Cantaventi

Attested:  RC Cantaventi, Cantiventi, or Cantanenti, depending on how one reads difficult handwriting, illustrated here.

Where:  Probably the same as AI's Clanoventa and ND's Glannibanta, near Ambleside at the head of lake Windermere.  RC lists this name between Medibogdo and Iuliocenon.

Name Origin:  A Latin speaker would analyse this name as ‘singing winds’, but that is hard to fit to a place.  It seems best to accept the analysis pioneered by Celtic scholars (even though they wanted to assign this name to a different place).  Venta ‘gathering place’ shows up in several early names, while Canta- probably descended from PIE *kantho, ‘curve, angle, corner’, which is close in meaning to *Glano- ‘bank’, discussed under Giano.  It has been argued that Cantium (Kent) was originally a Celtic word, but Greek κανθος ‘corner of eye, rim of wheel’, from which descended Latin canthus ‘iron wheel rim’, was in use way too early (Aristotle, Homer, etc).  So the word probably descended in multiple language families, leading to the Vulgar Latin *cantia ‘edge’ that R&S mentioned as an explanation for Canza, and to Germanic kant ‘edge’, English cantle, etc.   The later name Kent (and similar) often turns up at sites associated with river harbours that may have had Roman roots, for which Cunetio is the archetype, but there are lots of confusions from words like canal.

Notes:  It was tempting to argue for a site near the head of Morecambe Bay, where the Cartmel Peninsula separates two inflowing river systems: to the east is the Kent (plus its tributaries, notably the Bela), leading to Medibogdo Roman fort near Kendal, and to the west is the Leven (plus its tributaries, notably the Crake), leading to Lake Windermere, with Clanoventa Roman fort at its head.  However, no Roman site is known in that area, though a naval base might have been logical.  Megalithic remains, to fit the idea of a Venta tribal assembly area, occur on the western (Furness) side of the Bay mainly in the Birkrigg-Bardsea area, and on the eastern (Lancaster) side mainly around Carnforth, with the Warton Crag hillfort noteworthy.  RC's harbour-estuary Coantia was somewhere in this area, too.

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Ladst Edited: 17 September 2017