Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,28 Νοιομαγος, a πολις of the Ρηγνοι.

WhereHardham Camp, at TQ031174 near Pulborough.  This rectangular enclosed settlement on Stane Street was near a junction of several Roman roads and the tidal limit of the river Arun, formed from three main tributaries, hence the name Τρισαντωνος.

Name Origin:  Νοιο- might represent *novio- with Greek-style loss of a W sound and be derived from Latin novus ‘new’, but this location, at the apex of an estuary, may be a better fit to the ancient north-west-European word that led to nub/knob/nave/navel.  Possibly better still is the very ancient (pre-Indo-European) word for ‘nut’, like Latin nux and Irish cnú, which would suit this location at the edge of the Weald.  Μαγος/magus is a common element in Roman place names, whose core meaning may be close to ‘flat place’‘, like a platter, developing perhaps to ‘marketplace’, but probably most often to ‘farmland’.  It may be related to, and is certainly confusable with, Latin magnus ‘great’.  Discussed also under Magis, Caesaromagus, etc.

Notes:  Pulborough is an excellent fit to Ptolemy's latitude/longitude coordinates, better than Chichester (whose claim to be a Roman civitas capital is weak), or Fishbourne (with its opulent villa/palace), or Hayling Island (prosperous in Roman times from its good farmland), or Selsey and the Manhood peninsula (nub-shaped with the Nab Tower offshore).  Nearby modern names Nuthurst and Nutbourne reference nut trees, which could be the dominant food source in some environments; think pig food as much as hazel nuts.  Also note the importance of the junction of Roman roads and of rivers.
  In Roman times the river Arun probably had a much larger estuary than one might think today, hence the name Leucomagno and Ptolemy's specific mention of the river, which offered the main route from the sea to the inland resources, notably iron, of the Weald.
  Noviomagus was a common name throughout the Roman Empire.  France alone has 3 definite and 12 probable instances, while Noviomagus (Nijmegen) had links to Britain through the Batavians.  Much nonsense has been written about the two instances of Noviomag[n]us in Britain; their most likely locations are in fact at Croydon and Old Sarum.  Ptolemy himself may have been confused, judging by his comment (introduction 1,15,7) about the work of Marinus of Tyre, that ‘having said that Noviomagus is 59 miles further south than Londinium, he then shows it further north in latitude’.  To add further confusion, the Cosmography mentions Navimago regentium (probably Fishbourne) and Novia (probably Pevensey), and Ptolemy mentions Νοουιου river mouth (probably the same as the Cosmography's Novitia), all around the Solway Firth.
  Names in this whole area have long confused investigators.  This website's map of the area around the Solent is an advance on what Rivet and Smith could do in 1979, but is already obviously overdue for revision.  Watch this space!

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