List of Latin place names in Britain

This list includes places in Great Britain (including neighbouring islands such as the Isle of Man), some of which were part of the Roman Empire, or were later given Latin place names in historical references.

BackgroundEdit

Until the Modern Era, Latin was the common language for scholarship and mapmaking. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, German scholars in particular have made significant contributions to the study of historical place names, or Ortsnamenkunde. These studies have, in turn, contributed to the study of genealogy. For genealogists and historians of pre-Modern Europe, knowing alternative names of places is vital to extracting information from both public and private records. Even specialists in this field point out, however, that the information can be easily taken out of context, since there is a great deal of repetition of place names throughout Europe; reliance purely on apparent connections should therefore be tempered with valid historical methodology.

Caveats and notesEdit

Latin place names are not always exclusive to one place — for example, there were several Roman cities whose names began with Colonia and then a more descriptive term. During the Middle Ages, these were often shortened to just Colonia. One of these, Colonia Agrippinensis, retains the name today in the form of Cologne (from French, German Köln).

Early sources for Roman names show numerous variants and spellings of the Latin names.

The modern canonical name is listed first. In general, only the earliest source is shown for each name, although many of the names are recorded in more than one of the sources. Where the source differs in spelling, or has other alternatives, these are listed following the source. As an aid to searching, variants are spelled completely, and listed in most likely chronology.

Cities and towns in EnglandEdit

 
Roman Britain in 400 AD
Latin name English name
Aquae Arnemetiae Buxton
Aquae Sulis Bath
Bremetennacum Ribchester
Camulodunum Colchester
Cantabrigia (medieval Latinisation) Cambridge
Cataractonium Catterick
Coria, Corspitium Corbridge
Corinium Cirencester
Deva Chester
Dunelmum[1] Durham
Durnovaria Dorchester
Durocobrivis Dunstable
Durovernum Cantiacorum, Cantuaria Canterbury
Eboracum York
Glevum Gloucester
Isca Dumnoniorum Exeter
Isurium Brigantum Aldborough
Lindinis Ilchester
Lindum Colonia Lincoln
Londinium London
Londonia London
Luguvalium Carlisle
Mamucium, Mancunium[2] Manchester
Noviomagus Reginorum Chichester
Oxonium, Oxonia Oxford
Petuaria Brough
Pons Aelius Newcastle upon Tyne
Ratae Corieltauvorum Leicester
Venta Belgarum Winchester
Verulamium St Albans
Vigornia Worcester
Viroconium Cornoviorum Wroxeter

Cities and towns in ScotlandEdit

Canonical Latin name Other Latin names English name
Andreanae[3] Kirkruel?,[4] Reguli Fanum, Andreopolis; GOL:[5] Sanctae Andreae Coenobium, Kirkrule, Kilrule St Andrews
Devana[6][3] Aberdonia, Aberdona, Verniconam; GOL:[5] Aberdonum, Aberdonium, Abredonia), Devanha Aberdeen
Dunedinum[7] Edinburgum, Edinum; GOL:[5] Edimburgum, Edenburgum, Alata castra, Alatius burgus, Aneda, Puellarum castra) Edinburgh
Glascouium Glascovia, Glascum, Glascua, Glasgua Glasgow
Trimontium Newstead

Cities and towns in WalesEdit

Canonical Latin name Other Latin names English name
Alabum Llandovery
Bangertium[5] Bangor
Blestium Monemuta Monmouth
Bovium Cowbridge (disputed)
Burrium Usk
Cambria Wales
Canovium Caerhun
Cardiffa[citation needed] Cardiff
Castra Diva Chester
Cicutio Pumsaint
Gobannium Abergavenny
Isca Silurum [8] Isca, Iscae[9] Isca Augusta,[5] Isca Legio, Castra Legionis Caerleon
Moridunum Carmarthen
Mediomanum Caersws
Nidum Neath
Segontium[8] Segontio,[9] Seguntio,[5] Seguntium Caernarfon
Venta Silurum Caerwent

Island namesEdit

Latin name English name
Malaeus[10] Mull
Mona[10] Anglesey
Monapia, Monaoeda[10] Isle of Man
Orcades[6] Orkney
Scetis[6] Skye
Taniatide[9] Thanet
Vectis[6] Isle of Wight
Caesarea[10] Jersey

Region or country namesEdit

Region or country names
Latin name English name
Albion[6][11] Great Britain
Anglia England
Britannia[6][11] Great Britain
Caledonia[6][11] Scotland
Cambria Wales
Cornubia Cornwall
Hibernia[10] Ireland
Orientalium Anglorum East Anglia
Scotia Scotland, and formerly applied to Ireland
Salopia Shropshire

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Also other spellings
  2. ^ "Mancunium" derives from an early misspelling of the Roman name.
  3. ^ a b HLU: Hofmann, Johann Jacob (1635–1706): Lexicon Universale
  4. ^ '?' probably historical mistake
  5. ^ a b c d e f GOL: The standard reference to Latin placenames, with their modern equivalents, is Dr. J. G. Th. Grässe, Orbis Latinus: Lexikon lateinischer geographischer Namen des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (1861), an exhaustive work of meticulous German scholarship that is available on-line in the second edition of 1909. To use it, one must understand German names of countries, as they were in 1909. The original was re-edited and expanded in a multi-volume edition in 1972.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g 2PG2: Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), Geographia; book "PG" chapter (that is, "2PG2" instead of the usual "II.2"). Ptolemy wrote in Greek, so names are transliterated back into Latin to reveal the original form.
  7. ^ BSH: Buchanan, George (1506–1582): Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1582)
  8. ^ a b AI: Antonine Itinerary
  9. ^ a b c RC: Ravenna Cosmography, Ravennatis Anonymi Cosmographia
  10. ^ a b c d e 2PG1: Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), Geographia; book "PG" chapter (that is, "2PG1" instead of the usual "II.1"). Ptolemy wrote in Greek, so names are transliterated back into Latin to reveal the original form
  11. ^ a b c Tacitus (Gaius Cornelius Tacitus), Agricola

SourcesEdit

In order of likely publication:

External linksEdit