Luguvalium

AttestedLuguvallo on iter 2 and Luguvalio on iter 5 of the Antonine Itinerary;  Lagubalium or Lagubalumi at position 129 in the Ravenna Cosmography;  altar stone ...VALI;  Bede Lugubalia

WhereCarlisle Roman fort at NY397561.

Name origin:  The -valium part could in principle come from various words derived from PIE *wal- ‘to be strong’ (such as Phrygian βαλλην ‘king’) or *wel- ‘to turn’ (even in a personal name, as suggested by Rivet & Smith), but the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan’s RIGORE VALI proves that it resembled Latin vallum ‘palisaded rampart’.  That word survives in Welsh as gwal and in English as wall.  The Lugu- part has attracted much unsatisfactory speculation about a god *Lugus (discussed for example here), but Carlisle is geographically similar to other Lug- places in having an open view, over a river flood plain, appropriate to PIE *leuk- ‘bright’ or German dialectal lugen ‘to look’, as discussed here.  It might also be the place where the Wall was linked (ligated) across the river Eden and Lugu might even mean ‘low’.

Notes:  Strabo mentioned a marsh called Λουγεον near Trieste, which has been interpreted (perversely) as meaning ‘black’.

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Last edited 16 November 2022     To main Menu