Attested: Statio (or Stadio) deventiasteno at position 11 in the Ravenna Cosmography
Where: The small Roman fort at Restormel, Cornwall, near the river Fowey, at SX10256108. It probably served to collect and tax Cornish tin.
Name origin: Latin statio ‘station, base’ tended to mean a government office, especially one involved in taxation. Deventia- might come from devenio ‘to come’ but debeo ‘to owe’ (the source of our word debenture) is more likely, with the usual near interchangeability of V and B. And –steno resembles stannum ‘tin’, which is claimed to derive via Celtic from PIE *steh2- ‘to stand’. Most ancient tin came from the western fringe of Europe (such as Cornwall), where current thinking suggests that the Celtic languages were born, but it probably first came to the attention of Latin speakers when traded from Germanic-speaking regions that were “Celtic” only in the classical, non-linguistic sense.
Notes: Richmond & Crawford reported Williams' suggestion that deventia came from PIE *dei- ‘to shine, god’ and that –steno had been mangled from –ensis. Not convincing.
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Last edited 7 April 2020 To main Menu.