Conventions used by this website

Ancient names are spelled here as closely as possible to what the ancient sources contained.  Mostly they were originally treated as Latin (even if not originally created in Latin) and were therefore written in the Roman alphabet, with Latin case endings.  When it is safe to deduce a nominative singular master form we use that; otherwise we show the observed form(s) in an oblique case, but are not always properly consistent.  When thinking about possible copying errors it is important to know how the source text was written.  Mediaeval manuscripts were mostly handwritten in what would now be called lower case, whereas stone inscriptions were generally in upper case.  We do not always have enough information to be accurate or consistent in showing what was actually written.  References sometimes hyperlink to the relevant publication if it is available online.  Otherwise, please see our general reference list here.

We write U where an original V can safely be interpreted as a vowel.  Otherwise, users are expected to adjust mentally for spelling oddities over the centuries from which names come, while there were changes in the Latin alphabet (G J K U and W entered quite late), in spelling conventions (for example in doubling of letters), and in pronunciation (hence confusions such as B/V or C/G).  Names originally written in Greek are left in Greek, but they are alphabetised as if they were in Latin: Κ with C, Ου with V (pronounced like W), etc.  Accented Greek letters do not show up properly on all computer screens (and were probably not used in Ptolemy’s original text and were misused by copyists), so we avoid them, except for the dasia or rough breathing, a little curl above a letter, like this or a left parenthesis, which indicates an H sound at the start of a word.  An asterisk at the start of a word shows that it is presumed to have existed, but has not been observed.  Non-English words are generally italicized.  Some users may be unfamiliar with the schwa character ə, a neutral sound that British speakers often write er.

AI = Antonine Itinerary
ND = Notitia Dignitatum
OE = Old English
PIE = proto-Indo-European, generally following the typography of Watkins (2011).
RC = Ravenna Cosmography
R&C = Richmond and Crawford (1949)
R&S = Rivet and Smith (1979)