Attested: Alabum at position 55 in the Ravenna Cosmography
Where: Probably Brecon Gaer Roman fort, where the river Ysgir enters the Usk.
Name origin: Initial *al- is common in early river names, notably Alauna, with no certain translation. One possibility is ‘nourishing’, but ‘fish’ may be better because of words like eel, possibly related to PIE *albho- ‘white’. If the second element was just like PIE *ap- ‘water’, that would make Alabum ‘fish water’.
Notes: Occupants of riverside houses there can watch salmon and trout swimming towards their premier spawning grounds in southern Britain. Various Welsh possibilities were floated by Richmond & Crawford and by Breeze (2002), and Rivet & Smith offered a weak guess of Llandovery for its location.
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Last edited 15 April 2020 To main Menu