Tanatis

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,33 Τολιατις or Τολιαπις   Solinus TanatusTaniatide at the end of the Ravenna Cosmography;  
   Bede Tanatos and Tenet; Isidore Thanatos;  See Coates (2000a) for some other forms.

Where:  Thanet, around TR3768, an island extending beyond mainland Kent.

Name Origin:  PIE *ten- ‘to stretch, extend’, whose descendants include Welsh tant ‘string, tendril’, English tenet and thin, Sanskrit tantra ‘loom’, and more, but because so many other early island names look very Greek, the most likely precursor was τανυται ‘to stretch’.  Presumably Ptolemy's ΛΙ was miscopied from Ν.

Notes:  Much nonsense has been written about this name!  Attempts to link it with a Celtic word for ‘fire’ on a lighthouse are particularly daft.  Coates (2000a) was puzzled by an apparently nearby Ruoihm mentioned in the Historia Brittonum, because he wrote before it was understood that relevant events happened in Yorkshire, not Kent.

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Last edited 3 September 2022     to main Menu