Attested:  (1) AI iter 12 Magnis;  RC Magnis
   (2)  RC Magnis;  ND Magnis;  Inscription (lost) Magnensium

Where:  (1) the Roman town of Kenchester, Herefordshire, SO439427, a reasonably secure location thanks to the mileages in AI.
   (2) Carvoran fort on Hadrian's Wall at NY66556571

Name origin:  Locative plural of Latin magnus ‘great’. Welsh maen ‘(special) stone’ probably descends from the same root.

Notes:  Names based on the Roman usurper Magnus Maximus figure prominently in Welsh legends.  The matri magnae were attested all over the Roman Empire as a plural of the great mother goddess.  Udolph (2012) explained that many later places, such as Maidstone, or Magdeburg in Germany, or Machelen in Belgium, were early administrative centres named from PIE *magh- ‘power’.  Kenchester was the Roman neighbour (?supervisor) of the native hillfort (said to be the second biggest in Britain) at SO450446 called Credenhill.  Carvoran has no real equivalent, but there was a large native enclosure 5 km away at The Curricks, plus various relatively modern castles (Blenkinsopp, Bellister, Featherstone) that might be built on top of much older elite sites.

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: 11 March 2017