1.1 The Brigantes tribe is discussed briefly in “Ptolemy’s Celtic Tribes in Britain” accessible from the main menu above. The subject will be discussed in more depth here to try to establish where the people who came to be called the Brigantes came ashore in Britain when they arrived from the Continent, where they settled and how they developed to the point where Ptolemy could say that they extended to both seas, i.e. right across the north of England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, and Tacitus could report that some people regarded them as the most populous tribe in Britain. Like the great majority of British Celtic tribal names the name Brigantes is clearly based on a topographical place-name, presumably the name of the tribal centre at the time the tribal name was coined. The elements of the place-name may be Br and gant, but might equally well be Br and gand or Brig and ant. In all three cases the later hill-letter in the name is n2, so this will be the hill-letter used by the Brigantes (for readers unfamiliar with the term ‘hill-letter’ an explanation is given below in paragraph 1.2).
1.2 In the interests of brevity no explanation is given below for the structure of individual Celtic place- and river-names. The structure of Celtic place-names is explained in Chapters 1 and 2, that of Celtic river-names in Chapter 19. The structure of individual place-names is explained in the Alphabetical List, accessible from the main menu above. But a brief recapitulation might be useful here for the benefit of those readers who have not read the earlier chapters. Different waves of Celtic settlers arriving from the Continent used different letters of the alphabet to signify ‘hill’. These letters are n, s, m, r and l, though each of the letters n and l appears to have been used by two different groups of settlers arriving at different times. The normal chronological order of the hill-letters appears to have been n1, s, m, r, l1, n2, l2, though there is some regional variation, for example in Lincolnshire the hill-letter n2 appears to have arrived before l1, this being seen in Croconcalana (apparently the Celtic form of the Crococalana of the Antonine Itinerary) and Banvobalum (the Celtic form of the Bannovalum of Ravenna). There are three different types of Celtic place-name – old-style names, transitional names and inversion-type names. In old-style place-names a hill-letter is used as generic term and a qualifier is placed before it. The qualifier may be the letter b signifying ‘high’, as in the br of Brinavis, or a c/g signifying ‘steep’, as in the Cer of Cerma. In transitional place-names the hill-letter has two qualifiers, one before it and the other after. The qualifier ‘high’ may come before the hill-letter, in which case it is represented by the letter b, or after, in which case it is represented by the letter t. The qualifier c/g meaning ‘steep’ may appear before or after the hill-letter. Examples of transitional place-names or name-elements include the broc of Brocara, the cunet of Cunetio, the cent of Gabrocentio and the bulg of Bladobulgio (the Blatobulgio of the Antonine Itinerary). In an inversion-type place-name the hill-letter is again used as generic term but the qualifier comes after it. The qualifier may be a t signifying ‘high’ as in Litana or a c/g meaning ‘steep’, as in Alicuna and Isca. The letter d is used in some place-names to represent ‘summit’, ‘top of hill’. This d is used as the generic term and is qualified by one of the hill-letters. The hill-letter comes before the d in old-style names and after it in inversion-type names. And the qualifying hill-letters may themselves be qualified by letters signifying ‘high’ or ‘steep’ as set out above for old-style names and inversion-type names. Bereda and Corda are examples of old-style place-names of this kind, the dert of Omiretedertis an example of an inversion-type place-name element. The writer is not aware of any transitional name or name element employing the letter d signifying ‘summit’. The letter v is used in some place-names to represent ‘side of hill’, ‘slope’. This v is used in the same way as the d signifying ‘summit’. We thus see old-style place-names such as Banva (Ravenna’s Banna) and Glevon, and inversion-type names such as Venta and inversion-type name elements such as the Ver of Verulamium. As explained in Home/Chapter 23, 6.1 the changeover from old-style names to inversion-type names occurred during the second half of the second century BC. For convenience and in the interests of brevity it will be assumed here that old-style place-names were coined prior to 130BC, transitional place-names in the ten year period from 130BC to 120BC and inversion-type place-names after 120BC. These dates are probably not exactly correct, but they can’t be very far from the truth. Note that the different waves of settlers also used different letters of the alphabet to signify ‘river’. Those who used the hill-letter s used the river-letter b. Those who used the hill-letter m used the river-letter r. Those who used the hill-letter r used the river-letter s. Those who used the hill-letter l used the river-letter t. And those who used the hill-letter n used the river-letter m for major or main rivers and the river-letter l for minor rivers, tributaries of major rivers or headwaters of main rivers.
