Ancrum Fort

Ancrum Fort

Ancrum Fort

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Is Ancrum Fort Alauna or Alaunolcelum?

From Britannia in the Ravenna Cosmography

Ancrum ?

Alaunolcelum, if a correct emendation (proposed by Rivet & Smith 1979, 246), may have been the name of a site on a spur overlooking Ale Water, a tributary of the River Tweed, whose name derives from the Celtic Alauna (Ekwall 1928, 7; Rivet & Smith 1979, 243). If this be accepted, then the Cosmographer is working north-eastwards towards Newstead, in which case the two preceding names could be crossings of Ettrick Water, a tributary of the Tweed, and *Locatrebae may have been Oakwood.

From The Roman Map of Britain

Ptolemy's Alauna of the Votadini follows Coria and is omitted in most manuscripts.

From The tribes of North Britain revisited by G W S Barrow

Again, ignoring the linguistic evidence, Mann and Breeze pay no attention to the strong probability that the Alauna ascribed by Ptolemy to the Votadini is related to the river name Aln. Ptolemy's Alaunus must be the Northumberland Aln, and if Alauna was not in the Aln valley it might have been in that of the Ale Water,



The Ravenna Chorography, however, does mention an Alauna that would seem to lie on the eastern road, and some day we may find that this was the name of a fort between Newstead and Bremenium.

British River Names of The North

Ale Water (Borders) Alne (Northumberland), Ayle Burn (Northumberland) Br. *Alünā, often rendered as Alauna in British Latin, with an uncertain meaning, perhaps from PIE. *ala'water'.

Or Maybe Not

From Ptolemy, Tacitus and the tribes of north Britain by John C Mann and David J Breeze

The Votadini are more difficult. Coria appears to lie in the southern part of their territory and Alauna north of the Forth, if indeed it is not a repeat of the Alauna listed under the Damnonii (Rivet & Smith 1979,245).

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