Attested: Ravenna Cosmography Maiona
Where: An island off west Scotland, probably Iona, if the sequence Esse - Grandena - Maiona - Longis in the Cosmography's list of names does indeed follow a geographically logical, non-intersecting path across the map.
Name origin: Maiona resembles Latin maiora ‘greater, larger’ (neuter plural). This would make Iona analogous with Maia further south at Bowness-on-Solway, as the local centre of power, indigenous and/or briefly Roman, for communities of the inner Hebrides united by sea travel. Compare the Roman legal concept of imperium maius ‘local commander-in-chief’, best known from powers given to Pompey to stamp out piracy in the eastern Mediterranean.
Notes: This analysis rejects any link to Greek μαιον ‘ptarmigan’ or to the islands called Mona etc, or to Irish móin ‘peat’, the base of Gaelic maonag ‘bog-berry’. The Isle of Mull was probably the Cosmography's Grandena and Ptolemy's and Adomnan's Malea.
You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as www.romaneranames.uk, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited: 2 October 2018