Noviomagus

Attested:  (1) Ptolemy 2,3,28 Νοιομαγος, a πολις of the Ρηγνοι.
    (2) Ptolemy 1,15,7 Νοιομαγον.
    (3) probably not RC Navimago regentium.
    (4) RC Noviomagno.
    (5) AI iter 2 Noviomago.

Where:  (1) Chichester Roman civitas capital at SU854044.
(2)   Ptolemy commented about the work of Marinus of Tyre, that “having said that Noviomagus is 59 miles further south than Londinium, he then shows it further north in latitude”.  Although this exemplifies the uncertainty about Ptolemy's map coordinates, it has been generally accepted that both 1 and 2 refer to Chichester.
(3)   The assumption that this name also belongs to Chichester is highly questionable.
(4)   This name too is highly unlikely to belong to Chichester.  Old Sarum hillfort at SU 13773267 (often misdescribed as *Sorviodunum) is more likely.
(5)  This site is neither Chichester, nor Crayford as often mistakenly suggested, but the West Wickham Roman settlement (Cook and McCarthy 1933; Philp 2002), south of London by the source of the river Ravensbourne, at about TQ379649, located by AI's mileage figures.

Name OriginNoviomagus was a common name throughout the Roman Empire.  France alone has 3 definite and 12 probable instances.  The Novio- part naturally means ‘new’, but is confusable with *navis ‘river, while the -magus part naturally meant something like ‘power place, administrative centre’, from PIE *magh- ‘to have power’.

Notes:  Notice also Novia somewhere nearby, possibly at Newhaven.  TP's name fragment MADUS was probably not one of these places.  See Caesaromagus for more discussion of -magus.

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