Attested: Bannio at position 53 in the Ravenna Cosmography, but 2 of the 3 mss show Bănio that may imply Bamnio
Where: Probably Caerphilly Roman fort at ST153872, because it comes first in the Cosmography list of names after Isca (Caerleon). Another possibility is that a Roman camp or fort underlies the medieval castle at ST363973, whose name has many spellings including Llangibby and Tregrug.
Name origin: The element Bann- in place names is a difficult problem, discussed here and also under Gobannium. Most likely it had a sense of “legal proclamation” in hostile territory. In the 1800s Welsh dictionaries translated ban as ‘prominent, conspicuous’, whereas more modern dictionaries have shifted to a “pointed” sense, with ‘horn’ offered as the first translation.
Notes: Bannio was not the same as Gobannio. The lead/silver mines in the Risca-Machen-Draethen area would have been of great interest to the Romans, and Bann- there might refer to craftsmen.
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Last edited 29 July 2023 to main Menu