Itucodon

Attested:  RC Itucodon

Where:  Somewhere in SW Scotland, possibly at Ayr, around NS3422, because RC's sequence of names here seems to be tracking up the coast towards the Clyde.

Name OriginItu- has potential translations in all the main language families, but -codon is an exact match only to Greek κωδων ‘bell’, which suggests that Greek ιτυς ‘rim of wheel or shield’ should be preferred to explain Itu-.  The huge semicircle of Irvine Bay, Ptolemy’s Ουινδογαρα κολπος, is an excellent fit to the metaphorical sense of ιτυς, but the precise situation on it of Ayr, close to its eastern limit, is hard to describe succinctly, even in English.  Maybe early sailors, who seem to have used a lot of Greek vocabulary in these waters, likened Ayr’s position to a bell-clapper attachment point, or maybe it functioned like a ‘sentry’.

Notes:  There seems to be no evidence for a Roman military presence close to Ayr, but its harbour would have been attractive to the Romans and see here for a discussion of possible Roman roads in its region.

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Last Edited: 7 August 2016