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The name of the river Dee, in Cheshire. Just, however, as DERVENTIO though really the name of the Derwent, denotes a town on that river rather than the river itself, Deva means a town on the Deva rather than Deva (Dee) the river. The exact figure of speech by which this change is brought about is uncertain. Perhaps the fuller form may have been Ad Devam or Ad Derventionem. Nothing, however, is more certain than that the name in both the cases before us (as well as in certain others) is originally and primarily the name of the river rather than the station. Another form is Deuna, given by Ptolemy as a city of the Cornabü, Viroconium and the station of the Twentieth Legion (or the Victorious) being the other two. As the Cornabii lay between the Ordovices of North Wales and the Coritani of Leicester and Lincolnshire, these correspond more or less with the present counties of Derby, Stafford, and Cheshire. In the second Itinerary we find the station Deva Leug. xx. victrix, in which (as far at least as the name of the station goes) we probably have the better reading. The complication [p. 1.772]hereby engendered consists in the distinction suggested by Ptolemy between Deuna and Deva, it being assumed that the latter is the station of the Twentieth Legion; a complication which, though not very important, still requires unravelling. Possibly there were two stations on the Dee (Ad Devam). Possibly there was a change of station between the time of Ptolemy and the author of the Itinerary.

The Roman remains, at Chester are important, numerous, and well described. (See Ormerod's History of Cheshire, vol. i. p. 295.) The Roman streets may be traced by the existence of pavements under the present existing street, some feet below the surface of the soil. The walls, too, of Chester follow their old Roman outline, and probably stand, for the greater part of their circuit, on Roman foundations. A postern on the bank of the Dee, called the Shipgate, consisting of a circular arch, is supposed to be Roman. Altars, coins, baths, with hypocausts and figures, have also been found. The earliest inscription is one bearing the name of Commodus, not the emperor so called, but “Cejonius Commodus qui et Aelius Verus appellatus est” (Spartian, Hadrian), who was adopted by Hadrian. One of the statues, supposed to represent either Atys or Mithras, bears a Phrygian bonnet on the head, a short vest on the body, and a declining torch in the hand. Others are given to Minerva, to Aesculapius, and to other more truly Roman deities. Sepulchral vases, too, have been found.


A river in Britain, mentioned by Ptolemy as being the third from the promontory of the Novantae (Wigton), in a southern direction,--the Abravannus and the Tena aestuary being the first and second. The Dee in Galloway. [R.G.L]

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