Attested: Notitia Dignitatum Anderidos or Anderitos
Ravenna Cosmography 68 Anderelio nuba. All 3 manuscriptss definitely spell that name with an L, not a T or D, and 2 put a space in front of nuba.
Probably Andredesceaster in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for AD 491.
Where: The Saxon Shore fort at Pevensey, Sussex, TQ64440477. For how Pevensey Lagoon may have looked in Roman times, before it silted up, see this video presentation or a flood risk map. The fort sat at the east end of a peninsula extending from the west side of a huge marshy bay.
Name origin: This name is regularly misquoted as Anderitum, to fit the preconception that it is a Celtic compound of *ande- ‘great’ and *ritu ‘ford’. However, Germanic offers the best parallels to fit Anderidos geographically. The first element might be OE and- or Gothic anda- etc, related to Latin ante ‘before, beside, against’, related to the word end. For the second element it seems best to guess that a precursor of OE rithe ‘small stream, creek’ and of ried ‘meadows liable to flooding’ and of OE hreot ‘reed’ described the marshland into which the fort projected. Many words that begin with R refer to flowing water (run, rill, Rhine, river, etc), descending from a root *reiə- from PIE er-. Note too the -os ending, like a Latin accusative plural.
Notes: There is an exact parallel in Anderitum at Javols in south-central France, where archaeology, written up in detail here shows how a tribal capital was built into the valley of the small river Triboulin. That river was diverted, with monumental stone banks, before AD 50, into a new channel to create more space for a Romanised city. The excavators could not identify a ford (and certainly not a “great ford”) across the river there, and guessed that where carts needed to cross that river, a bridge was more likely. See about Novia as a possible variant of nuba. Thanks to Mike Haseler for working out how the previous analysis here was inadequate.
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Last edited: 18 October 2019 Back to main menu