Corinium

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,25 Κορινιον (or Κοριννιον), a πολις of the Δοβουνοι;    RC Cironium Dobuno;

WhereCirencester, Gloucestershire, around SP025017, which was briefly important militarily as a hinge point of the Fosse Way, where it crossed the river Churn and was intersected by the road from Silchester to Gloucester (known as Ermine Way), before settling down to be a prosperous Roman market town.

Name origin:  The name survives in modern Cirencester and its river Churn.  Maybe the Churn was originally a *coronavis, as discussed under Durocornovium; or maybe it was like the rivers Carron, which Nicolaisen (2001:241-2) would derive from PIE *kar-/*ker- ‘hard’; or maybe there was a tribal assembly place, as discussed under Coria and by Allcroft.  Possibly the best parallel is just the word corn.  OE corn came from PIE *ger-, which developed to *grə-no and hence to words like grain, but also to OE kyrin ‘churn’ and kyrnel ‘kernel’, plus Dutch koren.  All these spellings may help to explain the evolution of vowels in Churn (Cyrnea in about AD 800), plus Cerne and Churnet, which puzzled Ekwall (1928:78-9)  Compare also OE hyrne ‘little horn, corner’.  Cirencester is in rich arable farming country.

Notes:  AI's iter 13 missed out one line around Cirencester, suggesting that an ancient scribe found two similar names, referring to two consecutive river crossings, as puzzling as any modern analyst.  Ptolemy mentioned another Κορινιον at modern Donji Karin in Croatia.

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Last Edited: 2 March 2017