AttestedLitinomago (or Liutinomago) at position 214 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  One of the series of Roman marching camp that stretch across the low ground of eastern Scotland from Aberdeen towards Elgin, most likely the large one at Logie Durno.

Name Origin:  There are four main possibilies to explain initial Litino-, exemplified by English flat, leading, litany, and lithic.  PIE *plat- ‘flat’ probably lost initial P in Celtic (perhaps appropriate to this part of early Scotland) to become *litano- ‘broad’; PIE *leit- ‘to go forth’ led to words similar to English lead and German leiten (as perhaps used by some Roman troops from around the lower Rhine); and Greek λιτη ‘prayer’ might fit a religious centre.  However, λιθινος ‘made of stone’ is probably most appropriate at this location, because of all the stone circles nearby.  The -mago part might come from *magus ‘power place, administrative centre’, from PIE *magh- ‘to have power’.

Notes:  About the stone circles and other megalithic monuments of Aberdeenshire (the highest concentration in Britain) see here.  What can still be seen probably represents a small fraction of what might have once been there.  A previous guess suggested Glenmailen camp, at NJ655381, near Ythanwells.  See under Magis why the oft-repeated idea of a Celtic *magos ‘plain’ is not convincing.

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Last edited 27 October 2022   To main Menu