The Ravenna Cosmography

The British Section

Sometime during the seventh century of this Common Era, an unknown monk in the Monastery at Ravenna on the Adriatic (eastern) coast of Italy compiled a list of all the towns and road-stations throughout the Roman Empire; this important historical document has since become known as the Ravenna Cosmography.

The best available text is that of the Codex Vaticanis (Urb. Lat. #961). In the RBO Ravenna page we will deal only with the portion which describes the British Isles, that is, from the last paragraph of Verse 30 through to the middle of Verse 32, which is contained within just four manuscript pages. The numbers accompanying the text in the following table are those of I.A. Richmond and O.G.S. Crawford, from their article The British Section of the Ravenna Cosmography, in Archaeologia Vol.XCIII (1949) pp.1-50.

The first portion of the document is by far the largest and lists the towns of Roman Britain, in a somewhat haphazard fashion, followed by the rivers and smaller islands, again in no readily-discernable pattern. The R&C entries are; 1-227 Cities, 228-235 Wetlands, 236-271 British Rivers, 272-274 Irish Rivers, 275-302 British Islands, 303-306 'Islands of the Northern Ocean'.

The Codex Vaticanis manuscript pages and their constituent R&C entries are;

45v - 303-306 and 1-51.5
46r - 51.5-167.5
46v - 167.5-271
47r - 272-302

The roman-britain.co.uk Version

The following text includes some degree of HTML formatting, in an attempt to improve clarity. Togodumnus' translations of the text and any explanatory notes are [highlighted and enclosed in square brackets].

