AttestedMediomano at position 81 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Probably the Tomen-y-Mur Roman fort at SH705387, on the edge of Snowdonia, inland from Harlech, because the Cosmography lists Mediomano between Lavobrinta (probably Caer Gai) and Seguntio (Caernarfon).  This location is a better candidate than the Caer Llugwy fort at SH74605725, near Betws-y-Coed on a river that flows into the Conwy.

Name Origin:  Rivet & Smith wrongly declared that -mano has no meaning, but it actually has plenty, including Latin mano ‘to flow’ (as in modern emanate).  Or it could be related to Latin maneo ‘to remain’ or mons ‘hill’ (as in Mona, Anglesey), or to Welsh maen ‘stone’ or tomen ‘heap’.

Notes:  It is hard to decide the best meaning for mano: ‘flow’ might refer to the river Dwyryd flowing out of the mountains; maybe it referred to the mountains themselves; or if it meant ‘stone’, modern Maentwrog possibly hints at a pagan religious centre.  Welsh maen seems to have meant ‘stone, especially one having some speciality or a particular use [including being] an object of worship [or] symbol of authority’.  Maen has no clear etymology, though it might be related to magnus ‘great’ or to other early-name problems that include –magus and Maia.

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Last edited 12 May 2020     To main Menu