AttestedLinnonsa (or Linonsa) at position 289 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  An island off western Scotland.  Possibly Lismore because this name occurs at the end of a sequence that seems to be heading from the Inner Hebrides into Loch Linnhe, and a very ancient trade route, ultimately running between Ulster and Scandinavia, may have crossed Scotland via the Cosmography's sequence of islands and then along the Great Glen.

Name Origin:  Maybe from fish traps, because of λινον ‘linen, fishing net’ or possibly ληνος ‘anything shaped like a tub or trough’.  The ending -sa was common on geographical names around the Mediterranean, especially islands, such as modern Linosa and Lampedusa.

Notes:  There is ample evidence for fish traps in western Scotland, including one on Lismore, but most have not been dated.  Whereas tree branches may have been the key component in some fish traps, such as beside Anglesey near Γαγγανων ακρον, Scottish traps often consisted of stone-enclosed ponds to catch fish on a falling tide.  Thanks to Jennifer Allison for helping find evidence on fish traps.  This analysis outranks a previous focus on flax, and a pool for steeping it, on Luing.

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Last edited 15 September 2022     Go to main Menu