Click Here for the unadulterated Latin text<



(V.30) ... Iterum sunt in ipso oceano [insule] que dicuntur
[Once again, there are within the selfsame ocean (islands) which are named:]
303Vectis[= Vectis = Isle of Wight, Hampshire]
304Malaca[?= Malaius = Island of Mull, Inner Hebrides?]
[Possible Duplicate! See R&C.298]
305Insenos[?= Hibernia = Ireland?]
306Taniatide[= Tanatvs = Isle of Thanet, Kent]
(V.31) In oceano vero occidentale est insula quae dicitur Britania, ubi olim gens Saxonum veniens ab antiqua Saxonia cum principe suo Ansehis modo havitare videtur; quamvis insulam, ut diximus, quidam Grecorum phylosophi quasi [i]micosmin appellaverunt; nam nos tam magnam insulam neque in supra scripto Mari Magno neque in praefato oceano dilatissimo neque in quo praediximus sino oceani legendam nullo modo reperimus.
In qua Britania plurimas fuisse legimus civitates [et castra], ex quibus aliquantas designare volumus, id est:
translation
1Giano[unknown]
2Eltabo[unknown]
3Elconio[unknown]
4Nemetotacio[?= Nemetostatio = North Tawton, Devon?]
5Tamaris[?= Tamaris = Plymouth, Devon?]
6Purocoronauis[?= Dvrocornavivm = Carn Brea, Cornwall?]
7Pilais[unknown]
8Vernalis[unknown]
9Arduarauenatone[unknown]
10Devionisso[unknown]
11Statio Deventiasteno[?= Statio Deventiasteno = Nanstallon, Cornwall?]
12Duriarno[unknown]
13Uxelis[?= Vxelis = Launceston, Cornwall?]
14Verteuia[unknown]
15Melamoni[unknown]
16Scadu namorum[= Isca Dvmnoniorvm = Exeter, Devon]
17Termonin[unknown]
18Mestevia[unknown]
19Milidunum[unknown]
20Apaunaris[unknown]
21Masona[unknown]
22Alovergium[unknown]
Iterum iuxta supscriptam civitatem Scadoniorum est civitas quae dicitur
[Once again, beside the Dumnonian towns listed above are (other) towns which are named:]
23Moriduno[unknown]
24Alauna silua[unknown]
25Omiretedertis[unknown]
26Lindinis[= Lindinis = Ilchester, Somerset]
27Canza[unknown]
28Dolocindo[?= Durocendum = Chew Stoke, Avon?]
29Clauimo[?= Clavsentvm = Bitterne, Hampshire?]
30Morionio[unknown]
31Boluelaunio[unknown]
32Alauna[unknown]
33Coloneas[unknown]
34Aranus[unknown]
35Anicetis[?= Aqvae Svlis = Bath, Avon?]
36Melezo[unknown]
37Ibernio[?= Ivernium = Iwerne, Dorset?]
38Bindogladia[= Vindocladia = Badbury Rings, Dorset]
39Noviomagno[?= Lake Farm, Dorset?]
40Onna[unknown]
41Venta Velgarom[= Venta Belgarvm = Winchester, Hampshire]
42Armis[unknown]
43Ardaoneon[?= [Portvs] Ardaoni = Portchester, Hampshire?]
44Navimago Regentium[= Noviomagus Regnorvm = Chichester, Sussex]
45Leuco magno[= Levcomagvs = East Anton, Hampshire]
46Cunetzone[= Cvnetio = Mildenhall, Wiltshire]
47Punctuobice[?= Pontes = Staines, Surrey?]
48Ventaslurum[= Venta Silvrvm = Caerwent, Gwent]
49Iupania[unknown]
50Metambala[unknown]
51Albinumno[unknown]
52Isca Augusta[= Isca Silvrvm = Caerleon, Gwent]
53Bannio[= Gobannivm = Abergavenny, Gwent]
54Bremia[= Bremia = Llanio, Dyfed]
55Alabum[?= Alabvm = Llandovery, Dyfed?]
56Cicutio[?= Cicvcivm = Y-Gaer, Powys?]
57Magnis[= Magnis = Kenchester, Hereford & Worcester]
58Brano.Genium[= Bravonivm = Leintwardine, Hereford & Worcester]
59Epocessa[unknown]
60Ypocessa[unknown]
61Macatonion[?= Moridvnvm = Carmarthen, Dyfed?]
62Glebon colonia[= Colonia Glevensis = Gloucester, Gloucestershire]
63Argistillum[?= Ariconivm = Weston-under-Penyard, Hereford & Worcester?]
64Vertis[= Vertis = Worcester, Hereford & Worcester]
65Salinis[= Salinae = Droitwich Spa, Hereford & Worcester]
66Cironium Dobunorum[= Corinivm Dobvnnorvm = Cirencester, Gloucestershire]
67Iacio Dulma[?= Lactodvrvm = Towcester, Northamptonshire?]
[This entry is replicated; see R&C.95]
68Anderelio Nuba[?= Anderitvm Nova? = Pevensey, Sussex]
69Mutuantonis[unknown]
70Lemanis[= Portvl Lemanis = Lympne, Kent]
71Dubris[= Portvs Dvbris = Dover, Kent]
