Moridunum

Attested:  AI iter 15 Moriduno;  RC Moriduno;   Peutinger Ridumo

Where:  R&S suggested Sidford, which fits the distance of 15 miles from Exeter in both AI and Peutinger along the likely course of the Roman road.  No significant Roman traces have been found there, but Sidbury Castle hillfort, at SY129913, dominates the crossing of the river Sid.  This location outranks Gittisham Roman fort at SY13259930 beside the river Otter, near Honiton, which would fit the mileages almost as well.  The Hembury hill-fort at ST112031, or Sidmouth, on the coast, are much less likely locations.

Name origin:  About -dunum ‘fortified low hill’ see here.  It is often argued that *mor- was Celtic for ‘sea’, but most ancient place names derived from PIE *mori- map near inland water – marshes and lakes.  Presumably the valley of the river Sid was seriously marshy in Roman times.

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Last edited: 11 April 2019
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