Attested: Naurum at position 241 in the Ravenna Cosmography, in its tour of harbour estuaries.
Where: Barnstaple Bay, Devon, with its mouth near SS456319.
Name Origin: Naurum makes best sense emended to *Navarum, as suggested by Rivet & Smith, and then analysed as the early river name navis plus PIE *ar- ‘to fit together’. This is an excellent fit to the way that the rivers Taw and Torridge come together to share a single mouth into the sea.
Notes: There is even an Airy Point on the north side of the estuary. Ptolemy's Ναβαρου (in Scotland) is remarkably similar in name and topography. A less likely location is some way north, at Bridgewater Bay, where the Somerset Levels are drained by a multiplicity of channels, which have changed over the centuries, but reached the coast at Clavinio (now an offshore sandbank) and Stert Island.
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Last edited 26 October 2022 to main Menu