72Duro auerno Cantiacorum[= Dvrovernvm Cantiacorvm = Canterbury, Kent]
73Rutupis[= Rvtvpiae = Richborough, Kent]
74Durobrabis[= Dvrobrivae = Rochester, Kent]
75Landini[unknown]
76Tamese[unknown]
77Brinauis[unknown]
78Alauna[unknown]
79Utriconion Cornoviorum[= Viroconivm Cornoviorvm = Wroxeter, Shropshire]
80Lavobrinta[= Levobrinta = Forden Gaer, Powys]
81Mediomanum[?= Mediomanvm = Caersws, Powys?]
82Seguntio[= Segontivm = Caernarfon, Gwynedd]
83Canubio[= Canovivm = Caerhun, Gwynedd]
84Mediolano[= Mediolanvm = Whitchurch, Shropshire]
85Saudonio[unknown]
86Deva victris[= Deva Victrix = Chester, Cheshire]
87Veratino[unknown]
88Lutudaron[= Lvtvdarvm = Crich, Derbyshire]
89Derbentione[= Derventio = Littlechester, Derbyshire]
90Salinis[= Salinae = Middlewich, Cheshire]
91Condate[= Condate = Northwich, Cheshire]
92Rate Corion[= Ratae Corieltavorvm = Leicester, Leicestershire]
93Eltauori[see entry above]
94Lectoceto[= Letocetvm = Wall, Staffordshire]
95Iacio Dulma[?= Lactodvrvm = Towcester, Northamptonshire?]
[This entry is replicated; see R&C.67]
96Virolanium[= Vervlamivm = St. Albans, Hertfordshire]
97Londinium Augusti[= Londinivm Avgvsta = London, Greater London]
98Cesaromago[= Caesaromagvs = Chelmsford, Essex]
99Manulodulo. colonia[= Camvlodvnvm Colonia = Colchester, Essex]
100Durcinate[?= Dvrolitvm = Nr. Romford, Gtr. London?]
101Duro viguto[= Dvrovigvtvm = Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire]
102Durobrisin[= Dvrobrivae = Water Newton, Cambridgeshire]
103Venta Cenomum[= Venta Icenorvm = Caistor St. Edmund, Norfolk]
104Lindum Colonia[= Lindvm Colonia = Lincoln, Lincolnshire]
105Bannovallum[= Bannovalvm = Horncastle, Lincolnshire]
106Nauione[= Navio = Brough, Derbyshire]
107Aquis Arnemeza[= Aqvae Arnemetiae = Buxton, Derbyshire]
108Zerdotalia[?= Ardotalia = Melandra Castle, Derbyshire?]
109Mantio[= Mamvcivm = Manchester, Greater Manchester]
110Alunna[= Alavana = Watercrook, Lancashire]
111Camulodono[?= Cambodvnvm = Slack, West Yorkshire?]
112Calunio[?= Calunium? = Lancaster, Lancashire?]
113Gallunio[?= Galava = Ambleside, Cumbria?]
114Medibogdo[= Mediobogdvm = Hardknot, Cumbria]
115Cantiventi[= Glannoventa = Ravenglass, Cumbria]
116Iuliocenon[?= Tvnnocelvm = Beckermet, Calder Bridge, Cumbria?]
117Gabrocentio[= Gabrosentvm = Moresby, Cumbria]
118Alauna[= Alavna = Maryport, Cumbria]
119Bribra[= Bibra = Beckfoot, Cumbria]
120Maio[= Maglona = Old Carlisle, Cumbria]
121Olerica[see entry above]
122Derventione[= Derventio = Papcastle, Cumbria]
123Ravonia[= Bravoniacvm = Kirkby Thore, Cumbria]
124Bresnetenaci Veteranorum[= Bremetenacvm Veteranorvm = Ribchester, Lancashire]
125Pampocalia[unknown]
126Lagentium[= Lagentivm = Castleford, West Yorkshire]
127Valteris[= Verteris = Brough, Cumbria]
128Bereda[= Voreda = Old Penrith, Cumbria]
129Lagubalumi[= Lvgvvalivm = Carlisle, Cumbria]
130Magnis[= Magnis = Carvoran, Northumberland]
131Gabaglanda[?= Camboglanna = Birdoswald, Cumbria?]
[Possible duplicate! See R&C.167]
132Vindolande[= Vindolanda = Chesterholm, Northumberland]
133Lineoiugla[= Longovicivm = Lanchester, Durham]
134Vinovia[= Vinovivm = Binchester, Durham]
135Lavaris[= Lavatris = Bowes, Durham]
136Cactabactonion[= Cataractonivm = Catterick, North Yorkshire]
137Eburacum[= Ebvracvm = York, North Yorkshire]
138Decuaria[= Petvaria = Brough on Humber, Humberside]
139Devovicia[?= Delgovicia = nr. Millington, Humberside?]
140Dixio Lugunduno[?= Dictivm = Whitby, North Yorkshire?]
[?Lugundunum, unknown?]
141Coganges[= Concangis = Chester-le-Street, Durham]
142Corie Lopocarium[= Corstopitvm = Corbridge, Northumberland]
[?Lopocarium, unknown?]
143Serduno[= Segedvnvm = Wallsend, Tyne & Wear]
144Condecor[= Condercvm = Benwell, Tyne & Wear]
145Vindovala[= Vindobala = Rudchester, Northumberland]
