AttestedBremia at position 54 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Possibly the small Roman fort at Pen-y-Gaer, SO168219, near Llangynidr, on the Roman road by the river Usk from Abergavenny to Brecon, at the edge of relatively wild country in the Brecon Beacons.  Several names around Bremia in the Cosmography have rather uncertain locations too.

Name originBrem- here (as also at Bremetenacum, Bremenium, and modern Bremen in Germany) seems most likely to come from PIE *bhrem- ‘brim, edge’.  The other *bhrem- ‘to growl’ is also possible, through the Homeric meaning of βρεμω ‘to make the noise of clashing arms’, which could fit a site of fighting.

Notes:  The Roman fort at Llanio, near Llandewi Brefi, has been suggested, upon the theory that Brem- in early names was related to Welsh brefu ‘to bray, to bleat’, related (by M/F consonant mutation) to the other meaning of βρεμω ‘to roar like an animal’, and appropriate to a river that is “turbulent and impetuous”, as Watson (1926) described the river Breamhainn/Braan in Scotland.  Unfortunately the meandering river Teifi by the fort at Llanio, and its tributary the river Brefi a mile away, are fairly peaceful.

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Last edited 16 April 2020     To main Menu