AttestedEsse at position 296 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  An island off western Scotland, possibly one of the Treshnish islands, or Ulva, or Inchkenneth, or Eorsa if the sequence Esse - Grandena - Maiona - Longis in the Cosmography's list of names does indeed follow a geographically logical, non-intersecting path across the map.    The modern name Eorsa resembles Esse.

Name Origin:  Unknown.  Latin esse ‘to be’ and similar forms in Greek meaning ‘clothed, armoured’ hardly seem suitable, but the Greek word εσσην, used for a priest of Artemis, probably originated in Indo-European Anatolia, not in Semitic Judaea, but also got used more generally to mean ‘king’.

Notes:  In Saint Columba's time, these islands were home to Christian anchorites, spiritual successors of the Jewish ascetic sect of Essenes.

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Last edited 10 March 2021     To main Menu.