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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Wink 
Point 1 you'll have to take that up with the latinistas, I only do maps.

Point 2 Well I can't do a broad rural South Northants accent can I so it can't have been me.
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(05-27-2016, 10:36 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-27-2016, 08:32 PM)John1 Wrote: the site named in the Ravenna Cosmography as Iaciodulma was on Watling Street and may have been derived from a latin compound meaning "to lie dead" and "offering to the Gods".

Everything except that website seems to prefer the idea that it's a version of Lactodurum (probably Towcester)... The site thinks this is 'probably wrong' but doesn't say why...

And why would a place in Britain be named after a combination of Latin and Greek words? Even if the word made sense, a Roman memorial wouldn't be 'offering' dead people to the gods!

The suggested etymology is wholly unconvincing in my opinion. Neither of the words supposed to make it up need bear the interpretation put upon them, even if it is legitimate to combine Latin and Greek to give a name to a site in Britain. You have only to follow the links on the website to find that iaceo has numerous meanings, of which 'to lie dead' is only one, and thulēma means 'an offering' but not necessarily to the gods. I suspect that the author of the website was so hung up on this cod etymology that he had to reject Iaciodulma as a corruption of Lactodoro or Lactodurum because Towcester does not conform to the topography of the battle-site.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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(05-29-2016, 04:55 PM)Renatus Wrote:
(05-27-2016, 10:36 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-27-2016, 08:32 PM)John1 Wrote: the site named in the Ravenna Cosmography as Iaciodulma was on Watling Street and may have been derived from a latin compound meaning "to lie dead" and "offering to the Gods".

Everything except that website seems to prefer the idea that it's a version of Lactodurum (probably Towcester)... The site thinks this is 'probably wrong' but doesn't say why...

And why would a place in Britain be named after a combination of Latin and Greek words? Even if the word made sense, a Roman memorial wouldn't be 'offering' dead people to the gods!

The suggested etymology is wholly unconvincing in my opinion. Neither of the words supposed to make it up need bear the interpretation put upon them, even if it is legitimate to combine Latin and Greek to give a name to a site in Britain. You have only to follow the links on the website to find that iaceo has numerous meanings, of which 'to lie dead' is only one, and thulēma means 'an offering' but not necessarily to the gods. I suspect that the author of the website was so hung up on this cod etymology that he had to reject Iaciodulma as a corruption of Lactodoro or Lactodurum because Towcester does not conform to the topography of the battle-site.

OK. So why not abandon some elements the topography and look for a memorial around Towcester? Given that it may represent some different event.
Have we always placed too much emphasis on the 'narrow defile? But where would that leave us?
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ref post 1248

"even if it is legitimate to combine Latin and Greek to give a name to a site in Britain." 
Is it? I really don't know, does anyone else combine latin and greek in this way?

"I suspect that the author of the website was so hung up on this cod etymology"  
Don't you think that's a bit harsh/boorish towards someone who is obviously putting material in the public domain and asking for observations and feedback?

"that he had to reject Iaciodulma as a corruption of Lactodoro or Lactodurum because Towcester does not conform to the topography of the battle-site." 
This statement seems to unreasonably speculate about the views and motivations of the author, his statement did not read to me as a reflection on topography or location, simply a view questioning past translations relating to a specific place.

The guy has created a public resource, he has invited observations and criticisms to a specific address. I think we'd all benefit from a reasoned critique, but one way mud slinging isn't really constructive or pleasant. The author didn't ask to be put on RAT, I didn't expect his work to be pilloried in such an unpleasant way, I simply used his observations to respond to a posters specific interests. Hopefully you'll be posting something equally as positive, useful and generous as the romaneranames site when your time comes Ren. Dodgy
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Well, if the guy cares to explain his reasoning, I'll give it due consideration. As it is, he has made a bald statement without anything to back it up. I'm afraid that anyone who refers to the 'Battle of Watling Street', without acknowledging that we have no evidence that the battle took place on or anywhere near Watling Street and that (as this thread and other studies have shown) there are a variety of possibilities of which Watling Street is only one, does not command much respect from me.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
(05-29-2016, 09:23 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: why not abandon some elements the topography and look for a memorial around Towcester?

I still think it's unlikely that the Romans would have erected a memorial or tropaeum to this battle; such things were pretty rare, and usually commemorated either a big imperial victory or a big territorial gain. This was neither, and bearing in mind the supposed political climate in AD62 (Paulinus recalled - apparently under a cloud - and a more placatory governor installed), a monument might have been seen as needlessly antagonising the native population and glorifying what was essentially a counter-insurgency campaign led by a man out of imperial favour.

However, if any evidence of such a thing ever turned up in a suitable location, I'd reconsider! [Image: wink.png]


(05-29-2016, 09:23 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Have we always placed too much emphasis on the 'narrow defile? But where would that leave us?

Nowhere much, I think. T's description of the location may have been invented, but it's pretty much all we have to select an exact location. If we discount it, we're left with a battle that could have happened just about anywhere in south-east England...

Only by combining the topographical stuff about the site itself with a strategic survey (routes, travel times and distances, reinforcement and supply possibilities) and some idea of a plausible chronology can we narrow down the options.
Nathan Ross
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ref post 1248

"even if it is legitimate to combine Latin and Greek to give a name to a site in Britain." 
Is it? I really don't know, does anyone else combine latin and greek in this way?
Reply
(05-30-2016, 10:15 PM)John1 Wrote: does anyone else combine latin and greek in this way?

