Maglona

Attested:  ND Magloue, Maglone (or Magloue) where the Praefectus numeri Solentium was based.

Where:  Probably the Roman fort and settlement at Wigton, Cumbria, at Old Carlisle Farm, NY260465.  See photo here.

Name origin:  Maglo- is well attested as a component of ancient personal names in Britain, and probably meant ‘great’, like its cognates Greek μεγαλο-, English mickle, etc, from PIE *meg- ‘great’, with an adjective suffix similar to –le in English.  Delamarre (2003:212) translated *maglos as Gaulish for ‘prince’, because of Old Irish mál ‘chief’, so maybe Maglona was the power base of a local chief.  However, if this location and name spelling are correct, the –ona ending suggests a river.  Modern Wiza Beck next to the fort cannot justify a name ‘great river’, but in Roman times the whole Moricambe estuary, fed by the rivers Wampool and Waver, was probably much bigger.  In particular, the huge flat area now called Wedholme Flow was probably open water or marsh (before the effects of siltation, isostatic rebound, raised bog growth, and human embankments) reaching almost to Wigton.

NotesMaglocunus, one of the local rulers criticised by Gildas (who was probably Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd around the same dates as Arthur) may have had his power base on the Dyfi estuary in north Wales.  Presumably that explains a suggestion that the fort at Cefn-Caer Farm was another Maglona.

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Last Edited: 12 December 2016