Congavata

AttestedCongavata in the Notitia Dignitatum;  COGGABATA on the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan

WhereDrumburgh Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall at NY26475987 sits on a low hill on the south side of the river Solway, guarding one end of what is now called Sandy Wath, where until quite recently people and animals regularly waded across the estuary at low tide.

Name origin:  Latin for ‘eel wades’, compounded from conger ‘eel’, from Greek γογγρος (from “pre-Greek”) and the source of English conger, plus vadum ‘ford’, related to English wade, and the Norse-derived local word wath.  Note the Greek-looking GG in COGGABATA.

Notes:  Pliny wrote about eels (book 9, parts 36 and 37), distinguishing congers from morays.  Eel numbers have declined recently, but they used to be extremely common around the Solway.  Rivet & Smith amended the name to Concavata, prompting lots of (ultimately unprofitable) thoughts about concavities and conch shells (and indigo dyes), plus their precursors in classical languages, and congius ‘gallon’, Κονκανα (Ptolemy 2,6,51) in Spain, the Konkani tribe around Goa, India, and even the Γαγγανοι in Ireland.

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