Page images

In Britain:

Trinobantes.-Trisanton fl. near Southampton.

NEMO, or NEmeto.

Nemeto-briga, Tiburi in Asturia.-Nemanturissa, Spain.-Neμɛraro, Hispan. Tarracon.

In Celtic Gaul:

Nemausus Colonia, Tectosages Arecomici Nismes.-Nemeturici, in Alpibus. Plin. 3. 20.-Nemossus, or Augustonemetum, (Strab. 4.) in Arvernis,


In Belgica:

Nemetacum, Atrebates.-Nemetæ, in Belgica, near Speyer.

In Britain:

Verno-nemetum, Willoughby-on-the-Wold.


Mediolanum or Mediolanium, Insubria, in Gall, Cisalp. Milan.—Mediolanium Santonum, Xantonge, in Celtica.-Mediolanium, in Biturig. Cub.-Mediolanium, Aulerci-Eburaici.-Mediolanium, in Germania Prima.-Mediolanium Ordovicum, in North Wales. Two towns of this name in Britain, according to Baxter.-Diefenbach, 328.


Nannetes, in Britanny, Nantes.-Nantuates, Nantueil.-Nantuacum, Nantue in Burgundy.


In Britain:

Venta Belgarum, Venta Silurum, Winchester, Caerwent, in the province of Gwent. -Venta Simenorum.-(Ptol. 34.)—Norfolk.

In Gaul:

Veneti, in Armorica.—Vinduna.—Tauro-ventum, near Toulon. (Mannert, 87.) -Ventia in Allobrog. (Dio. Cass. Mannert, 93.)-Vindulum, on the Rhone. (Strabo.)-Vindomagus, in Narbonensis.

N.B. Here are cognate names in Celtic Gaul and in Britain, both Belgic and Interior.


In Spain:

Canaca, Cantabri, Concana, Contestani, Contrabia.

In Celtic Gaul:

Condate, on the Loire.-Condate, near Lyons.-Condatomagus.-Consoranni, near Toulouse, Cenomani.-Condivincum, in Britanny.-Vocontii, in Narbonensis.

In Britain:

Concanguium.-Mancunium, Manchester.-Canonium, near the Thames.-Areconium, in Herefordshire.-Urioconium, Wroxeter.-Veroconium. CAD, CAT, CASS.

Cadurci, in Celtic Gaul.-Cadurinus ager, in Venet. Frioul. hodie Il Cadorino.-Caturiges, in Gall. Narb.—Catorimagus, their city.—Catobriga, in Lusitania.

Veneliocassii, in Britanny.-Abrincatui, ditto, Avranches.--Beducasses, ditto, Bodiocasses, Bayeux.-Cassinomagus. Lemovices, G. Celt.-Vadicassii, Burgundy.-Tricassii.-Durocassium.-Peut. Tab. c. 6. Durocasses, Ant. Itin.


Caturiacum, Belgica. RIT, RID.

Augustoritum Pictonum, Poictiers.-Vago-ritum ?-Majoritum.-Aricii. RIC, RIG.

Dariorigum Venetorum, Britanny.-Caturiges, Bituriges, Celtica.-Avaricum. -Bourges.-Mediomatrici.

In Britain:



Velauni, Celtica Aquitan.-Segelauni, Gall. Narbon.—Landobris, island in Lusitania.-Aavdoria, town of the Galatian Tectosages.-Launi, Alauni, and Benlauni, in Vindelicia and Noricum.-Orolaunum.-Cassi-vellaunus, Caswallon?-Catalauni, in Gall. Belgic.--Catuvellauni, in Britain.—Alauna, Alaunum, Gall. Lugdun.-Alauna of the Damnii, in Caledonia.—Alauna, in Ordovicibus, and many others in Britain.


Lemo-vices.-Branno-vices; Avatici; Narbon. (Mannert, 83.)

In Britain:

Interior, not Belgic; Ordovices.-Gabranto-vici.


Brivates Portus, Brest.-Atrebates, in Belg.

Note. A great number of particular analogies might be added. Compare, for example, Uxella in Devonshire, and Uxellodunum in Guienne.

SECT. XI.-Results deducible from this comparison. Paragraph 1.—Unity of language throughout the Celtic and Belgic countries.

The first result to which the foregoing comparison of local names leads us is, that one language prevailed through all the countries of which we have surveyed the topographical nomenclature. The amount of evidence which the facts bring out in support of this conclusion may be estimated by referring to some analogous examples. Any person who looks over a map of ancient Palestine, or one of Egypt, in which all the local terms are marked down correctly, would find no difficulty in

