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Noms de lieux

Noms de lieux


Ile de Man

Manavia (?)

page ouverte le 22.04.2004 forum de discussion

* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica

dernière mise à jour 14/01/2010 13:15:52

Définition : île britannique située entre l'Angleterre / Écosse à l'est et l'Irlande à l'ouest.

Chef-lieu : Castleton (cf. DUHG. 1863)

superficie : 570 km2; 

population : 42 000 hab. en 1863; 48 200 hab. en 1979; 


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


Extrait de la carte Michelin 986 : Great Britain . Ireland. 1 / 1 000 000


Extrait de la carte Michelin 986 : Great Britain . Ireland. 1 / 1 000 000


* DUHG (1863) : "Possédée longtemps par les comtes de Derby, puis par les ducs d'Athol; achetée en 1765 par le gouvernement anglais, qui chassa les contrebandiers dont elle était infestée".

Étymologie :

* DUHG. 1863 : "Monabia ou Menavia". 

* Rivet & Smith, p 410 :

- Pline, NH IV,103 : MONAPIA;

- Ptolémée, II,2,10 : Monaoeda ( = MONAOEDA), variante Monarina ( = MONARINA).

- Ravenna, 10819 : MANAVI

- Orose, I,2,82 : MEVANIA

- Julius Honorius, 16 : MEVANIA; variantes : MEBANIA, MEUBANIA

- Jordanes, 1,8 : MEVANIA; variante EVANIA

There are numerous problems here. At least all the sources refer to the Isle of Man (but see Bede, below). Pliny places the islind with others inter Hiberniam ac Britanniam. The ancien name is usually cited as Monapia, following Pliny, apparently from the feeling that since his record is the earliest it is the most likely to be correct. But Holder II. 621, in a note which seems to have been overlooked, already suggested that Pliny's form should be corrected to *Manavia, and this - as Jackson LHEB 376 confirms - is proper, for the Middle Welsh name for Man, Manau, demands either *Manauia or *Manaua as its British etymon (the first of these is to be preferred, in view of the frequency of the -ia termination in the sources). Ptolemy's entry also requires correction; Millier recognised it as corrupt and suggested dut the proper form should be *Movaoua (= *Monava). Ravenna, against custom, has a nearly correct form of the name, but errs in placing it among its diversa loca, which as a group was thought by R&C to include tribal meeting-places, of which this was one : 'Presumably connected with Manau Guotodin [Nennius], the district at the head of the Firth of Forth", with a reference to Watson CPNS 103-104; and perhaps following J. Loth. "Les deux Mano irlandais et les deux Manau Brittons', RC, LI (1934), I85-95. This was taken further by, K. A. Steer in Richmond (éd.), Roman and native in North Britain (1958), 107 : '.. .Since well-known megalithic monuments would obviously provide convenient focal points for tribal gatherings, it istempring to suggest that Manavi, which is linked with Manau, the district at the head of the Firth of Forth, was located in the vicinity of the Clack Mannan, or stone of Manau, which originally stood not far from its present position in the centre of
Clackmannan town.' As for derivation. R&C noted that 'Manau would give a Celtic genitive Manann, but a latinised genitive Manavi, as here'. This is ingenious but superfluous. A clue to a completely different solution — that which we have adopted — is almost inadvertently given by R&C when they go on to relate their name to various forms given by ancient writers for the Isle of Man; and although there is nothing inherently impossible in R&C's wish to assign Manavi to an inland meeting-place (whose name Manau must indeed have derived from a similar ancient name, not recorded till Nennius), it is really much more likely that in this entry Ravenna is listing the Isle of Man. Probably the name was entered on the map-source stretching across the sea (represented on the map as very narrow) from Man to Scotland, and was misread by the Cosmographer - as in other cases - as though it pertained to the latter. It is to be noted that Ravenna otherwise gives no name for Man, which is unlikely to have been overlooked. See further Ravenna's Manna 10911 (= R&C 280), which we have referred to MONA.

The remaining sources form a group. Presumably it was Orosius or an early copyist who wrote Mevania with scribal metathesis of n-v, and he was followed by Julius Honorius and Jordanes; also by Bede, who is known to have used Orosius as a source, when he writes (II, 5) that Edwin Mevanias Brettonum insulas, quae inter Hiberniam et Brittaniam sitae sunt, Anglorum subiecit imperio (the note about position coming from Pliny). Bede is the only writer to use the name as a plural. presumably for Anglesey + Man jointly.

In looking back at this tangled story, and considering the variant of Julius Honorius in particular, one can see how Pliny's erroneous form arose : *Manavia with b for v in some carly text, and then perhaps p for b a little later, giving *Manapia, with the first a still later miscopied as o, Monapia.

DERIVATION : While Monapia was taken seriously, it was tempting to connect the name with the Manapia ( = Manapia) polis of the Manapoi ( = Manapii) people of Ireland (Ptolemy, II,2,7, etc), and these with the Manapioi ( = Menapii) of Gallia Belgica (Ptolemy, II,9,5, etc), as does Watson CPNS 104. However, if whe take Manavia, the name seems to be simply *man-, a variant of *mon-, with suffix similar to *-aua (see ABALLAVA); hence there is indeed an association with Mona (Anglesey) and some logic in Bede's use of the plural name. The sens is 'mountain island' or 'high island'; see also Jackson, etc., above.


- en Moyen-gallois : Manau.

Sources :

- Larousse : Petit dictionnaire illustré. 1979.

- Eilert Ekwall : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English place-names. Clarendon Press. fourth edition, 1980.

- Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain.

* ALF RIVET & Colin SMTH : The Place-Names of Roman Britain. Batsford Ltd. London. 1979.

- Michelin. carte n°986 : Great Britain. Ireland. 18ème édition. 2000. site Internet : www.michelin-travel.com

Autres liens et sites traitant de l'Ile de Man : 

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