1.3 In the interests of brevity reference will sometimes be made below to n-people as an abbreviation for ‘people who used the hill-letter n’. The same is done with regard to the other hill-letters. The letter used in that expression is always a hill-letter, never a river-letter.
1.4 Further in the interests of brevity and to avoid cluttering up the text below with too many explanations in parentheses a concordance is given here showing Celtic place-names in the forms restored by the present writer and the corresponding place-names given by the ancient sources. AI is used as an abbreviation for the Antonine Itinerary, ND for the Notitia Dignitatum.
Bamvocalia Pampocalia in Ravenna
Banva Banna in Ravenna
Banvobalum Bannovalum in Ravenna
Calavum Calagum/Calatum in Ptolemy
Cambaglanda Gabaglanda in Ravenna
Cambroduno Camboduno in the AI Iter II
Cambrolanda Cambroianna in Ravenna
Cardadoriton Tadoriton in Ravenna
Concanata Congavata in the ND
Condo/Convo Onno in Ravenna
Croconcalana Crococalana in the AI Iter VI, VIII
Gambildandi Habitanci (in an inscription found at Risingham, Northumberland)
Glevon Glebon in Ravenna
Lagendion Lagentium in Ravenna
Locsa Loxa in Ravenna
Maboridon Maporiton in Ravenna
Masandion Mantio in Ravenna
Smedriladunum Smetriadum in Ravenna
Vresmedenaci Bresnetenaci in Ravenna
1.5 Notes on individual names
1.5.1 The study below will start by listing all the old-style place-names in the hill-letter n2, the hill-letter used by the Brigantes, in the north of England. There is a slight problem here in that it is not entirely clear whether Iron Age Binchester was old-style Binovia or inversion-type Vinovia. One could argue in support of either form if the Iron Age fort/settlement had been on the same site as the Roman fort, but since we do not know the exact location of the Iron Age fort/settlement we cannot settle the issue one way or the other. However, Binchester lies between inversion-type (L)incobigla at Lanchester and inversion-type Lugunduno high above the north bank of the Tees in the Dinsdale Park area, so it seems safer to assume that Binchester was inversion-type Vinovia.
1.5.2 The Almond of Almondbury appears to be a perfectly acceptable Celtic name for a hillfort. We see the name again in Almond/Lamond, apparently the name of the hillfort on the north side of the river Almond at a point just north of Edinburgh airport. The name was transferred by the Romans to their Antonine fort at Cramond, at the mouth of the river, and subsequently to the river itself, still today called the Almond (it was previously the Rumabo). We see the name again in the hillfort on East Lomond Hill in east Fife. The artefacts found there suggest that it was a high-status site. It might even have been the tribal centre of the l2-people who lived around Abernethy and in the easternmost part of Fife. The writer thus proposes to accept Almond (with some ending) as the actual name of the hillfort at Almondbury. Against this is that there are apparently medieval documents which refer to the village of Almondbury and there is no letter d in the name as given in those documents. In addition the name Almond is inconsistent with the conclusions drawn by archaeologists to date. The archaeologists say that the hillfort at Almondbury had been abandoned by 300BC at the latest, perhaps even as early as 400BC, and was not reoccupied until the twelfth century AD, when a motte-and-bailey castle was built on the hilltop. But a place with the name Almond must surely have been occupied during the second century BC and probably into the first century BC as well. On the other hand, the name Almond is fully consistent with the development of place-names in that part of Yorkshire and so, as noted above, will be accepted here as the name of the hillfort at Almondbury. It is actually not of importance if the writer is wholly wrong on this point, since even if one ignores all references to Almondbury in the text below this does not materially affect the arguments put forward.
2 The n2-people in the north of England
2.1 It appears quite clear that in the period prior to 130BC there were three separate groups of n2-people in the north of what is now England.
2.1.1 The presence of a first group, hereinafter called the northern n2-people, can be seen in the place-names Concanata (the Con element) at Bowness-on-Solway, Cambaglanda at Birdoswald, Banva at Throp, Magnis at Carvoran, Vindolande (the and element) at Chesterholm and Convo/Condo in the Halton area. Moving north from that point we see Gambildandi at Risingham on the river Rede, this place-name corresponding to a river-name somewhat of the form Bretemena, this form, with deletion of et and modification of the ending, having been applied by the Romans as Bremenium to their fort upriver at High Rochester (note that the initial B of Bretemena corresponds to the hill-letter s, which does not appear in Gambildandi). Further north still we have a Lenda, apparently on the river Till, and a Voltandinion (the and element) at Yeavering (this form, with deletion of the hill-letters l and n, yields the tribal name Votadini).
