Crococalana

AttestedCrococalana on iter 6 and Crococalano on iter 8 of the Antonine Itinerary

Where:  Roman settlement at Brough, Nottinghamshire, SK83835843, on the Fosse Way.

Name originCrococalana looks like a compound of κροκος ‘saffron’ and/or Latin croco ‘to dye saffron yellow’ with καλον/cala ‘short stick’.  Saffron was popular in Roman times, and could well have been cultivated then in Britain, as it was intensively after 1300 around Saffron Walden.  However, καλαμος/calamus ‘reed’ suggests that yellow iris may be a better explanation.  It grows prolifically in marshy ground, such as used to extend almost to the Fosse Way there from the river Trent to the west and the river Witham to the east.  Under its alternative names of levers or Fleur de Lys, it contributed to many later place names.

Notes:  The explanation cited by Rivet & Smith, based on calling people to a *cruc ‘mound’ is also attractive, but it loses out because there is no sign of any suitable moot marker in the flat landscape around Brough.

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Last edited 2 Mayy 2020     To main Menu