[NB The brief explanation given below has been drafted on the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the basic building-blocks used in Celtic topographical place-names (Chapter 1 of the Home menu), with the structure of compound place-names (Chapter 2) and with the structure of Celtic river-names (Chapter 19)]
This tribal name is listed in the Geography of Ptolemy.
The tribal name is a shortened version of a place-name concealed within the Ravenna Cosmography, for Ravenna gives the two names Ratecorion and Eltanori (some manuscripts give the form Eltavori for the latter name). These two names will be the result of miscopying the text, the original names having been Rate (at Leicester) and Cori(on)eltanori (at Lutterworth). Corieltanori has simply been shortened by deletion of internal letters to yield the form Coritani of Ptolemy. The name Eltan is most probably an inversion-type topographical name, where elt means ‘hill high’ (the element includes the hill-letter l1, the hill-letter used by the Coritani) and Eltanori will be the name of the tribe. Someone, Celt or Roman, has placed the Cori element at the front of the tribal name to give us the name Corieltanori by which the tribe is also known. If we take the tribal name in the Eltavori form then we end up with the name Corieltavori, which is very close to R.S.O. Tomlin’s reading of an inscription found on the site of Tripontium at Caves Inn, a little to the south of Lutterworth. Tomlin read Corieltauvorum whereas R.P. Wright, who apparently first worked on the inscription, read Corielsoliliorum (Tomlin, R. (1983)). Tomlin’s reading is almost identical to the form Corieltavori derived from Ravenna’s text.
[This page was last modified on 08 April 2021]