146Onno[= Onnvm = Halton Chesters, Northumberland]
147Celunno[= Cilvrnvm = Chesters, Northumberland]
148Brocoliti[= Brocolitia = Carrawburgh, Northumberland]
149Velurtion[= Vercovicium = Housesteads, Northumberland]
150Esica[= Aesica = Great Chesters, Northumberland]
151Banna[?= Banna = Castlesteads, Cumbria?]
152Uxelludamo[= Vxelodvnvm = Stanwix, Cumbria]
153Avalana[= Aballava = Burgh by Sands, Cumbria]
154Maia[= Maia = Bowness on Solway, Cumbria]
155Fanocodi[?= Fanvm Cocidi = Bewcastle, Cumbria?]
156Brocara[= Brocavvm = Brougham, Cumbria]
157Croucingo[unknown]
158Stodoion[unknown]
159Sinetriadum[unknown]
160Clindum[unknown]
161Carbantium[unknown].
162Tadoriton[unknown]
163Maporiton[unknown]
164Alitacenon[unknown]
165Loxa[unknown]
166Locatreve[unknown]
167Cambroianna[?= Camboglanna = Birdoswald, Cumbria]
[Possible duplicate! See R&C.131]
168Smetri[unknown]
169Uxela[unknown]
170Lucotion[unknown]
171Corda[unknown]
172Camulosessa[unknown]
173Presidium[unknown]
174Brigomono[unknown]
175Abisson[unknown]
176Ebio[unknown]
177Coritiotar[unknown]
178Celovion[unknown]
179Itucodon[unknown]
180Maromago[unknown]
181Duabsisis[unknown]
182Venutio[unknown]
183Trimuntium[= Trimontivm = Newstead, Borders]
184Eburo caslum[?= Habitancvm = Risingham, Northumberland?]
185Bremenium[= Bremenivm = High Rochester, Northumberland]
186Coccimeda[unknown]
187Alauna[?= Alavna = Learchild, Northumberland?]
188Oleiclavis[unknown]
189Evidensca[unknown]
190Rumabo[unknown]
Iterum sunt civitates in ipsa Britainia recto tramite una alteri conexa, ubi et ipsa Britania plus angustissima de oceano in oceano esse dinoscitur, id est
[Here are listed the stations within the said Island joined together along a straight track where Britain is at its very thinnest from ocean to ocean, they are named:]
191Velunia[= Velvniate = Carriden, Central]
192Volitanio[unknown]
193Pexa[unknown]
194Begesse[unknown]
195Colanica[unknown]
196Medio Nemeton[unknown]
197Subdobiadon[unknown]
198Litana[unknown]
199Cibra[unknown]
200Credigone[unknown]
Iterum est civitas quae dicitur
[Also (there are) cities which have been designated:]
201Iano[unknown]
202Maulion[unknown]
203Demerosesa[unknown]
204Cindocellum[unknown]
205Cerma[unknown]
206Veromo[unknown]
207Matovion[unknown]
208Ugrulentum[unknown]
209Rauatonium[unknown]
210Iberran[unknown]
211Pinnatis[unknown]
212Tuessis[unknown]
213Lodone[unknown]
214Litinomago[unknown]
215Devoni[?= Devana = Aberdeen, Grampian?]
216Memanturum[unknown]
217Decha[unknown]
218Bograndium[unknown]
219Ugueste[unknown]
220Leuiodanum[unknown]
221Poreo Classis[?= Horrea Classis = Carpow, Fife?]
222Levioxaua[unknown]
223Cermium[unknown]
224Victorie[unknown]
225Marcotaxon[unknown]
226Tagea[unknown]
227Voran[unknown]
Sunt autem in ipsa Britania diversa loca, ex quibus aliquanta nominare volumus, id est
[In Britain there are, however, certain places for which the number of names are many, they are:]
228Maponi[unknown]
229Mixa[unknown]
230Panovius[?= Devona = Don, Grampian?]
231Minox[unknown]
232Taba[= Tava = Tay, Tayside]
233Manavi[?= Manavia = Isle of Man?]
234Segloes[?= Segelocum = Littleborough/River Trent, Nottinghamshire?]
235Daunoni[?= Danvm = Doncaster/River Don, South Yorkshire?]
Currunt autem per ipsam Britaniam plurima flumina, ex quibus aliquanta nominare volumus, id est
[Many rivers are running throughout Britain, for which the number of names are many, they are:]
236Traxula[?= Test, Hampshire?]
237Axium[?= Itchen, Hampshire?]
238Maina[?= Meon, Hampshire?]
239Sarua[= Sabrina = Severn, Gloucestershire]
240Tamaris[= Tamaris = Tamar, Cornwall/Devon]
241Naurum[unknown]
242Abona[= Abona = Avon, Avon]
243Isca[= Isca = Usk, Gwent]
244Tamion[?= Taff, Glamorgan?]
245Auentio[= Aventio = Ewenny, Glamorgan]
246Leuca[= Leuca = Loughor, Dyfed/Glamorgan]
