Attested: (1) Ptolemy 2,3,7 Νοουανται tribe with πολεις at Λουκοπιβια and Ρεριγονιον.
(2) Ptolemy 2,3,1 Νοουαντων peninsula and same-named promontory, plus another mention at 2,3,2, and a repetition by Marcian, with one spelling Νεουαντων.
Where: Rivet & Smith identified the peninsula with the Rhins of Galloway, with its northern tip around NX018736, and the promontory with the Mull of Galloway, to the south around NX156303. This may be wrong, and it seems more likely that Ptolemy's peninsula was the Mull of Galloway and his promontory was the tip of the Machars peninsula.
Name Origin: Novantae is the feminine plural of the present participle of Latin novo ‘to renew, to change, to overthrow a government’. Lewis & Short's dictionary translates Novani as ‘colonists, immigrants, new residents’ apparently on the basis of epigraphy. Novanus and Novanius were common Roman names, with just one mention of Novanti at Bath, in Britain. The obvious guess is that the Novantae were Gaelic speakers, recently arrived from Ireland.
Notes: The Isle of Whithorn at the tip of Machars is where the Candida Casa was an early Christian church, allegedly founded by Irish Saint Ninian in AD 397. See also about the rivers Νοουιου, and Novitia.
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