Pexa

Attested:  RC Pexa

Where:  Somewhere on the Antonine Wall, towards the east, most likely at Camelon Roman fort, NS86308097, near Falkirk, at the limit of easy navigation up the river Carron from the Forth estuary.  That area has multiple Roman camps and forts, suggesting a water-side logistics base.

Name Origin:  In Latin, pexa was short for tunica pexa, a garment of fine woollen cloth whose nap had been raised and then sheared off, derived from the past participle of pecto ‘to comb’ and/or πεκω ‘to comb, to shear’.  The word was loaned into Welsh as pais, but links with parka, fustian, and Gaelic pasg seem less likely.

Notes:  This analysis regards a site for the production and export of woollen fabrics as more likely than anything to do with Picts or that the name was miscopied from dextra ‘on the right’.  Place names based on traded commodities are two-a-penny later (Woolwich, Saltcoats, Rotherham, etc) and manufactured products even figured in early Delgovicia and Longovicium, but still a simplex name Pexa looks a bit unusual.  Camelon probably occupied the same niche as later Stirling, whose main mediaeval industry was weaving wool and which was a small inland port serving the lowland belt of Scotland.  The name Camelon looks suspiciously like Arthur's Camlann and may descend from *camulus ‘low hill’ discussed under Camulodunum and very appropriate for the local topography.

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Last Edited: 5 July 2018