Nemetotatio

AttestedNemetotatio (or Nemetotacio) at position 4 in the Ravenna Cosmography

WhereLapford Roman fort at SS73340714 near Bury Barton in the middle of Devon, among a cluster of modern names apparently derived from two rivers formerly called Nymet, which are tributaries of the river Taw.

Name Origin:  A nemeton was a sanctuary, a space allocated to the gods, often at tribal boundaries.  (Translating it as ‘sacred grove’ because of Latin nemus ‘open woodland’ is a mistake.)  The word survived into Irish neimed ‘consecrated space’ but its deep root is probably PIE *nem- ‘to assign’, which also led to Indic Namaste ‘respectful greetings’ and to νεμεσις ‘fate, distribution of what is due’.  In Latin -tatio was such a common word ending that the common suggestion (for example here) that the name should be amended to contain statio ‘station, base’ (which tended to mean a guardpost or government office) is not justified.

Notes:  At position SS70740168 near Bow, formerly Nymetboghe, a cropmark suggests a former henge.  This might have been the tribal gathering place that the Roman fort was overseeing.

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Last edited 29 January 2023     to main Menu