AttestedCroucingo at position 157 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Burnswark hill fort, at NY186787, identified by the sequence of names in the Cosmography, as pointed out by Frere (2001).  This fort is large and particularly prominent, and the way it is surrounded by Roman siege works has been much discussed, with opinion recently hardening up that this was the site of a proper battle not mere practice.

Name origin:  A compound of the ‘circle’ word, discussed at great length by Allcroft (1927,1930), plus Latin cingo ‘to surround’, probably descended from PIE *kenk- ‘to bind’ and related to cinch.

Notes:  Previous investigators (such as Richmond and Crawford, 1949) missed the perfect match of name to site because of their fixation on Celtic interpretations of ancient name elements.  In this case *cruc seems to have meant a ring-work fortification, like the English descendant word church(yard), not a tumulus, like the Welsh descendant word crug ‘mound’.  Does the way that the second element literally meant ‘I surround’ in Latin indicate active Roman engagement, as distinct from mere commentary on the topography?  Blatobulgio of the Antonine Itinerary was probably essentially the same site.  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