Attested:  Pliny Monapia;  Orosius  Mevania;  Honorius  Mevania;  Jordanes  Mevania.  See here or here for discussions of the name.  Rivet & Smith commented on the “tangled web” around some island names on the way to Ireland.

Where:  Probably the Isle of Man, leaving Pliny's Mona to be Anglesey.

Name origin:  The Mon- part is generally taken to be from PIE *men- ‘to project’, referring to the highest point in the Isle of Man, Snaefell.  However, as explained under Mona, it is more likely to come from Greek μονος ‘alone, solitary’.  The suffix -apia, from απιος ‘far off’ served to distinguish among multiple islands that were mona.

Notes:  ‘Distant, isolated’ is such an accurate description of the Isle of Man that there is no real need to invoke birds, bees, water, or hills to explain Monapia.  Greek Μοναπια can be misread as Roman Mevania, which was the name of a city near Rome.

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Last edited 13 May 2020     to main Menu.