Rumabo

AttestedRumabo at position 190 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Probably at the mouth of the Scottish river Tyne, near Dunbar, around NT6278, deduced from its position in the Cosmography's list, between Evidensca (probably Berwick-on-Tweed) and Velunia (Bo'ness).

Name origin:  The -abo ending presumably meant ‘river’, from PIE *ap- ‘water (discussed further under Abona), but where did the Rum- part come from?  PIE *sreu- ‘to stream, to flow’, leading to ρευμα/rheuma ‘flow, stream, tide’, is one possibility.  An intriguing parallel in the river Rhymney beside Cardiff, which is said to derive from Welsh rhwmp ‘auger, boring tool’, which came from ρομβος/rhombus ‘magic wheel, geometrical figure’, from PIE *wer3- ‘to turn, to bend’.  The link is then that the Tyne and the Rhymney estuaries both almost corkscrew towards the sea!  Possibly best is PIE *reuə- ‘to open, spacious’, whose descendants in English include roomy and ream.

Notes:  The Tyne estuary was larger in Roman times (before the effects of siltation, embankment, and isostatic rebound) and probably reached almost to the foot of Traprain Law, a hill-fort tribal centre famous for its silver hoard.  It was formerly called Dunpendyrlaw or Dunpelder, a name whose meaning and creators are uncertain, but PIE *pen- ‘fen, swamp’ might suggest how the estuary was always viewed and is also an element invoked at nearby Panovius and further away at Pennocrucium.

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Last edited 8 April 2020     To main Menu.