Dixio

AttestedDixio at position 140 of the Ravenna Cosmography.  Treated here as a single name, on the highly debatable basis that (a) it should not be combined with the following name Lugundunum and (b) that it is not the same as Dictim in the Notitia Dignitatum.

Where:  Uncertain.  The Cosmography's order of listing names puts Dixio and lugunduno between Devovicia (probably Malton) and Coganges (probably Chester-le-Street).  Best guess = Cawthorn camps, a complex of apparent Roman practice works around SE785901, near Pickering, North Yorkshire. 

Name origin:  PIE *deik- ‘to show, to teach’ had descendants in many languages, though apparently not in Celtic.  Latin dico and its derivative dicto meant ‘to say, to tell’ and would suit an army training area.  Their less familiar meaning of ‘to dedicate, to set apart for’ plus the Latin noun dicio ‘dominion, authority’ could also suit a place name.  It is debatable whether Old English diht ‘setting in order, command’ was a loan from Latin or descended independently from PIE.  (Gothic gažeihan and ADIXOVI on a Bath curse tablet both pre-date AD 400.)

Notes:  Richmond & Crawford reckoned that this was part of a composite name Dixolugunduno.  See below for scan of the names Dixio lugunduno, Dixiolugunduno and Dixiolugundino actually in the three manuscripts, combined into a single image with an accurate representation of the original spaces inside names and the full stops that occur between many names but rows of dots to show whether a name was broken over two lines.  This analysis overrules previous thinking about Dixio being the same as Dictim, which promted much fretting about the locations of ND names.  Rejected candidates include Deighton in North Yorkshire, which was Dictune (‘ditch settlement’) in Domesday Book.  Also the largest hill fort in Britain (actually more like a a walled country estate than a military fortress) at Stanwick St John, NZ1812, near the famous Scotch Corner road junction, which has been suggested as the home of Queen Cartimandua.

[Cosmography scan pic here]
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Last edited 4 May 2020     To main Menu