Ολικανα

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,16 

Where:  Roman fort at Ilkley, West Yorkshire, SE11634789, on the banks of the river Wharfe (Verbeia), from analysis of Ptolemy's coordinates by Kleineberg, Marx, and Lelgemann (2012).

Name origin:  ‘Bendy river’, like Verbeia, the river Wharfe, which meant ‘winding’.  Initial Ol- is from PIE *el- ‘to bend, elbow, forearm’ (with vowel O as in the river Ολινα = Orne), plus adjectival -ic, plus watery ending -ana.

Notes:  This analysis outranks the parallel of Greek ολεκω ‘to ruin, destroy, kill’, which would fit archaeological evidence suggests the fort was twice destroyed by fire.  (Many roots of form el- or ol- always need to be considered in old names.)

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Last Edited: 4 September 2017