Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,2 Σεταντιων λιμην.
Where: The river Wyre, with mouth around SD342484. Any Roman harbour installation has probably been lost to the sea north of Fleetwood.
Name origin: ‘Wide opposite’. The first element was probably similar to Old Irish sith- ‘long’ (which outranks Old English sid ‘wide, spacious, large’ as a parallel on this side of Britain) derived from PIE *sē- ‘to sow, to spread out’. The second element was similar to Greek αντιος, from PIE *h2enti- ‘opposite’. This fits the situation of Fleetwood at one extremity of the wide expanse of Morecambe Bay.
Notes: The personal name Sétanta of the mediaeval Irish mythological tale Cú Chulainn was presumably a reference to the young hero's appearance, most likely meaning ‘wide forehead’ based on the original meaning of PIE *ant- ‘front, forehead’, preserved in Irish étan ‘brow, forehead’. There is therefore no reason to follow Watson (1926:25) in supposing that “the Setantii were an ancient British tribe” except insofar as some people lived around the port.
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Last edited 9 April 2020 To main Menu.