Cantium

Attested:  (1) Caesar  Cantium;  Strabo  Καντιον
   (2) Ptolemy  2,3,27 Καντιοι with 3 πολεις; 2,3,27 Καντιοις; RC Duroaverno Cantiacorum
   (3) Ptolemy 2,3,4  Καντιον (Νουκαντιον) ακρον;  Diodorus Siculus 5,21 ακροτηριον Καντιον ακρον

Where:  (1) Kent, (2) its people, (3) probably the South Foreland at TR360432

Name origin:  PIE *kan-tho- ‘rim, edge, corner’.

Notes:  It has been argued that this root developed from a more basic *(s)kamb- ‘to bend’ (the likely root of several early names in Camb- etc, and of the English word hump), and therefore that  Latin canthus ‘iron wheel rim’, Dutch or Norwegion kant ‘edge’, English cantle, etc, gained their T from the word being used by Celtic speakers – not convincing, because Greek κανθος ‘corner of eye, rim of wheel’ was in use way too early (Aristotle, Homer, etc).  Woolf (2018) argued that the name Hengest was invented in Kent to anglicise Latin canterius ‘gelding’ and also noted the name Cantiorix on an inscription in Wales.

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Last edited: 23 October 2018.   Back to Menu