Branogenium

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,18 Βραννογενιον, a πολις of the Ορδουικες;   RC Branogenium

Where:  Probably Cefn Carnedd hill fort at SO016900, more likely than Pen y Gaer hill fort, on the edge of an area of rich agricultural land around the headwaters of the river Severn, with Caersws Roman forts down below at SO029920 near the main river confluence.

Name originBrano- in early names, such as Branodunum is a long-standing puzzle, discussed in detail here, while the element gen- probably came from PIE *genə- ‘to give birth’.  Most likely here bran is related to the words for a small stream, such as bourne or burn, from PIE *bhreuə- ‘to boil, to bubble’, which would allow Branogenium to mean ‘river beginning’, and therefore to be placed near where the river Severn is joined by the rivers Carno, Trannon and Cerist.

Notes:  R&S placed Branogenium at Leintwardine, which is clearly wrong, because Ptolemy's coordinates point further north.  Kleineberg et al. (2102) suggested the Roman fort at Caer Gai but Caersws seems more likely.  Anyway Ptolemy's πολις implies a native power centre, probably with a major hillfort, to which any Roman fort would have been a response.  The last battle of Caratacus probably took place some way east, as discussed here.

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Last Edited: 21 April 2017