Coria

Attested:  (1) Ptolemy 2,3,9 Κορια, a πολις of the Δαμνονιοι
   (2) Ptolemy 2,3,10 Κο(υ)ρια, a πολις of the Ωταδινοι
   (3) Ravenna Cosmography Corie at position 142;  Vindolanda tablets 154,175,266,312  Coris

Where:  (1) Possibly in the vicinity of Hamilton Mote Hill, NS727566, near the upper river Clyde, south-east of Glasgow.  This was a tribal assembly point, first documented around AD 1000, with the Bothwellhaugh Roman fort a discreet distance away at NS73105775.  Marx (2013) declined to suggest a location, but nearby sites mentioned by Ptolemy suggest where to look.  The Roman fort on Barochan Hill at NS41486906, suggested by Rivet & Smith, seems much less likely.
(2) Probably the hillfort on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, at NT276728, as the πολις shadowed by Inveresk Roman fort (as suggested by Rivet & Smith), but not Borthwick Castle suggested by Marx (2013).
(3) Corbridge Roman fort and supply base at NY982648, a little way south of Hadrian's Wall.  The name Coria suggests a pre-Roman, indigenous power centre, for which Shildon hill-fort is perhaps the strongest candidate.  Presumably the focus of this area moved to the town that developed by the lowest fordable place on the river Tyne, when the Romans took control and the army passed through on their way up Dere Street into Scotland.  The area would have developed much more when Hadrian's Wall was built and during later campaigns into Scotland, notably under Severus.  See under Corstopitum for a map of this neigbourhood.

Name Origin:  Latin curia ‘court, tribal assembly’, to fit Ptolemy's πολις, which would mean a city around the Mediterranean.  Possibly influenced by Greek χωρια ‘places’, or χωρις ‘apart’, or χωρα ‘landed estate’, and/or Latin coria ‘hides, leather’.

Notes:  The Cosmography's Corie is clearly separated from the following name Lopocarium in all three manuscripts, though one omits the full stop that generally separates names.  So Richmond & Crawford had no good reason to report a composite name **Corielopocarium.  Rivet & Smith set out some of the issues involved (from a Celtic perspective), but for a much wider discussion of all the circle-words that led to church, curia, crug, etc applied to mounds, see Allcroft, and about Cor- names generally see here.  Old English gor ‘dung, dirt’ shows up in later place names, but it seems unlikely that the river Tyne at Corbridge was disgustingly muddy.

You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as www.romaneranames.uk, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.     Last edited 21 May 2020     to main Menu