Identification: The river Arun


Apparently the river Arun used to be called the Tarrant, so the identification of the river Arun as the Trisantonis seems quite safe.

The river-name Trisantona, as applied to the Trent which flows into the Humber, appears to comprise a river-element tr, made up of the river-letters t and r, and a place-name element santon, a very slightly modified version of Ravenna’s Sandonio at Sandon, on the river Trent (this identification is discussed in Chapter 13: Cironium to Sandonio). That may well be correct, at least for that river Trent, but it does not follow that the name Trisantonis was formed in this way in all cases. It may be that there was at one time a river-name of the form Trisan, rather like Derben (explained under Dorvantium), but using the river-letter s rather than b, and at some stage those who coined inversion-type place-names in the hill-letter l2 added their river-letter t to the end of Trisan to yield the new river-name Trisant, this then acquiring the ending onis. River-names of this kind then have the river-letter t at the beginning and end of the name proper, exactly as in Derbentione and Derventione, and in the modern river-names Dart, Tweed and Teviot. Thus, when Celtic river-names were assigned to various categories in Chapter 19: The rivers of Roman Britain, Trisantonis was treated as a river-name comprising only river-letters (apart from the ending n in the middle of the name and at the end). This is because it is perhaps unlikely that there was a place called Sandonio close to all rivers now called the Trent, even though sand is just a topographical compound referring to a location on the top of raised ground - it is the same compound as the lind of Lindum, the lond of Londinium (97) and the mand of Manduesedo, but using the hill-letter s rather than l or m. It is in any event possible that the place-name Sandonio is actually derived from the river-name Trisantona/Trisantonis.


[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]


[This page was last modified on 15 November 2022]


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