247Iuctius[= Stuctia = Ystwyth, Dyfed]
248Leugosena[= Seteia = Mersey, Merseyside]
249Coantia[?= Kent, Cumbria?]
250Doruantium[= Derventio = Derwent, Cumbria]
251Anaua[= Anava = Annan, Dumfries & Galloway]
252Bdora[?= Eden, Cumbria?]
253Nouitia[= Novius = Nith, Dumfries & Galloway]
254Adron[?= Ayr, Strathclyde?]
255Certisnassa[unknown]
256Intraum[unknown]
257Antrum[unknown]
258Tinoa[= Tinea = Tyne, Tyne & Wear]
259Liar[unknown]
260Lenda[unknown]
261Vividin[unknown]
262Durolavi[unknown]
263Alauna[= Alaunus = Aln, Northumberland]
264Coguueusuron:[?= Cogus = Coquet, Northumberland?]
[?= Vensuron = Wansbeck, Northumberland?]
265Durbis[?= Dour, Kent?]
266Lemana[?= Rother, East Sussex/Kent?]
267Novia[?= Novius = Pevensey, Sussex?]
268Raxtomessa[= Rex Tamesis = Thames, Essex/Kent]
269Senua[unknown]
270Cunia[unknown]
271Velox[unknown]
(V.32) Iterum in eodem oceano occidentali, post ipsam magnam Britaniam, simulque et amplius longius, ut diximus, quam omnes insule e terra magna finita [ex] parte septentrionali, magis ex ipsa occidentali, est insula maxima quae dicitur Ibernia, que, ut dictum est, et Scotia appellatur. cuius post terga, ut iam praemisimus, nullo modo apud homines terra invenitur.
translation
272Etsodisinam:[?= Elsodus = unknown?]
[?= Sinam = Shannon, Ireland?]
273Cled[unknown]
274Terdec[unknown]
Iterum in ipso oceano occidentali ponuntur diverse insule, ex quibus aliquantas nominare volumus, id est
[Also, in this selfsame western ocean are planted many islands, for which the number of names are many; they are:]
275Corsula[unknown]
276Mona[= Mona = Anglesey, Gwynedd]
277Regaina[unknown]
278Minerve[= Manavia = Isle of Man]
279Cunis[unknown]
280Manna[?= Arran, Strathclyde?]
281Botis[= Botis = Bute, Strathclyde]
282Vinion[unknown]
283Saponis[unknown]
284Susura[unknown]
285Birila[unknown]
286Elaviana[unknown]
287Sobrica[unknown]
288Scetis[= Scitis = Skye, Inner Hebrides]
289Linnonsa[unknown]
Item ad aliam partem dicitur insula
[Also, in other parts there are islands named:]
290Magantia[unknown]
291Anas[unknown]
292Cana[= Cana = Canna, Inner Hebrides]
293Atina[unknown]
294Elete[?= Islay, Inner Hebrides?]
295Daroecla[?= Jura, Inner Hebrides?]
296Esse[unknown]
297Gradena[unknown]
298Maiona[?= Malaius = Mull, Inner Hebrides?]
[Possible Duplicate! See R&C.304]
299Longis[?= Lewis, Outer Hebrides?]
300Eirimon[?= Harris, Outer Hebrides?]
301Exosades[?= Uist, Outer Hebrides?]
ubi et gemme nascuntur, [sicut] legimus. Item in ipso oceano numero insule triginta tres quae et
translation
302Dorcades[= Orcades = Orkney Islands]
appellantur, que quamvis non existant omnes exculte, attamen nomina illarum volueramus Christo nobis iuvante designare; sed quia peccatis emergentibus suete a diversis gentibus ipsa dominatur patria et, ut barbarus mos est, varie vocationes easdem insulas appellant, ideo earum reliquimus nomina designandum.
translation pending


Other RBO Geographical Resources

Ptolemy's Geography * Antonine Itinerary * Notitia Dignitatum * Peutinger Table * Nennius' Cities

See: RomanMap.com WebSite by Tom Ikins - A superb site! A number of entries on the modern side of the equation were filched from here (primarily where I already had the supporting place-name web page). togodumnus
also A version of the Ravenna Cosmography world map from Lincolnshire Web - A pictorial version of the Roman map.
and Britannia in the Ravenna Cosmography from the cyberhome of Keith Matthews - A superb website with much more than the Ravenna text.

Bibliographical Links

Roman Britain : A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routledge, London, 1992);
Place Names of Roman Britain by A.L.F. Rivet & Colin Smith (Batsford, London, 1979);
Historical Map and Guide: Roman Britain by the OS (4th Ed., 1990);