Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,16 Ουιννοουιον, a πολις of the Βριγαντες;   Antonine Itinerary iter 1 Vinovia
  Vinovia or Vinonia at position 134 in the Ravenna Cosmography;   Inscription Vinovie

WhereBinchester Roman fort at NZ20933132, where Dere Street crossed the river Wear, just after the inflow of the river Gaunless.

Name origin:  See here about how an ancient word *win ‘(grape)vine’ could apply to a meandering river (like the Wear) and here about *oba possibly related to Old English ofer ‘river bank’.

Notes:  This analysis overrules a previous guess that Vin-, meaning something like ‘road’ combined with Latin via ‘road’, which would give a meaning like ‘pleasant road’.  Selkirk (1995) is essential reading about Vinovia, because he discussed how the Roman fort was entirely surrounded by water, with an artificial channel to the east as well as the main river Wear to the west.  A surprising parallel (and fellow sufferer from past sloppy thinking) is at Wendover (AD 970 Wændofron) where a spring-fed stream has been turned into a feeder arm of the Grand Union Canal and the second element was Old English ófer ‘river-bank’.  Another is at Vandoevre-lès-Nancy in France.

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Last edited 4 November 2021     to main Menu