Axium

AttestedAxium, a river in RC's tour of harbour estuaries.

Where:  Probably the River Exe, leading to the legionary fort at Exeter.  Possibly the river Axe leading to the Woodbury Farm fort near Axminster.  Either could fit this point in RC’s tour of harbour estuaries; both appear to have had other names.

Name Origin:  The usual explanation of Exe is that it descended from Isca by SK/KS metathesis.  However the river Αξιος (modern Vardar) in Macedonia is just one of many bodies of water, such as the Black Sea, whose names are thought to mean ‘dark coloured’, descended from an ancient PIE root typified by Iranian axšaēna-, which got reinterpreted since at least 462 BC as Greek for ‘not shining’ (negative of PIE *skai- ‘to gleam’).

Notes:  The Axe seems to have been called Alauna.   Its estuary was altogether smaller than the Exe.

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Last Edited: 2 August 2016