Attested: Sorbiodoni in AI iter 15, or Sorvioduni in the erroneous duplication in AI iter 12.
Where: Probably at or near Wattons’s Ford, SU138016, which is where where the newly discovered continuation of Margary’s Roman road 422, which approximates the A31 from London, appears to point to cross the Hampshire river Avon, according to Clarke (2003). A ford there can still be used.
Name origin: Latin sorbeo ‘to suck up, to absorb’ might refer to boggy ground around a river. PIE *srebh- has many descendants around Europe, but nothing closer in Celtic than Old Irish srúb ‘snout’ or in Germanic languages than slurp, sherbet, service tree, and rivers called Sorpe. Latin donum ‘gift, votive offering’ could fit the observed name, but *danu- ‘river’ may be most appropriate.
Notes: This analysis overrules Old Sarum, taking -doni as a variant of dunum ‘fort’, suggested by R&S and widely accepted, which is seriously incompatible with mileage figures in AI. However, there still remains a smaller problem in that AI states the distance from Vindogladia as 12 Roman miles, whereas the distance as the crow flies, from crossing the Stour to crossing the Avon, is over 13 miles, and trying to guess the actual route merely adds distance. Perhaps the names applied to sites well away from the river, and also the course of the Stour has probably changed a lot over the centuries, notably, for example, at Eyemead beside the Roman camp/depot at Lake Farm. For a discussion of Roman roads and water crossings in Hampshire see here.
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Last edited: 16 April 2019
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