recognising the Hebrew or Egyptian names wherever they appear, and in ascertaining by such a comparison the extent to which either the Israelitish race or the Egyptian people, with their respective languages, reached. If we examine a modern chart of North America, we easily perceive by the names of places where the settlements of the Anglo-Americans terminate, and where the Spanish territory begins; and a map of the United States would afford unequivocal proof, if the people and all records of their history were swept away, that they were of English origin. If any one asserted that the people of Virginia were of a different race from those of New England, a sufficient refutation would be furnished by the local terminology of the two countries. Precisely parallel is the evidence afforded by the names of places in the countries which we have surveyed that, throughout the whole extent of these countries, one mother-tongue was prevalent. This conclusion, as it must be observed, extends to the territories of the Belgic and Celtic Gauls; it comprehends in Britain the maritime parts said to have been inhabited by colonies from Belgica, as well as the interior, of which the natives are said by Cæsar to have been aborigines, and it includes all the settlements of the Gauls in Spain, Italy, Germany, Noricum, and Pannonia. We are informed by the ancient writers cited in the preceding section, that dialectic differences existed in the idioms of these nations; but these, as we have already observed, are said to have been but inconsiderable-μupòv TаρаλλαTтóνтwv-and they were, as the topographical nomenclature shows, not so strongly marked as to leave any perceptible results in the names of places and tribes. We cannot therefore admit that any diversity existed between the speech of the Belgic and the Celtic Gauls which can bear analogy to the difference between the Welsh and Irish languages. This conclusion, which we have already drawn from a consideration of what the ancient writers have said, is thus confirmed by local investigations, for the names of towns and countries, of tribes and of individuals, are often identical in Belgic and in Celtic countries; in other instances they are compounded of the same elements. In addition to numerous examples of this kind already adverted to, an attentive exa

miner will perceive the same kind of formation pervading all the local names of Gaul. As soon as we pass the border into the north of Germany, or southward into Spain or Tuscany, or in any other direction from the boundaries of the Celtic countries, a totally different character becomes apparent in the construction and in the elements of names; but one common character prevails through Belgic and Celtic Gaul.

It appears then certain as far as such a fact can be ascertained, that all these nations had one common idiom, and that the slight difference of speech which existed among them was scarcely greater than that which discovers itself when we compare one dialect of the British language with another, as the Welsh with the Cornish or Armorican; and this is the sense in which we must understand Cæsar's assertion as to the difference of speech between the Celtic and the Belgic Gauls.

Paragraph 2.-Inquiry to what modern dialect was the ancient common language of all Celtica and Belgica related.

It remains to be inquired what relations the ancient language, which we thus find to have prevailed through all the countries of the Gauls and Britons, can be discovered to bear to the presently existing idioms of the so termed Celtic nations, and whether it approached most to the Erse or the Welsh. As the decision of this question may lead to some conclusions important in regard to the history of the race, I shall state all the evidence upon the subject that I can collect; and first I shall endeavour to show how far the elements of local names above collected can be referred to Welsh or Irish etymons.

1. The syllables duro at the beginnings, and durum at the end of local terms, occur in the names of towns or places situated near rivers on the sea. We find in Welsh, dwr, i. e. dur, and duvr or duvyr, water.*-Cornish dour, Armoric dur. This is a word in common use among the Welsh.

The Irish and Gaelic word corresponding is uisge. Lhuyd and Armstrong give dobhar, dovar, as obsolete Erse words.

O'Reilly and O'Brien have dur, water, without any authority,-inserted perhaps conjecturally,-as an etymon for names of places.

2. Magus, terminating names of places. Irish and Gaëlic have māgh, a field, or plain. Maes, pronounced mās, is the same word in Welsh and Armorican.*

3. Dunum.—Dùn, according to Bede, signified a hill-fortress in the ancient British language, viz. the language of Wales and the Strathclyde Britons, and according to Clitophon it had the same meaning in the ancient Gaulish.†

In the names of places in Britain, dun and din appear to have been used indifferently one for the other: we find Londunum and Londinum. Maridunum was the old name for the modern Caer-mhyrdhin, Carmarthen; Dindryvan, the old name for Dunraven. The modern Welsh word dinas, meaning city, has doubtless the same etymon.

Dùn is explained by Irish and Gaëlic lexicographers a fortified hill, or fortress.

4. Briga.-In Irish Gaelic lexicons-O'Reilly, Armstrong, Lhuyd, &c.,-brug, brugh, and burg are marked as obsolete Irish words for a town or borough.

It may be doubted whether this term, which seems appropriated to objects foreign to the wild manners of the ancient Irish, is really an Irish word. It is more probably one borrowed from the Saxon and Danish invaders of Ireland.

In Welsh, brig means a summit or top, applied to branches, trees, twigs, hair. Bro is a country, chiefly a low and plain country. Bró, in Armorican, a country or region.

In Spain, briga occurs very frequently in the Ibero-Celtic countries, generally appropriated to towns on great rivers. So in Gaul, Amageubriga on the Arar, and Pagus Arebrigius, also on the Arar. Is this Ararbridge, as we say Axbridge? But this etymology is hardly applicable to such names as that of the Brigantes.


Ae in Welsh often denotes the omission of a guttural, as chwaer, i. e. chwa-her, or chwa-cher. Pers. khu-her, sister. So maes is probably magus.

† Aovvov kaλovσi Tòv ižéxovтa. See Armstrong's Gaëlic Dictionary, under dun. All-bhro, exiles into another country. Can this be the etymon of Allobroges? The termination broges may be from bro, which may have been originally brogh and connected with brugh in Erse. This, if an originally Celtic word, is more likely to have had the meaning appropriated to bro. But brugh, brogh are too remote from briga to furnish probable etymon.

« PreviousContinue »