AttestedCoritiotar at position 177 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Somewhere in SW Scotland, possibly at Ballantrae, south Ayshire, where the mouth of the river Stinchal at about NX0882 has a row of standing stones on one side and Ardstinchar castle on the other side.

Name Origin:  Greek χωριτης ‘rural’ (from χωρα the country as opposed to πολις the town) plus ουθαρ ‘the most fertile land’ (related to the word udder).  The Stinchal estuary has silted up behind a sandbar, with a raised beach that “is singularly fertile, furnishing rich grazing and producing heavy crops of potatoes, turnips, and cereals”, with evidence of prehistoric occupation.

Notes:  The local district name Carrick might conceivably be a Gaelic reinterpretation of Coritiotar.  Ballantrae has no known Roman camp, but Wilson (1989) discussed possible Roman roads along the coast or up the valley of the river Luce towards it.  See under Celovion about the Cosmography's three difficult names matching the only three harbours of south Ayrshire.  Rejected explanations include a link to Welsh cor ‘host, tribe’ or to Latin corium ‘leather’, or that this place might have been named as a harbour of refuge on a difficult coast.  See also about Coritani.  See here for a discussion of all Roman names in this area north of the Solway.

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Last edited 30 May 2023     to main Menu