Identification: unknown, but apparently in the west of Scotland, between Dunadd and Fort William


This river-name includes the river-letter t corresponding to the hill-letter l. The Caledoni tribe used the hill-letter l1 and Caled is an old-style topographical element meaning ‘steep hill summit’. The element dates to the period prior to 130BC. But at some time after 120BC the Caledoni took over Dunadd, the initial L of Longus (the then name of Dunadd) being inversion-type. In addition Ptolemy is moving north at this point and the Itis river is listed after the Longus river (the place-name Longus was transferred to the river now called the Add), so we can safely deduce that the river Itis was north of the river Add. It probably flowed into the Firth of Lorne or Loch Linnhe and in all probability flowed past the tribal centre of the Caledoni. If it is possible to identify the tribal centre of the Caledoni (perhaps one hillfort stands out from all the others in that region by its size or the strength of its defences) then it should be possible to identify the Itis river.


[This page was last modified on 08 March 2021]


[NB. Detailed information as to the different river-letters and as to 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 is 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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