Sandonium

Attested:  RC Sandonio

Where:  The Roman legionary works depot and possible fort near Holt at SJ406546, beside the river Dee, upstream of the big fortress at Chester.  Listed by RC between Mediolano

Name origin:  Latin sandix from σανδυξ (Pb3O4) and sandaracha from σανδαρακη (AsS) were red pigments sometimes translated as vermilion (HgS).  At this site sand- refers to the characteristically red/orange colour of the tiles and pottery produced by the kilns serving the legion.  It was tempting to invoke lead, mined a little to the west in Wales, but (despite the ancients’ fascination with heavy metal poisons) the redness of fired clay, even in highly valued Samian ware is largely due to iron.

Notes:  R&S guessed that this site was Bovium, but that name belongs a few miles away at Tilston.  No viable Celtic etymology has been suggested.

Standard terms of use: You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last Edited: 28 April 2016