2.1.2 The presence of a second group of n2-people, hereinafter called the central n2-people, can be seen in the place-names Clindum and Carbandium and in the river-names Swale and Leven (the river-letter l corresponds to the hill-letter n), the Swale being a tributary of the Ure and the Leven a tributary which rises in the Cleveland Hills and joins the Tees at Yarm. Iron Age Clindum will have been in the vicinity of Clint, on the north side of the river Nidd to the northwest of Harrogate. Iron Age Carbandium may have been a promontory fort, now called Gates Hill Camp, on the north side of the Nidd a little upstream from Knaresborough, the name having been transferred by the Romans in the form Carbantium to a post/settlement at Harrogate.
2.1.3 The presence of the third group, hereinafter called the southern n2-people, can be seen in the place-names Lagendion at Castleford, Almond at Almondbury and Cambrolanda at or near Slack, just west of Huddersfield. In addition some of these n2-people may have crossed the Pennines and founded or taken over the Castlesteads promontory fort at Bury on the river Irwell, the name of this fort probably having been of the form Masandion (as discussed in the entry for Mantio in the Alphabetical List).
2.2 As to when the three groups of n2-people came to Britain it seems probable that the northern and central n2-people came to Britain around the same time as the Atrebates and the Canti (the early Catuvellauni : they lived south of the inner end of the Thames estuary) who also used the hill-letter n2. The southern n2-people discussed above may have come to Britain around the same time, but it is here assumed that they were n2-people who had been displaced from what is now Lincolnshire when their land there was taken over by an l1-people, namely by Trinovantes displaced from their own land by northward expansion of the Canti. One can see this population change in Lincolnshire in the place-names Croconcalana and Banvobalum.
2.3 We can see that prior to 130BC the northern and central n2-people were separated by the land between the Tyne and Tees, and the central and southern n2-people by the land between the Nidd and Aire. This second area is of some interest. The earliest hill-letter we see is the s in Locsa at Exley Head in Keighley. But then we see the hill-letter m in Bamvocalia at Ilkley, Camulodono at Skipton, Cambrolanda in the Slack area, Cambroduno at Eccleshill in Bradford, Almond at Almondbury and Maboridon at Barwick-in-Elmet. Note that Romano-British Cambroduno appears to have been at Eccleshill, but Iron Age Cambroduno may have been somewhere else in that area, perhaps even north of the Aire – there is no shortage of high, steep hills in the Bradford area and so no shortage of sites suitable for a Cambroduno. But the m-people later lost control of all of those places. Thus Cambrolanda, Cambroduno and Maboridon were taken over by an r-people, presumably the r-people of Eburacum at York and Cardadoriton at Tadcaster, and Bamvocalia and Camulodono were later taken over by an l1-people, as indeed was Cambrolanda. It was into this region, controlled partly by an r-people and partly by an l1-people, that the southern n2-people later arrived. They appear to have founded Lagendion at Castleford and to have taken over Almond and Cambrolanda. In addition they may have crossed the Pennines to Bury on the river Irwell, but neither they nor the central n2-people seem to have been able at that time to penetrate the territory between the Nidd and the Aire.
2.4 The above gives us a picture of the distribution of n2-people in northern England around 130BC. Life went on after 130BC, but now people were coining transitional and, later, inversion-type names.
2.4.1 We thus see the northern n2-people moving south down the Cumbrian coast, for the name of the river Esk appears to have been Alavna before the Romans arrived in that region, and this river-name includes the river-letter l corresponding to the hill-letter n. We also see the transitional element cent in Gabrocentio, a name later transferred by the Romans to their fort at Hard Knott pass, though we do not know the location of Iron Age Gabrocentio. Away to the east we see the northern n2-people in Vintovala, a hillslope fort in Horsley Wood, a little southwest of Vindovala at Rudchester, and further east we have Serduno in the Wallsend area. The northern n2-people also moved into the area south of the Tyne, for we have (L)incobigla at Lanchester, Vinovia at Binchester, and Lugunduno high above the north bank of the Tees in the Dinsdale Park area. Lugunduno will have been a frontier post founded by an l-people with the aim of discouraging the central n2-people from moving into the territory north of the Tees, and will later have been taken over by the northern n2-people with the same aim in mind.
