Tincomarus

Attested:  TINCOMARVS on a coin found at Alton, Hampshire, seems to be the correct full version of a name variously seen as TINC, TINCOM, etc on many other coins (helpfully listed here), which were previously guessed to be short for **Tincommius, as discussed in detail here.  The Res Gestae Divi Augusti inscription mentions a fragmentary name TIN... of a British king that may refer to this man also.

Where:  The distribution of coin finds suggests a mint at Calleva (Silchester).  It is usually inferred that Tincomarus was an Atrebatic ruler, of the dynasty of Commius, linked with Rome some time before AD 14.

Name originTinco- probably represents žing ‘assembly, moot’.  Maro- ‘great’ “is one of the commonest name elements in Gaulish, particularly in personal names” (Evans, 1967:223-8; Delamarre, 2003:217-8).  Both elements were pan-European but used most strongly in Germanic contexts: early parallels include Mars Thincsus and king Chlodomer.  How these two elements fit together grammatically has been much discussed, often using Sanskrit terms such as tatpurusha.  Coates (2011) described Tincomarus as “one of the earliest recorded names formulated in Germanic”.

Notes:  If Tincomarus meant literally ‘thing-mayor’, what power did he have in the assembly?  Was he like a modern Speaker or a Prime Minister?  How far was his name a title?  And how far had top-man name endings such as -marus and -rix slipped into being mere suffixes that any commoner could use?  Late Latin tinca ‘small fish, tench’ and nightmare are red herrings, hard to imagine contributing to a king's name.  Tincomara was a woman in Pannonia (modern Austria).

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Last Edited: 27 July 2017