Attested:  Ptolemy 2,2,11 Μαλεος (or Μαλαιος), one of 5 Εβουδαι listed with Ireland
   Adomnan Malea (3 times in Life of St Columba, see pp 128,129,167 here)

Where:  Almost certainly the Isle of Mull, around NM5732.

Name origin:  See here for a general discussion of M-vowel-L ‘protruding, sticking out or up’ in ancient names, one of which was Μαλεα, Cape Maleas, the southern tip of the Peloponnese in Greece.  The similarity in shape is strong, and even extends to both having islands with religious/mythological reputations off their tips: Iona and Kithira.

Notes:  The Ravenna Cosmography's Maiona is within manuscript-miscopying range of Latin maiora ‘greater’ (or possibly ‘add-on’) and may also refer to Mull, so maybe Greek μαλεω equated with αυξανω ‘to increase’, should not be ruled out.  See here for some general comments on Scottish island names.

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Last edited 11 May 2020     to main Menu.