Maia

Attested:  MAIS on Staffordshire Moorlands Pan, Rudge Cup, and Amiens Patera
   RC Maia and Maio (2 separate mentions, an unusual repetition)

Where:  The Roman fort at Bowness, Cumbria, NY22276270, at the west end of Hadrian’s Wall, where the coast ceases to face the Solway estuary and starts curving around to face the Irish Sea.

Name origin:  Roman Maia, from Greek μαια ‘good mother, foster mother’ was the mythological goddess of nurturing.  This would be very appropriate for a location to which stores could be brought by sea to supply troops on the Wall.  Alternatively, or additionally, Maia is close to Latin maior ‘greater’, appropriate for the second-largest fort on the Wall.

Notes:  ND has a strange line where one might expect a mention of Maia: between lines for Congavata and Gabrosenti it mentions Tribunus cohortis primae Hispanorum Axeloduno.  R&S (pp220-1) reckoned this was a scribal error, prompted by Uxelodunum.  Note also the slight uncertainty in allocation of names to the next forts going south, at Kirkbride and Wigton.

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Last Edited: 11 July 2016