Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,1 Κλωτα estuary; Tacitus Agricola Clota
RC et Sodisinā Cled Terdec
Maritime Itinerary: insula Clota in Hiverione (variant Glota); Bede Alcluith
Where: The river Clyde.
Name Origin: From PIE *kleuə- ‘to wash, to clean’, the root of words such as cloaca ‘drain’, κλυζω ‘to wash away’, κλυδων ‘rough water’, clyse (Somerset dialect) ‘sluice gate’, and probably Irish glais ‘stream’ (as in Glasgow). Clota survived into Alt Clut (the kingdom of Strathclyde around Dumbarton Rock) and modern Clyde.
Notes: RC's puzzling piece of text was interpreted by R&C as referring to a river in Ireland, but it makes best sense amended to et sodes insulae Cled terdeciens ‘and if you please islands Clyde thirteen times’. As it happens, there are indeed thirteen historically inhabited islands in the Clyde estuary: Bute, Inchmarnock, Arran, Holy Island, Great Cumbrae, Little Cumbrae, Eilean Dearg, Sanda, Pladda, Davaar, Horse Isle, Lady Isle, and Ailsa Craig.
Last Edited: 4 July 2016