Attested: Bdora at position 252 in the Ravenna Cosmography, in its tour of harbour estuaries.
Where: Somewhere around the Solway estuary, which people, cattle, and armies have historically waded across at low tide, notably at Sandy Wath to Dornock on the northern side, near NY230638. See an excellent map here.
Name origin: Probably from Bi-duro ‘double crossing’, making this name a precursor of a the common later name Twyford. The consonant pair BD was not hard to pronounce in Latin, e.g. in obduro ‘to harden’, but was word-initial only in a few Greek words (probably acquired from a pre-Greek, non-Indo-European language), notably βδεω ‘to fart’. This might offer an alternative explanation, since Corda nearby might have an intestinal link too. Also, a possible confusion with Βοδερια/Bodotria, the Forth, cannot be totally excluded, but there is no merit in Rivet & Smith's argument that the Cosmography's text is badly corrupted.
Notes: One possible location is in the east, where two main rivers, Esk and Eden, unite to form the Solway. Probably better is the westernmost fordable point, roughly where a railway bridge once existed across the estuary. At its south end lay the Hadrian's Wall fort of Maia, which was remarkably large and had a name best interpreted as the Roman equivalent of the World War 2 “Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches”. The implication is that a significant port operated there in Roman times, near where Port Carlisle operated in the 1800s, and where the name Glasson looks suspiciously similar to the Classis Britannica Roman navy (Leather, 1994), but has been lost to erosion and siltation. Note also the name Cardurnock, which had a tower and milefortlet at the end of the westward extension of Wall and the possibility of another ford across the mouth of Moricambe Bay, exemplified by a surviving public footpath at NY191578 across the river Wampool.
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Last edited 16 April 2020 To main Menu