Caesaromagus

AttestedCaesaromago on iter 5 and Cesaromago on iter 9 of the Antonine Itinerary; Cesaromago at position 98 of the Ravenna Cosmography; Baromaci on the Peutinger map

WhereChelmsford, Essex, around TL709062.

Name OriginCaesar- is obviously Roman, while -magus became a common place-name element across the Empire whose exact significance is disputed.  Celtic words such as Gaelic machair ‘grassy plain’ are often cited to suggest a market place developing on open land, but more likely *magus meant something like ‘power place, administrative centre’, from PIE *magh- ‘to have power’.  See Udolph (2012:45-8) for how this element developed in areas around the North Sea and led to names such as Magdeburg.  See also Magis about a possible development of Latin magis ‘platter’ towards ‘town square’.

NotesCaesaromagus began as a Roman fort established close to the tribal centre of the powerful Trinobantes and had a twin on the Continent at modern Beauvais, in territory of the powerful Belgic tribe the Bellovaci.

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Last edited 17 April 2020     To main Menu