[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)]



The Geography of Ptolemy is apparently the only ancient source which refers to this tribe.

The tribe will have brought its name with it when it migrated from Gaul to Britain, so the origin of the name is to be sought in modern France, not in Britain. However, it is clear that the river Seine is a long river and presumably for part of its length it flows through territory previously occupied by a tribe which used the hill-letter r. That tribe may have had a fortress/settlement on the river, the name of that fortress/settlement being Barion, where Bar is an old-style place-name element meaning ‘high hill’. The river will have been called the Barisena (just as in Britain there was a place called Leucaro and the river there – the Loughor in South Wales - was called the Leucarosena, modified to give the form Leugosena appearing in the Ravenna Cosmography). This river-name was apparently accepted in other regions as being the name of the river Seine, or at least it was regarded by the Romans as being the name of the river Seine. When the Romans sought a tribal name for the people who lived in the region around Lutecia (at modern Paris) they based that tribal name not on the place-name Lutecia but on the river-name Barisena. The tribe living around Paris was thus called the Barisi by the Romans, this later changing, with the common bp change, to Parisi. But the people of Lutecia actually used the hill-letter l2, and Lutecia was presumably in the Monmartre area of Paris, there being apparently no other high, steep hills in the city (the element Lutec means ‘hill high steep’).



[This page was last modified on 24 March 2021]