2.4.2 The central n2-people appear to have made little progress after 130BC. They apparently took over North Rigton, southwest of Harrogate, from an r-people, the name of the post/settlement there now becoming Rigodunum (listed by Ptolemy). They may have continued south and taken over the Bradford area, Cambroduno, and Skipton, now Camulodono, but these two places may alternatively have been taken over by the southern n2-people. In addition it is possible that the central n2-people moved up the valley of the Ure and took possession of a hillfort at Bainbridge, this now becoming Smedriladunum. And some of the central n2-people may have moved further west from Bainbridge to the valley of the Lune, settling in the area around the confluence of the Leck Beck with the Lune. The writer’s reason for suggesting this is that we see the river-letters m and l, corresponding to the hill-letter n2, in Moricambe, Ptolemy’s name for the river Lune, and Alone, apparently the Celtic name of the Leck Beck, transferred by the Romans to their fort at Burrow-in-Lonsdale, close to that river.
2.4.3 The southern n2-people may have taken over Bradford and Skipton, as mentioned above, and they presumably did take over the hillfort known as Portfield Camp, a little southeast of Whalley in Lancashire, the name of this hillfort now becoming Vresmedenaci. The denaci part of the name is presumably an early inversion-type place-name element since the southern n2-people continued to apply their river-letters m and l in the old-style manner, i.e. they placed them at the end of existing river-names. We thus see the river-letter m at the end of the river-name Berisama (the Calder) and the river-letter l at the end of Ribelena (possible Celtic form of Ribble).
2.5 But the history of the n2-people in the north of England was not a story of continual territorial expansion. At some time after 120BC the northern n2-people lost Lenda and Voltandinion to an l1-people who came to be called the Votadini and the southern n2-people suffered a setback when they lost Castleford and Almondbury to newcomers who used the hill-letter l2. These new settlers also took control of Keighley (Locsa) and founded a new settlement called Alitacenon somewhere in the Leeds area. We know that the letter l at the front of Lagendion, Almond, Locsa and Alitacenon is l2 because the th at the end of the river name Worth, the Worth being a tributary which flows past Locsa to join the river Aire at Keighley, is a modified river-letter t corresponding to the hill-letter l2.
2.6 We can thus see that in the period prior to 130BC the territory of the central n2-people was rather small, a strip of land extending from the Tees down to the Nidd. And there was limited expansion of that territory after 130BC. But we can see that the core area of the central n2-people, the strip of land between the rivers Tees and Nidd, includes both Aldborough and Stanwick, so it seems safe to assume that the central n2-people were in fact the people who came to be called the Brigantes. And it seems safe to say (for reasons set out in paragraph 2.7 below) that Aldborough was the tribal centre, the tribal capital. The Romano-British name of Aldborough is normally taken to have been Isurium Brigantum, though this form is not actually on record. The nearest we come to it is the Isubrigantum of the AI Iter V, though the expansion to Isurium Brigantum seems entirely reasonable, given that we see the form Isurium in Ptolemy and in the AI Iter I. Brigantum is normally accepted as a declined form, the genitive plural, of the tribal name Brigantes, rather than as a mere latinised version of the Celtic place-name upon which the tribal name is itself based.
