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a

Gazetteer

  ©RRRA, 2018

Home Gazetteer of Roads Margary's Numbering Itineraries & Sources Glossary/Biography RRRA Website
The Crossing from Gaul to Britain Iter I Iter II Iter III & Iter IV Iter V Iter VI Iter VII Iter VIII Iter IX Iter X Iter XI Iter XII Iter XIII Iter XIV Iter XV The Maritime Itinerary

The Antonine Itinerary - Iter 1

From Bremenio (High Rochester, Northumberland)

To Praetorio (Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire)

The Antonine Itinerary De situ Britanniae - an 18th Century Hoax The Peutinger Table The Ravenna Cosmography Ptolemy's Geography The Notitia Dignitatum

British waters are not included in the Maritime Itinerary proper, however at the end of the Itinerary is this puzzling list of names.  As Rivet and Smith observed (Rivet & Smith, 1979 p.181), a section that places the Orkneys in the English Channel, can hardly be from an official source, so it was presumably added at a later date. To agree with Ptolemy, the number of the Orkney islands will presumably have been intended to read xxx, and not iii as has come down to us.

Insula Clota in Hiverione is strange, and can be interpretted in two ways, either that it means the Island Clota in the Hiverione sea, or that it should be referring to two islands, insula Clota and in[sula] Hivernione (Freeman, 2001, p.90). Either way, it is fairly clear that Hiverione is a variant of Hivernione (Ireland), and it is generally agreed that Clota is not an island at all, but is actually the R. Clyde, and only became an island when copied from a map where the name was written in the Irish sea (Rivet & Smith, 1979, p.181).

Vecta is the Isle of Wight, recorded as Vectis, Vectem & Vecta in other sources. Uxantis  is Ushant, Sina (having lost its initial “S”) is the Isle de Sein, and Vindilis is Belle Ile. It seems that the list is taken from a map, and runs north to south, or perhaps from north-east to south-west, in which case Siata (possibly Ile d’Houat) and Iga should be off the Atlantic coast of Gaul.

All the other islands are usually interpreted as being in the English channel between Wight and Ouessant. The traditional association of Caesarea with Jersey has no real justification, indeed Jersey is probably Andium - it was certainly called “Angia” in one post Roman document, the First Lfe of St. Samson of Dol, in which Guernsey also appears as Lesia - possibly the Silia of the list and not Sarnia (traditionally associated with Guernsey). The identification of the other islands has been debated for centuries, and the debate will no doubt continue for many more: the best we can do here is to say that we really don’t know.

Freeman, Philip (2001); Ireland and the Classical World; University of Texas Press, Austin

River, A.L.F. & Smith, Colin (1979); The Place-names of Roman Britain; B.T. Batsford Ltd., London

Talbert, Richard J. A.  (2010); Rome’s World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge


References:


Itinerary Text


Modern name

Comment


Item in mari oceano quod Gallias et Britannias interluit (also, in the sea that flows between the Gauls and the Britains)




insule Orcades numero iii


Orkney islands numbering three

Clearly, should be thirty


insule Clota in Hivernione


R.Clyde, Ireland

see text


Vecta Riduna Sarmia Caesarea Barsa Silia


 see below



Andium Sicdelis Uxantis Ina


 see below



Vindilis Siata Iga


 see below







This entry was compiled by Mike Haken, last updated: 11 September 2017