Attested: Elaviana at position 286 in the Ravenna Cosmography
Where: An island off W Scotland, most likely Islay, to yield the simplest track across the map for the Cosmography's sequence of names and to fit the name Ile used for Islay by Adomnan in about AD 700.
Name origin: From ελαφος ‘deer’, which have been present on many Scottish Islands since Stone Age times, possibly actively shipped by humans.
Notes: This analysis overrules a previous guess at Jura, which has many more red deer than people, and also the bad emendation to *Fl.aviana, flumen Aviana suggested by Rivet & Smith. Islay is perhaps the western isle in whose economy the Romans are most likely to have intervened, since it was relatively accessible by ship, has good resources of farmland and peat, and above all it had veins of lead, which Romans found irresistible. For a general discussion of Scottish islands see here .
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Last edited 23 April 2020 To main Menu.