AttestedVindocladia on iter 15 of the Antonine Itinerary (also Vindogladia as part of an accidental insertion in iter 12);  Bindogladia at position 38 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Poole, Dorset, at or near the modern Poole Lifting Bridge, across the narrow tidal channel that separates Poole quay on the east, from Hamworthy on the west, long thought to be where Vespasian's troops landed to begin the conquest of south-west Britain.

Name originVindo meant something like ‘valley flat’ or ‘floodplain’, as created by a winding or meandering river.  (That supersedes a previous guess that it should be translated as ‘fair, pleasant’.)  The -cladia part descends from PIE *kel-/*kla- ‘to cut’, whose many descendants include Irish clad and Welsh clawdd ‘ditch’, plus Greek κλαω ‘to break’ and Latin clades ‘destruction’.  The G seen in two spellings of this name might be due to Latin gladius ‘sword’ or gelād ‘difficult river crossing’, a later place-name element discussed at length by Gelling and Cole (2003) as possibly associated with ferries.

Notes:  Rivet & Smith suggested Badbury Rings, following Jackson in imagining that white chalk was exposed in its ditches (unlikely), to fit the belief that Vindo- was a precursor of Welsh gwynn ‘white’.  A better guess near there would be Shapwick, where there was a Roman fort at ST948023 and where a Roman road crossed the river Stour at ST93640164.  However, neither location can be reconciled with the Itinerary's mileages before and after this name.  Poole wins because it lies so perfectly on the straight line of iter 15 that stretches beyond Winchester and Alton, probably with ultimate targets of London and Colchester, but it still requires the stated mileage to Dorchester to be amended from viii to xviii, implying that the scribe who miscopied *Durnovaria into Durnonovaria immediately made a second mistake.

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Last edited 2 November 2021     To main Menu