Ad Ansam

AttestedAd Ansam on iter 9 of the Antonine Itinerary and Ad Ansam on the Peutinger map, respectively 6 and 5 Roman miles from Camulodununm (Colchester).

Where:  Near Stratford St Mary, Essex.  The Lidar work of David Ratledge has defined the Roman road more precisely than Margary's road 3C, and suggests a crossing of the river Stour at about TM042334.  The distance from there to Colchester is over 6 Roman miles as the crow flies, which implies that distances were measured from well outside the city centre or even the walls.  Guessing that Ad Ansam was well south, for example at the crossing of Black Brook, would just conflict with the onward distance to Combretovium.  The mileage argument rules out the location at Higham suggested by Rivet and Smith, by the confluence of the rivers Stour and Brett at TM035352.

Name origin:  Latin for ‘at the handle’.

Notes: Why a handle?  Maybe that referred to a local configuration of rivers.  Or maybe the whole Tendring peninsula east of Colchester (whose likely coastline in Roman times is discussed here, for example) was perceived as shaped like a cup, with this site at its handle.  The Cosmography's Durcinate was close, most likely at Stratford St Mary.  The name Tendring (Domesday Tenderinge) has never been adequately explained, but it extends like Thanet and is rich in Neolithic traces, including a “hengiform monument”.

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Last edited 29 July 2021     To main Menu