Επιδιοι

Attested:     (1) Ptolemy 2,2,11 Επιδιον, one of 5 islands called Εβουδαι
   (2) Ptolemy 2,3,1 Επιδιον ακρον;  (3) Ptolemy 2, 3,11 Επιδιοι people by Επιδιον ακρον.

Where:  Presumably the Επιδιοι lived throughout Kintyre, with their ακρον ‘promontory’ at the Mull of Kintyre, whose southern tip is near NR618059. 

Name Origin:  Early names beginning with Ep- make many scholars think of horses, with particular attention paid to a goddess Epona, and to Welsh ebol ‘foal’.  However, there are huge problems with that logic, in terms of zoology, ethnography, and archaeology.  There is no obvious reason why horses were specially important in Kintyre, and a Punic word for ‘sheep’ has also been suggested.  Επιδιοι is most simply explained as a compound of Greek επι ‘upon’ plus δυο ‘two’ or δια ‘through’, which would be an appropriate description of Gaelic people living on both sides of the North Channel.

Notes:  It is conventional to date the entry of Gaels into Scotland afterAD 300, when Scotti raiders started becoming troublesome, but extensive maritime contacts across the North Channel to Ireland must date back earlier in much the same way as contacts across the English Channel between Britain and France.  See also about Ebio in RC.

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Last Edited:31 August 2016