Corionototae

Attested:  CORIONOTOTAE on a stone Inscription.

Where:  Found at Hexham Abbey, near Hadrian’s Wall, the inscription mentioned caesa corionototarum manu ‘after slaughtering a band of corionototae’.

Name origin:  Latin corium ‘skin’ plus noto ‘to mark’.  Compare fronte notatus ‘marked on the face’ in Martial 3,21.  The tribe (represented by the element tot) led by *Korionos invoked by R&S is not credible.

Notes:  Presumably this was a term of abuse, rather like brittunculi, by which Roman soldiers referred to some local bandits or cattle rustlers (who were perhaps Picts) as ‘tattooed savages’.  The idea that native people could voluntarily become heavily decorated horrified Romans, for whom tattoos were either very discreet (on soldiers) or downright punitive (on runaway slaves or thieves).

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Last Edited: 14 August 2016