Glevum


AttestedGlebon Colonia at position 62 in the Ravenna Cosmography;  Clevo on iter 13 of the Antonine Itinerary
   Inscriptions:  GLEV...,  GLEVI 2x,  GLEVA 2x,  RPG many times

Where:  Gloucester, around SO831185.

Name origin:  Latin gleba ‘lump of earth, clod’ hence ‘land, soil’.  Spelled glaeba mainly by Pliny.  No obvious cognates outside Baltic languages.

Notes:  Gloucester has the lowest fordable crossing of the river Severn, which makes it a twin of London = ‘lands’.  Rivet & Smith followed Jackson in linking Glevum to Welsh gloyw ‘bright, shining’ and Irish glé ‘clear, bright’, but noted his reservation that such a name is suitable for a river but not for a town.  In fact, the Severn is full of silt, especially around Gloucester.  The Cosmography appears to show Glebon and Colonia as separate words, and hence possibly as separate places, but that does not help to solve the problem of names in the Welsh Marches.

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Last edited 26 April 2020     To main Menu