficult name. It might be a river-name with the river-letter b used as a suffix to a place-name, here perhaps Loucovia earlier. But this implies that people who used the hill-letter s and river-letter b were still coining river-names later than the time when the inversion-type element Louc in the hill-letter l was coined. This is unlikely in that region. Another possibility is based on a variant spelling of Ptolemy’s name, namely Loucopiabia. The abia might be just a name ending and pi might originally have been bi with a hill-letter, thus forming an old-style element qualifying Louc. A third possibility, relying on the Loucopibia form, is that pib was originally an old-style element qualifying Louc. The Pamp of Pampocalia at Ilkley appears to be derived from an element bamv meaning ‘high hill slope’, so perhaps the pib of Loucopibia was originally an element such as bimv (having the same meaning as bamv) with later omission of the hill-letter, b → p and v → b. The old-style element bimv would refer to a hillslope fort and there is apparently only one such fort in the area traditionally associated with the Novantae, namely the fort at Barsalloch Point (NGR: NX 347 412) on the eastern side of Luce Bay. But the bimv element could also be applied to the larger Laggan Camp (NGR: NX 398 373) a little to the south. Note that Louc was probably originally Lotuc, this being an inversion-type element meaning ‘hill high steep’. The place-name will have been transferred to a Roman fort, perhaps a fort/harbour, built further north, nearer to the Novantae heartlands, or further east, where it could serve to control and tax the l2 -people who appear to have seized much of the area known as The Machars from the Novantae. Indeed the place-name Lotucobimvion, assuming the form is correct, indicates that the Iron Age site had belonged to the Novantae but had been taken over by a people who used the hill-letter l, most probably l2. The name Lotucobimvion/Loucopibia is discussed in more detail in Chapter 25, 4.5 and 4.6.
Example of v → b → p
[The entry for Loucopibia was last modified on 03 February 2021]
|Locsa||Loxa (165)||Exley Head|
|(Keighley, West Yorkshire)|
Rivet and Smith see this name as Ptolemy's river Loxa (the Lossie in the north of Scotland), but the order of names in Ravenna makes it clear that Loxa was a place in the north of England. Richmond and Crawford saw Loxa as a river-name related to Old Irish losc, meaning 'crippled', the river-name thus meaning 'crooked stream' or 'winding stream'.
Locsa appears to comprise the hill-letter l used in an inversion-type manner and qualified by the old-style element ocs meaning 'steep hill'. The river-letters corresponding to the l and s of Locsa are t and b, both of which survive in the name of the river which flows past Exley Head, the river Worth, though the b changed to v and the v was later anglicised to w, and the t changed to th. But the people who used the river-letter r (those who used the hill-letter m) evidently occupied that area between those who used the river-letters b and t, since the r is between the b and t (the w and th) of the river-name Worth. One sees the same relationship down in Somerset where the place-name Uxella was transferred by the Romans to the river now called the Parrett, but it was the Celtic river-name which survived - Parrett will originally have been of the form Baret, again with the river-letters b, r and t. And in the south of England Ravenna's river-name Velox comprises the river-prefix b, changed to v, attached to the place-name Lox. Lox will have been a Celtic settlement on the river and again the Celtic river-name survived - it is the modern Brit, again with the river-letters b, r and t. In each case the people who used the hill-letter m left no mark on the place-name, but they left their river-letter r in the river-name. Regarding the river-names Velox and Brit, there are other examples where one and the same river has two names, one a pure river-name made up only of river-letters and the other comprising a river-prefix or river-suffix attached to the name of a place on the river concerned, for example the river-names Tuerobis and Canubio, both referring to the river now called the Conwy, in North Wales. Note that in Loxa and Lox the hill-letter l is l2 and so the corresponding river-letter t, changed to th in Worth, is added to the end of the earlier river-name.
Rivet and Smith appear to regard the form Loxa as correct and point out that Williams proposed a Celtic root cognate with Latin luscus meaning ‘one-eyed’ and Old Irish losc meaning ‘crippled’, this suggesting that the river-name means ‘crooked’ or ‘winding one’.