2.7 But we still haven’t settled what the form of the name of that tribal centre was, and here it seems sensible to look at the probable historical development in that region. So far as one can see there is no evidence in the place- and river-names that the Brigantes ever settled in the area east of the Ouse-Ure-Swale axis other than the river-names Swale and Leven in the north of that region, where the l in Swale and Leven is of course the river-letter l corresponding to the hill-letter n. It thus seems quite clear that the n2-people who came to be called the Brigantes entered Britain by the bay at the mouth of the river Tees, that they spread along the south side of the Tees and then moved south, crossing the Swale and Ure and proceeding as far as the river Nidd, and there stopped. Iron Age Clindum and Carbandium on the river Nidd will have been frontier posts of the Brigantes. It is likely that there was an important crossing of the Ure at Aldborough since there is highish, dry land close to both banks of the river and so there was no marshland to impede movement across the river. Moreover the point a little downstream from Aldborough where the river Ure changes its name to Ouse may well mark the frontier between the territory of the r-people of Eburacum at York and that of the Brigantes. And bearing in mind that the tribal name Brigantes is based on a topographical place-name then if Aldborough was indeed the tribal centre we can deduce that the Celtic place-name for Aldborough would include the element Brigant- or Brigand-, each of these elements indicating that the Brigantes had seized Aldborough from the r-people (the Br element includes the hill-letter r). It would surely have been vitally important for the Brigantes that they should hold Aldborough against any attempt on the part of the r-people to regain that territory and so create a barrier between the Brigantes who had settled between the Tees and the Ure and those who lived between the Ure and the Nidd. It thus seems clear that Aldborough was indeed the place for the chieftain of the Brigantes to reside, together with whatever military forces he had at his immediate disposal. But even when the Brigantes got as far south as the Nidd they were still coining old-style place-names, as is clear from Clindum and Carbandium. It is therefore in the highest degree probable that the Celtic name of Aldborough was Brigand- with some ending such as on or ion. Brigandion (to keep to this one form) is a pure old-style name which indicates that at some date prior to 130BC an n2-people had taken over a settlement occupied by r-people, exactly as in the case of Carbandium on the river Nidd. Note that the gand element means ‘steep hill summit’, so in all probability Iron Age Brigandion was up on the top of Studforth Hill. New Isurium was built down the north/northeast slope of the hill, straddling the point where the relatively steep slope meets the more level ground on the south side of the river Ure. Presumably Brigandion remained occupied while the new town was being built and equipped with all the public buildings and facilities the Romans thought a tribal centre should have. But with the passage of time it is possible that the population of the hilltop settlement moved down the hill into new Isurium and the hilltop became available for other construction projects. And indeed one reads that within the past ten years or so traces of a Roman amphitheatre have been found up on the hilltop. Perhaps if the archaeologists find the time and money to excavate the hilltop to study the remains of the amphitheatre they could keep their eyes open for signs of an earlier settlement, of Brigandion, tribal centre of the Brigantes tribe before the arrival of the Romans in Britain. Note that the tribal name Brigantes is derived from the place-name Brigandion with the common change d → t.
2.8 There are many scholars who believe that Stanwick was the tribal centre of the Brigantes, but it seems safe to conclude that Stanwick cannot have been the location of Brigandion. This is because Stanwick appears not to have risen to prominence until after about AD50. Indeed we are told by the archaeologists that construction of the ramparts at Stanwick started around the middle of the first century AD and was perhaps not even complete by AD70. However, there were apparently diplomatic relations between Rome and the southern British kingdoms during the period between Caesar’s invasion of 54BC and the Claudian invasion of AD43. We may therefore safely assume that the Roman high command had done its homework before the invasion of AD43. It will have gathered intelligence and will have been aware of the Brigantes tribe and the whereabouts of its territory. We can therefore assume that the place-name Brigandion and the tribal name Brigantes existed before AD43, thus before Stanwick rose to prominence. In other words Stanwick cannot have been Brigandion. The significance of Stanwick is probably that it was selected as the new tribal centre following a union of the Brigantes with the northern n2-people. It was near the frontier of the two old tribes, apparently the Tees, but actually on Brigantian territory. Something similar occurred further north where the hillfort on Dumyat, northeast of Stirling, appears to have been selected as the new tribal capital following a union of the Damnoni and the Venicones. Dumyat was close to the frontier of the two old tribes but actually on Damnonian territory, so it will have had a name including the hill-letter m, the hill-letter used by the Damnoni. It is suggested elsewhere on this website that the name of that hillfort will have been Megaton (where megat means ‘hill steep high’) and the name of the new, unified tribe was then Megatae (again, a tribal name based on a topographical place-name). Deletion of the intervocalic g then yields the tribal name Meatae, known from the ancient sources (e.g. from Cassius Dio). But in the north of England case the tribal name Brigantes was retained for the new, unified tribe, which may tell us something about the relative strength of the Brigantes and the northern n2-people. The union of the two tribes probably came about as a reaction to the threat posed to both n2-people by the presence of the Roman army in southern Britain.
