Corieltauvi

Attested[ci]vitatiscorieltavvorom, from a tile graffito #itatiscoriel#auuoro# found at Churchover, Warwickshire, as read by Tomlin (1982).

Where:  Possibly a name for the Midlands tribe otherwise recorded as Coritani and thought to be centered around Leicester.

Name origin:  Three possibilities.  (1) Divide the observed graffito into civitatis cori (to match the other places called Coria) plus eltavorom (to match RC's Eltavori).  (2) Divide Corieltauvi into *coriel, a hypothetical diminutive of Latin corium ‘hide, skin, leather’ (which survives in English as the trade name currier and in French as cuir, etc), plus*tauvi, resembling Old English tawian ‘to prepare’, which led to the word taw, meaning to make skins into leather by a process not quite the same as tanning.  That would be an excellent fit to the later speciality of Leicester: shoes, wool, and textiles.  (3) Emend the observed reading to *corielitavorum, to represent the *coria (gathering place) of a hypothetical ethnic group, the *Litavi, as suggested by Coates (2012).

Notes:  Both Tomlin and Coates wrote while people believed the mistaken view of R&S that the Cosmography seriously corrupted names, and also while it was fashionable to hunt preferentially for Celtic etymologies.  If one discounts those views, possibility 1 seems best, especially if Latin horrea ‘storehouses’ is cognate with coria, since one might expect to see it on pottery.

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Last edited: 19 October 2018.   Go to main Menu