Attested: Gabaglanda at position 131 in the Ravenna Cosmography, where a series of names appear to follow the Stanegate road
Where: Haltwhistle Burn fortlet at NY71446615. Aesica fort lies a little to the north on Hadrian's Wall and several Roman camps are nearby.
Name origin: Gabaglanda was not a corruption of Camboglanna (as discussed at length here), but can be analysed as a distinct name in its own right, accurately describing the situation of the fortlet on the edge of Haltwhistle Burn. The -glanda ending meant something like ‘bank’ (as seen in Glannoventa and discussed under Giano and Camboglanna) but that leaves some Celtic scholars unhappy because they feel pulled by Gaelic gleann ‘glen’ and cannot see a clear PIE root. The Gaba- part might descend from PIE *ghai- ‘to gape, to yawn’, but more likely from PIE *gab- ‘to show, to watch’, which had plenty of descendants in Germanic languages, such as Old English capian ‘to look’, and also in Balto-Slavonic.
Notes: The landscape here has been disturbed by post-Roman quarrying, but aerial photos show how Gabaglanda sat on the edge of a chasm and one can readily surmise how it was superseded by construction of Hadrian's Wall. There is an interesting parallel in Ptolemy's Γαβαιον promontory in Brittany, whose precise identity has never been settled (Penmarch, Corsen, etc?), but either the huge inlet leading to Brest or the little one next to Pointe de Kermorvan might be an appropriate gaping gap.
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Last edited 21 October 2020 To main Menu