Sorbiodoni

AttestedSorbiodoni in AI iter 15, with erroneous duplication as Sorvioduni in AI iter 12.

Where:  probably Malwood Castle at SU27721214 in the New Forest near the Rufus Stone.

Name origin:  Latin sorbeo ‘to suck up, to absorb’ might refer to boggy ground as several springs surround this fort, which is on a low ridge that is a local watershed.  R&S interpreted –doni as dunum ‘fort’, but Latin donum ‘gift, votive offering’ is a more exact fit to the observed name and immediately hints at the prehistoric practices of throwing precious metal objects into water and of ritually killing people who have become known as bog bodies.  Summer visitors to New Forest tourist spots may not realise that it contains boggy areas, which are dangerous.

Notes:  The identification with Old Sarum, suggested by R&S and widely accepted, including by the Ordnance Survey and English Heritage, is unsatisfactory, because of the mileage figures in AI, which lists Venta Velgarum – 11 – Brige – 8– Sorbiodoni – 12 – Vindocladia – 8– Durnonovaria, with end points that are reasonably certain (Winchester and Dorchester).  Margary (1973) was confident that his Roman road number 422 approximately followed the line of the modern A31 through the New Forest, but could not trace it all the way.  More work is needed to refine the course of this road.  Brige was probably its branch point at Nursling.  Vindocladia is usually taken to be at Badbury Rings, but AI’s measurement point is more likely to be some distance away by the Roman-era settlement at Shapwick, or the Roman road junction beside Badbury Rings, or even perhaps the big (early) fort at Lake Farm.  The more northerly, and longer, route envisaged by R&S is probably followed by RC, which therefore places Noviomagno at Old Sarum and Onna at the crossing of the river Test at Horsebridge.

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Last Edited: 10 August 2016