Anderidos

Attested:  ND Anderidos or Anderitos
  RC Anderelio nuba.  All 3 mss 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.  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: 11 January 2019       Back to main menu