Βουλλαιον

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,24 Βουλλαιον (also spelled Βουλλεον), a πολις of the Σιλυρες.

Where:  Ptolemy’s coordinates map somewhere near Usk, South Wales, possibly at SO378038.

Name origin:  Greek βουλειον ‘council chamber, senate’ (equivalent to Latin curia ‘court’), was one of a large cluster of words derived from a basic sense of deliberation to find the βουλη ‘will’ of the gods.  No convincing Celtic alternative has been offered.

Notes:  The Romans often established forts close to major political centres of indigenous people, hence perhaps their early big fort at Usk (Burrium) and the large marching camp at Llancayo Farm.  There are several candidates to be Βουλλαιον, including Gaer-fawr hillfort at ST441988, but perhaps the best candidate is Lllancayo Camp hillfort at SO378038, where there was “a Roman temple complex on the possible site on an earlier Iron Age shrine” and a Bronze-Age barrow cemetery.  If the βουλειον analysis is correct, this implies that the Silures gathered for tribal moots, which had deep roots in British and European prehistory, as discussed at length by Allcroft (1927).  At Athens, the βουλειον was presided over by a πρυτανις, curiously similar to names like Πρεττανικη thought to be precursors of Britannia.

Standard terms of use: You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last Edited: 12 August 2016