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dernière mise à jour 28/05/2012 10:43:32

Définition : ville d'Angleterre; comté de Yorkshire; sur la rivière Greta.


Extrait de la carte Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain.




a)  A.L.F RIVET & Colin SMITH : The Place-names of Roman Britain. p. 384: 


- AI 4681 (Iter II) : LAVATRIS

- AI 4763 (Iter v) : LEVATRIS

- Ravenna 10713(= R&C 135) : LAVARIS, var. LANARIS 

- ND XL10 (pictura) : LAVATRES

- ND XL25 (text) : Praefectus numeri exploratorum, LAVATRES 

Lavatris is correct; for the locative plural, see ANICETIS. E for a and n for v are common miscopyings. Probably the -es of the endings in ND's two forms is a miscopying of -is.

DERIVATION. A British *lauatro- 'water-trough, tub, bath' (plural *lauatri), 'possibly referring to a Roman bath-house', is identified by Jackson in Britannia, I (1970), 75. This accords with the Celtic
bases listed by Holder II. 164 : *lautro(n) 'bath', earlier *loutro-, *lovatro-, cognate with Latin luo, lavo, lavatorium, lavacrum, etc., and with Greek Loutron. As to the sense, Jackson may be right, especially as Gaulish lautro is glossed 'balneo' in the Vienna Glossary; but it is hard to see why, if a Roman bath-house were in question, it was not called by Latin balneum, which has left abundant traces in Continental toponymy, rather than by a British word. Furthermore, every Roman fort had its bath-house, so one does not see that this could have been a sufficiently distinctive feature to warrant such a naming. This difficulty leads us to look at the senses of related Old Irish loathar, lothur, lothor, for which there appear among glosses the senses 'canalis' (canal) and 'alveus' ('river-bed'). This last is reflected in the river-name Lautra cited by Holder. It seems better, then, to think not in terms of a Roman construction but of the latinisation (Lavatris) of an existing British name — that given by Jackson — whose sense was 'river-bed ' with plural implications. Williams and R&C suggested this, supporting the sense with the note that ' the Greta [river]. .. brawls over many rock-beds near the fort'.

IDENTIFICATION. The Roman fort at Bowes, Yorkshire (NY 9913), on the river Greta (which is of Norse origin).




* A.L.F RIVET & Colin SMITH : The Place-names of Roman Britain. Batsford Ltd. 1979. Édition 1982.


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