Duro- was a common place-name element in early Britain. See the following names individually for their observed spellings and for evidence about their locations, as distinct from the over-simplified forms and locations shown here:
Δουροτριγες Dorset people
Duroviguto Baylham Farm
Durcinate Stratford St Mary
Bdora Sandy Wath
It also occurred in relatively Germanic regions on the Continent. Examples include:
in Belgica at Durocatalaunum (Châlons-en-Champagne), Durocortorum (Reims), Duroicoregum (Domqueur), Duronum
(Etroeungt), and Durocassium (Dreux);
beside the Danube at Durostorum (Silistra) and Βοιόδουρον
(Passau); and in the Alps at Durotincum (Villar d'Arâne).
Endlicher's Glossary of “Gaulish” translated Doro as Latin
Osteo ‘entrance’, possibly based on a document from the AD 500s that glossed isarnodori (referring to modern Izernore near Geneva) with Latin ferrei ostii ‘iron gates’.
Duro- came from PIE *dhwer- ‘door’, which is cognate with forum, also originally something one passes through. Words meaning ‘through’ (German durch, Dutch door, etc) are attributed to a different PIE root, but that is debatable. The bad old idea that duro- meant ‘fort’, related to Latin duro ‘to make hard’, is still sometimes repeated, but now it is rationalized on the basis that forts had gates and/or markets!
The common geographical feature of all duro- places in Britain is a crossing, generally over water. Durocobrivis (Dunstable) is
interesting, because the Roman road there runs on dry land between (hence presumably the -co- part) two edges (brims or brinks, the brivis part). *Durotincum was on a Roman road that is now the very scenic D1091 through mountains in south-east France, with just lots of small mountain streams to cross. The name durotincio on an inscription has led to a suggestion that that there was another *Durotincum near Limoges. Celtic scholars cannot explain the element tinc-, perhaps through unwillingness to consider the very Germanic ting ‘popular assembly’.
Now here is a list of ancient place names ending in -durum (or similar). Rivet (1980:14) listed altogether 39 such names, but some of them are very doubtful, and only some are included here.
*Albiodurum Augers-en-Brie northern France
Augustodurum Bayeux Normandy
Autessiodurum Auxerre (in Celtica)
Batavodurum Nijmegen Netherlands
Boiodurum Passau-Innstadt Inn x Danube
Breviodurum Brionne Normandy
Brivodurum Briare central France
Divodurum Metz NE France + same name at Jouarre etc?
Epamanduodurum Mandeure river Doubs near F/CH border
Ernodurum Saint-Ambroix-sur-Arnon Central France
Ibliodurum Ville-sur-Yron? Belgica
Iciodorum Yzeure central France
Ictodurus La Batie Neuve Alps
Ilduro near Mataro Spain
*Isarnodurum Izernore eastern France
Lactodurum Towcester Watling Street x river Tove
Nemetodurum Nanterre near Paris
Octodurus Martigny Switzerland lookout (Oc-) on the Rhone
Oktodouron ?=Ocelodurum ?=Zamora Spain
Salodurum Solothurn Switzerland, on the Aare
Sorviodurum Straubing Bavaria vulnerable to floods
*Turnodurum Tonnerre France
Teudorum Tüddern Dutch/German border compare touta/Deutsch
*Venaxamodurum Neuburg an der Donau Bavaria
Vetatodurum Vellerot-les-Belvoir Burgundy
Vitudurum near Winterthur Switzerland
An outlier beside the Euphrates at Dura-Europos probably embodies a Semitic root dur ‘to dwell, to move in a circle, to heap up’. Sallust mentioned people called Mutudurei during Pompey's campaign in Spain.
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