But, as so often, the x in Ptolemy’s form of the name stands in for cs, thus yielding the straightforward topographical name Locsa, comprising the hill-letter l qualified by the old-style element ocsa meaning ‘steep hill’. The name will originally have been that of the Iron-Age settlement at Birnie, close to the river Lossie at a point some six kilometres south of Elgin. The settlement stood just north of a hill on the eastern side of the river, the western slope of the hill, adjacent the river, being very steep. The name thus appears entirely appropriate and indicates that the settlement had been occupied by people who used the hill-letter s but was taken over by people who used the hill-letter l. The name will have been transferred by the Romans to the military enclosure (NGR: NJ 211 574) about one kilometre away at Thomshill. Many scholars have in the past been unwilling to accept that that enclosure was a Roman fort, presumably because it is so very far away from the nearest Roman forts, those in Strathmore. The enclosure is much smaller than the Roman marching camps in the north of Scotland, but with an internal area of about 4.3 acres it is of a size fairly common for Roman forts. Moreover, the enclosure is surrounded by a V-shaped ditch with a drainage channel at the bottom and has rounded corners (see, for example, the entry for Thomshill on the Canmore website of Historic Environment Scotland). In addition, it was not uncommon for the Romans to transfer the name of a native settlement to a new fort and then to transfer the name of their fort to a nearby river, estuary or bay, for example Tuessis and Uxella (other examples are given in Chapter 19, paragraph 7.2). Furthermore, there are many examples in Ptolemy and Ravenna of Celtic topograhpical names being transferred to Roman forts, but none, so far as the present writer is aware, of a Celtic topographical name being transferred to a Roman marching camp. There thus seems no good reason to deny that the enclosure at Thomshill was a Roman fort, even if this requires us to revise our ideas concerning Roman military activity in the north of Scotland. But the fort will have been short-lived. It was probably built at the earliest in AD85, the same year that work appears to have started on the legionary fortress at Inchtuthil, and was presumably abandoned at the same time as that fortress and the fort at Stracathro, coin evidence at Inchtuthil and Stracathro suggesting that this occurred in AD86 or 87. Regarding the date of Thomshill the fact that the Roman name of the river, Loxa, is included in the Geography of Ptolemy, believed to date from around AD140, implies that the fort at Thomshill was constructed at an earlier date, indeed that it was constructed during the Flavian period.
[The entry for Loxa2 was inserted on 18 June 2020]
Rivet and Smith see this as being the same name as Ptolemy's Loucopibia in the territory of the Novantae, but it is clear from the order of names in Ravenna that Lucotion was not in Scotland. Richmond and Crawford saw Lucotion as being based on hypothetical lucot, taken to mean 'mouse', the name perhaps meaning 'a place with mice' or 'of Mouse-folk'.
Lucotion appears, however, to be a straightforward topographical name comprising the inversion-type element lucot meaning 'hill steep high'. The order of names in Ravenna appears to indicate that Lucotion was at Loughborough and there is indeed a steep, high hill immediately SW of the modern town. Ekwall gives the spelling Lucteburne for Loughborough in 1086 and suggests a meaning 'Luhhede's burg', but since Lucteburne has the l, the c and the t of Lucotion, and in exactly the same order, a derivation from the Romano-British name seems much more likely.
|Lugunduno||Lugunduno (140)||Dinsdale Park|
Rivet and Smith prefer the form Lugudunum and see the lug element as referring to the god Lugus, this name being taken to mean 'light'. The name as a whole would then mean 'fortress of the god Lugus'.
This name is the second half of the name Dixiolugunduno appearing in Ravenna, but it seems likely that Dixio and Lugunduno were two quite different places. Lugunduno is a topographical compound in the hill-letters l and n, the name comprising the inversion-type elements lug, meaning 'hill steep', and duno meaning 'summit of hill'. The n in the middle of the name is most likely to have been the ending of the name before the duno element was added. Like Lugdunum at Lyon, Lugunduno stood at the top of a steep slope, in this case at the top of the steep embankment on the north side of the Tees at the point where the river is crossed by Margary road 80a, though so far as the writer is aware no fort has yet been found there. The Romans transferred the place-name, or at least the duno element, to the river and so of course the bay at the mouth of the river is Ptolemy's Dunum bay. But it was the Celtic river-name which survived, the t at the beginning of Tees being the river-letter corresponding to the hill-letter l in Lugunduno.
LUGUVALIO/LUGUVALLO see LAGUBALIUM
LUNDINIO see LONDINIUM
The various lead pigs which have been found in Derbyshire, and which bear inscriptions including LVT, LVTVD or LVTVDARES, have caused scholars to see this name as belonging to the lead-mining district of Derbyshire, with Todd suggesting a site near Wirksworth, a little south of Matlock. But the order of names in Ravenna and the form of the name Etoceto clearly point to Wall as having been Romano-British Lutudaron.
Rivet and Smith appear to accept a derivation from hypothetical luta, taken to mean 'mud', preferring to see the name as being basically that of a river or water of some kind, the name perhaps meaning 'muddy one'.
The Ravenna form is, however, topographically correct - lut is an inversion-type element meaning 'hill high' and dar an inversion-type element meaning 'summit of hill', and it is generally accepted that the first fort at Wall was the one on the summit of the hill. The compiler of the AI has confused the two Ravenna names Lutudaron and Lectoceto by taking the first part of each with the second part of the other, to yield Lutuceto and Lectodaron. Lutuceto lost its initial L and Utuceto changed to Etoceto. Roman Wall and Towcester were both on Watling Street and both are included in Iter II of the AI, but even so it is still difficult to understand how the compiler of the AI managed to confuse Lutudaron (Wall) and Lectoceto (Towcester).
Example of confusion of two different names
Example of deletion of initial letter - L