Σετηια

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,2 Σετηια εισχυσις.

Where:  At, or near, the Mersey estuary, whose mouth is around SJ3295.

Name origin:  This name was perhaps similar to Old Irish sith- ‘long’ (which outranks OE sid ‘wide, spacious, large’ as a parallel on this side of Britain), probably derived from PIE *sē- ‘to sow, to spread out’.

Notes:  A sailor entering the Mersey estuary sees a relatively narrow mouth, then a large basin, and then a typical silt-banked river.  A possible parallel, in terms of geography as well as name, is Sète in the south of France, about which Strabo (4,1,6) wrote “the Gulf of Massalia ... is double, for ... Mount Setium (Σητιον) ... juts out and thus marks off two gulfs”.  The origin of that name is uncertain, but it might have come from Punic.

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Last Edited: 1 March 2017