I don't think so.

Some place names in Britain may combine Latin and native British words, but why use a strange hybrid of Latin and Greek, which doesn't seem to mean much, when there's a perfectly good Latin word (tropaeum) for what it's supposed to describe?

The Ravenna Cosmography has quite a lot of garbled place names, some of which are close enough to better-attested names known in other sources that we can be pretty sure of what they're supposed to be. This one seems likely to be the same sort of thing.
Nathan Ross
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(05-30-2016, 10:11 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-29-2016, 09:23 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: why not abandon some elements the topography and look for a memorial around Towcester?


However, if any evidence of such a thing ever turned up in a suitable location, I'd reconsider! [Image: wink.png]

Is it unreasonable to propose that a wider-geographical location of Iaciodulma  is at Castle Dykes? 

8 Round Hill (SP628587)
There is a geomorphologically anomalous mound at the end of the
northern ridge with good panoramic views, this may have a fortification of memorial association.

Post Military Elements
The Battle of Watling Street was of massive signifi cance to Romanand British culture alike. It is unlikely that the site was forgotten for generations and it is more than likely that the Romans would have marked the site. Firstly with a military base, to both symbolically
dominate the landscape and to prevent the use of the site as a rallying point for their enemies and secondly, to make a valorifi c
statement, a temple or viewing area. In addition there were significant Roman casualties, this would seem to imply that their deaths,
or at least the deaths of notable individuals, might be recognised,or marked in a physical manner. The obvious site for an honorifi c
statement might well be one of the main camps, particularly that of Castle Dykes with its panoramic views over the conjectured battle-
field. Later, such a site might make an ideal basis for the development of a Norman Motte which could account for the later development of Castle Dykes. Other anomalous features include Round Hill. This feature may be geological, however there are several evident slips on the face and adjacent terraces implying it may be of more recent origin, this may be a monument.
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"Well, if the guy cares to explain his reasoning, I'll give it due consideration."  That's big of you, I doubt anyone will be rushing to engage with you though....
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T's description of the location may have been invented, but it's pretty much all we have to select an exact location. If we discount it, we're left with a battle that could have happened just about anywhere in south-east England...


Has there ever been a survey of other places in SE England where there is a significant scattering of Iron Age/ Roman military deposits?
Having reached a stalemate trying to identify the 'narrow defile', is it not time to look at other lateral possibilities?
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(05-30-2016, 11:48 PM)John1 Wrote: "Well, if the guy cares to explain his reasoning, I'll give it due consideration."  That's big of you, I doubt anyone will be rushing to engage with you though....

Well then, they won't stand much chance of persuading me, will they?
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
I very much doubt he cares about your unreasoned opinions but I will still try to edge some reasoning out of you Ren, do you know of any Latin/Greek compounds in Roman era place names? Nathan says not, it would be good to get you to put down your marker too, then we can put the question to other experts in the field.

ref post 1248

"even if it is legitimate to combine Latin and Greek to give a name to a site in Britain." 
Is it? I really don't know, does anyone else combine latin and greek in this way?
Reply
(05-31-2016, 07:04 AM)John1 Wrote: I very much doubt he cares about your unreasoned opinions but I will still try to edge some reasoning out ot you Ren, do you know of any Latin/Greek compounds in Roman era place names? Nathan says not, it would be good to get you to put down your marker too, then we can put the question to other experts in the field.

What precisely are we talking about? If you mean the combining of Latin and Greek elements, I am sceptical but cannot say one way or the other with certainty and did not do so in my post. If there are such examples, it would be interesting to have them.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
(05-30-2016, 11:38 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Is it unreasonable to propose that a wider-geographical location of Iaciodulma is at Castle Dykes?

I think so, I'm afraid. The Ravenna Cosmography is a list of places compiled in the 8th century: 'Iaciodulma' appears between St Albans and Wall, so is probably a town on Watling Street somewhere. Towcester is the obvious choice, and the similarity with 'Lactodurum' is compelling. Whatever there was or was not at Church Stowe, I don't think there's any evidence of a town or settlement there, certainly not one that would have survived on maps for many centuries afterwards.


(05-30-2016, 11:38 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: "...it is more than likely that the Romans would have marked the site."

This is quoted from John's survey of the Church Stowe site. The location's very interesting, and there may indeed have been some Roman military activity there. It's possible that this is the site of our battle, although I continue to find a couple of other options more likely, as far as our limited means to determine these things goes! [Image: wink.png]

About the memorialisation of the site, though, I'm not convinced. Why would the Romans have 'more than likely' done this? No memorial marked the site of the defeat of Florus and Sacrovir in Gaul, or of the Batavian rebels, or even of Spartacus. Until recent centuries, it was apparently common for the exact sites of battles to be forgotten within a few generations.


(05-30-2016, 11:51 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Having reached a stalemate trying to identify the 'narrow defile', is it not time to look at other lateral possibilities?

I don't know about a stalemate - I think we've collectively come up with a good handful of very strong possibilities. Personally I'd still go for Tring 2/New Ground as the best option.

Lateral thinking's always good, and we've been doing a fair bit of that too over the years! Further suggestions are certainly welcome.
Nathan Ross
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