2.9 But the n2-people discussed above were not alone in the north of England. There were also other tribes. Some of them used the hill-letter l2, for example the Parisi, who lived north of the Humber, the Setanti, who lived around the mouth of the river Wyre in Lancashire and perhaps down as far as the Ribble estuary, the Textoverdi who lived south of the Tyne and South Tyne rivers, and the Lopocari, who lived in County Durham. There were also the l2-people mentioned above in paragraph 2.5. They held Castleford, Almondbury and Keighley and founded a new settlement called Alitacenon somewhere in the Leeds area, but they obviously occupied some land further south as well. This is because rivers of the Don/Eden family are normally associated with l2-people. This is true of the river Don in Aberdeenshire and the rivers Eden in East Fife, Cumbria and Kent, so it is presumably also true of the river Don in Yorkshire. In other words there must have been l2-people living somewhere along the course of the Yorkshire river Don. And the river-letter t at the end of the river-names Trent and Derwent corresponds to the hill-letter l2, so there must have been l2-people living somewhere along the course of those two rivers. There were also r-people living in the north of England. One reads, for example, of a civitas Carvetiorum. Whatever status the people of the civitas enjoyed in the late Roman period they were probably earlier an r-people who lived in the Eden basin (one thinks of Bereda at Plumpton Wall, Brovonacis at Kirkby Thore and Verteris at Brough-under- Stainmore). It is believed that in the late Roman period the capital of the civitas of the Carveti will have been Carlisle. That may well be so, but in an earlier period the people of Carlisle and the people who lived around the Cumbrian river Derwent will have been another l2-people (the initial L in Lagubalium and the corresponding river-letter t at the end of the river-name Derwent). And of course there were the r-people of Eburacum (York), Cardadoriton (Tadcaster) and Maboridon (Barwick-in-Elmet). There were also l1-people, seen in Caluvo at Yarlsber Camp near Ingleton, Galava at Lancaster and Gabluvion at Castle Hill near Casterton on the river Lune, this name being transferred by the Romans as Galluvio to a post at Casterton itself. We see these l1- people also at Lavaris, apparently at Castle Steads hillfort near Bowes, Valteris, apparently a hillfort near Dike House to the east of Brough-under-Stainmore, Calavum at East Witton Camp/Castle Steads, near Caldbergh to the west of Healam Bridge, and Bamvocalia at Ilkley. The Parisi are identified by Ptolemy as a tribe and so were presumably independent of the Brigantes. But the other tribes mentioned above, not identified by Ptolemy as tribes in their own right, may well have come under the control of the chieftain of the Brigantes. Whether this came about as a result of military pressure, peaceful negotiation, intermarriage amongst the ruling families of the various tribes or by some other means is not something one can deduce from the place- and river-names. But if that is indeed what happened then maybe the Romans came to regard all of those people as Brigantes, in which case perhaps Tacitus was right when he referred to people who held the Brigantes to be the most populous tribe in Britain, and Ptolemy right when he said that the territory of the Brigantes stretched “to both seas”, i.e. right across the north of England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. There is one other group not so far mentioned, the n2-people who lived south of the Humber. One sees the hill-letter n2 of these people in the place-name Gambrand, referring to South Ferriby or a location up on the high ground immediately southeast of South Ferriby, Gambrand being seen in adjectival use in Ptolemy’s Gabrantuicorum bay, the Humber. Ptolemy refers to these people as being Brigantes living below the Parisi. This probably just means that they had at some stage been absorbed into the enlarged Brigantian state, but initially they will have belonged to the n2-people who occupied the whole of what is now Lincolnshire. Those to the south of the area close to the Humber appear to have been taken over, some of them perhaps displaced to become the southern n2-people discussed above, by Trinovantes who migrated north consequent to northwards expansion of the Canti.
2.10 One last point: the range of artefacts found by archaeologists at Stanwick, in particular the high percentage of imported items amongst them, suggests that Stanwick did in fact take up its role as capital of a new, enlarged Brigantian state (see paragraph 2.8 above) and exercised that role for some years. But after the Roman conquest that state will have been broken up, with much of its territory placed under military rule. Stanwick, with its raison d’être as capital of a new state abolished, was probably abandoned, left to the birds and sheep, while Brigandion at Aldborough resumed its old role as capital of the (now reduced) Brigantes. At some stage the Romans apparently decided that one region, maybe just the old core area of the Brigantes between the rivers Tees and Nidd, or perhaps that area enlarged by the addition of some neighbouring territory if the Romans thought that convenient, should be given some form of civilian administration. With that in mind they built a new town down the hill from Brigandion and at some point the name of the settlement will no doubt have been officially changed to Isurium Brigantum, presumably when the new town was ready for business.