AttestedMacatonion at position 61 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Near the Welsh border, between Gloucester and the headwaters of the river Severn, from the Cosmography's sequence of names.  Possibly the site of Caratacus' last stand, discussed here, as very likely on the southern side of the river Clun, somewhere near SO366796.

Name origin:  Macatonion, with its Greek-style ending -on, resembles μαχαω ‘to wish to fight’ and μαχητος ‘to be fought with’.  Μαχη ‘fight’ has no certain cognates in other languages but Amazon may be related and Macha was an Irish war goddess.  Greek μαχαιρα ‘large knife, short sword’ passed into Latin as machaera.

Notes:  Tacitus described the Silures as particularly spoiling for a fight, but he placed Caratacus' last stand further north, in Ordovices territory.  Marcotaxon may be the equivalent site from which Roman troops marched out to fight at mons Graupius.

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Last edited 10 May 2020     To main Menu