Κοριτανοι

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,20 Κοριτανοι, a tribe with 2 πολεις at Lincoln and Leicester.

Where:  In the English east Midlands, judging by the settlements mentioned by Ptolemy.

Name origin:  Greek χωριτης ‘rural’, as befits people whom Wikipedia describes as “a largely agricultural people who had few strongly defended sites or signs of centralised government”.  The -tani part parallels the Latin names of at least 15 other ancient peoples; it may be just a banal adjectival ending, but it may also derive from PIE *ten- ‘to extend’.  Ptolemy's spelling appears to be based on a Latin version without going back to its Greek origin.

Notes:  This analysis rejects a previous guess relating this name to the three places called Coria, where the Cori- part naturally suggests Latin curia ‘court, tribal assembly’, more than *koro- ‘war, war-band’, and/or Latin coria ‘hides, leather’ Tribal gathering places have been hugely important across the millennia, leaving traces in language and proper names, as well as in archaeology.  Two volumes by Allcroft explain a lot about words similar to cori-.  See also about Coritiotar.  Coin specialists tend to (incorrectly) name these people Corieltauvi ever since a 1982 article written by Tomlin, labouring under the totally false impression that the Cosmographer listed names “carelessly and somewhat unsystematically”.

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Last edited: 15 October 2018