Bannio

Attested:  RC Bannio, but 2 of the 3 mss show Bănio that may imply Bamnio

Where:  Uncertain.  Bannio is listed by RC after Isca (Caerleon) and followed by three uncertainly located names Bremia, Alabum, and Cicutio, which ultimately end up north at Magnis (probably Kenchester) and then Gloucester.  Possible locations include: (1) Abergavenny Roman fort, amending the name to Gobannio; (2) Twyn-y-Briddallt camp, amending the name to be AI's Bomio; (3) Gelligaer Roman fort, on the grounds that it was a day's march out of Caerleon; (4) Caerphilly Roman fort, also a day's march from Caerleon; (5) Caerau hill-fort in Cardiff.

Name origin:  The element Bann- in place names is an unresolved problem, discussed here and also under Gobannium.

Notes:  By a small margin it seems better to guess that RC's list of names heads south from Caerleon, so that Bannium was not the same as Gobannium.  The lead/silver mines in the Risca-Machen-Draethen area would have been of great interest to the Romans.  Bann- there might refer to craftsmen, or it might have the ‘legal proclamation’ sense, but neither possibility seems compelling.  Nearby there are multiple barrows, but no major hillfort, so maybe Caerphilly Roman fort would claim the name.  In the 1800s Welsh dictionaries translated ban as ‘prominent, conspicuous’, which would fit a flat-top hillfort (such as Caerau), whereas the more “pointed” sense in modern dictionaries, with ‘horn’ as the first translation, would not.

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Last edited: 10 February 2019
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