Identification: the river Camel, Cornwall 

Giano (1) and Eltabo (2) appear to belong together as the name of the Roman fort at Nanstallon, just west of Bodmin, in Cornwall. The name will have been transferred from the hillfort in Dunmere Wood, just upriver from Nanstallon. This hillfort stands on a hillside, the drop down to the river being very steep. Giano was thus probably Celtic Glavo, where Glav is an old-style element meaning 'steep hill slope'. Eltabo will thus have been the then name of the river now called the Camel, the river-name being added to Glavo just to distinguish this Glavo from another Glavo somewhere else. The l of Eltabo is not a misreading of the Latin abbreviation Fl, as argued by Rivet and Smith – it is simply the river-letter l applied to minor rivers by those who coined place-names in the hill-letter nEltabo is a compound river-name in the river-letters l and t (and b if the b is indeed the river-letter b and not just a name-ending) corresponding to the hill-letters n and l (and s). The hill-letters n, l and s are all present in the modern name Nanstallon, though this might just be a coincidence. Glavo Eltabo is then a Celtic name rather like modern names of the form Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Landini Tamese and Litinomago Devoni are other examples of Celtic/Romano-British names of this kind.




 [NB. Detailed information as to the different river-letters and how they were combined to form compound river-names, together with information as to the four categories of Celtic river-names, is given in Chapter 19: the rivers of Roman Britain. Detailed information as to the different hill-letters in given in Chapter 1 and information as to how the hill-letters were combined to form compound place-names is given in Chapter 2]




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