Attested: Anicetis at position 35 in the Ravenna Cosmography
Where: Possibly Wells, Somerset, where a late-Roman mausoleum existed next to the later cathedral, at about ST552459. See the general discussion of ancient names in Somerset here.
Name Origin: From Greek ανικητος‘undefeated’ (=invictus). Anicetus became a common personal name, which was borne around AD 60 by two individuals mentioned by Tacitus, one a freedman one an admiral. It shows up on many inscriptions from across the Empire, including four from Britain, of which one at Bath, mentioned Q Pompeius Anicetus, whose similarity to Abascantus ‘secure against enchantments’ on a Roman lead ingot prompted Applebaum (1954) to guess he was a mining contractor active in the Mendips. Another Anicetus was bishop of Rome in the AD 160s. Drawing all these strands together suggests a Roman Christian villa owner was the ultimate founder of Wells cathedral.
Notes: This idea is far from certain, but it outranks previous guesses such as Cadbury Castle or Annis Hill.
You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as www.romaneranames.uk, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited 15 April 2020 To main Menu