Durovernum Cantiacorum

Attested:   AI iter 2 Duroruerno, iter 3 Durarueno, iter 4 Duraruenno;
   RC Duroaverno Cantiacorum;   Ptolemy 2,3,27 Δαρουερνον;   Peutinger  Duroaverus

Where:  Canterbury, Kent, around TR1558.

Name origin:  The old Celtic explanation as ‘fort on the alder swamp’ is unsatisfactory.  Duro ‘crossing’ plus an ancestor of fare ‘to travel’ fits Canterbury’s situation as a pass-through place or the ‘crossroads of Kent’.

Notes:  Relating Durovernum to Dutch doorvaren, German durchfahren, and English thoroughfare makes some linguists unhappy, because through and door are usually analysed as coming from separate PIE roots, and because it implies that some kind of Germanic speech was used in Kent early in Roman times.

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Last Edited: 25 July 2016