Identification: river Exe, Devon 

The usual spelling of Iscas is Isca, this being the name of the Roman fortress at Exeter, the name having been transferred by the Romans to the river now called the Exe. It is, however, possible that the s at the end of Iscas is the river-letter s. In this case Iscas means the ‘Isca river’. Isca appears to be one of several names which have simply been reversed at some stage (see Novitia for further examples), since if one reverses Isca and adds a grammatical um to the end one obtains Acsium, which is of course Ravenna’s river-name Axium. A detailed discussion of the derivation of the modern river-names Exe, Esk, Usk and Axe is given in Chapter 3: isca-type names.


[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] 



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