Attested:  RC Lugunduno

Where:  Old Durham, likely site of a Roman fort at the crossing of the river Wear, at NZ288418, because RC lists it between Dixio (probably Cawthorn Camps) and Coganges (Chester-le-Street).

Name origin:  About Lug- see here.  Continental places named Lugdunum (at modern Lyon, Laon, Katwijk, and Mont-Lau) have been much discussed.  Lacroix (2007:157-164) noted that many other places in France whose names may descend from a similar root tend to lie in prominently visible positions near tribal boundaries.  So the Germanic parallel lugen ‘to look’ seems preferable to the Celtic parallel *Lugus, claimed to be a divine name continuous with Irish Lugh, but a sense of ‘link’ cannot be ruled out.  About dunum see here.

Notes:  Durham slightly resembles Lyon in its topography and its religious history.  Its early name forms, such as Dunholm, contain dun.

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Last edited: 2 April 2019
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