Longovicium

Attested:  ND Longovicio, where the Praefectus numeri Longoviciarorum was based.

Where:  Probably not at Lanchester, which was Lincovigla.  ND lists Longovicio next to Derventione among names that are easier to explain in or near Cumbria, rather than in north-east England.  Several estuaries on the Cumbrian coast have an early modern history of shipbuilding and it would would make good sense if they had Roman precursors.  Among several possibilities, perhaps the strongest candidate is the Roman fort at NY00363004 near Workington, known as Burrow Walls.

Name originNavis longa ‘long ship’ was the usual Roman name for a warship, often abbreviated to plain longa, as for example when Aulus Gellius enumerated differents types of ship known to Romans, while vicus meant ‘Romanised settlement’.  So a natural translation of Longovicium is something like ‘warship-building community’.  R&S were aware that Celtic words for ‘ship’ such as Welsh llong, came from Latin, but were led astray by thinking that Longovicium was at Lanchester.

Notes:  ...OHORT T AEL CLASS mentioned on an inscription found at Ravenglass shows that the Roman navy was active on the Cumbrian coast.  Notice the local-place-based name of ND's military unit, discussed here.  Manuscript readings in -arorum (which editors emend to -anorum) may echo all the Latin words ending in -arius for ships' crew and parts of ships.  An argument in favour of Lanchester was the word L⚬N on an inscription found there, but in favour of Burrow Walls is the word SLAN seen on a stone found there inscription, in which S maybe stood for societas ‘partnership, company’.  See here for a general discussion of ND's troublesome names.

Standard terms of use:You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last Edited: 13 December 2016