previous next


Eth. DA´MNII in Scotland, mentioned by Ptolemy as lying to the north-east of the Selgovae. The difficulties that attend the fixation of the exact locality of this people may best be collected from the text as given in full:--“Partly, along the northern side, under the promontory of the same name, dwell the Novantae, amongst whom are these cities--Loucopibia and Retigonium” (according to another and probably a better reading, Rerigonium). “South of these, the Selgovae, amongst whom are these towns--Carbantorigum, Uxelum, Corda, Trimontium. To the eastward of these, but more to the north, are the Damnii, amongst whom are these towns--Colania, Vanduaria, Coria, Alauna, Lindum, Victoria. The Gadeni more northern, the Ottadini more southern, amongst whom are these towns--Curia, Bremenium. Next to the Damnonii, towards the east, but more northern, and to the east of the promontory Epidium, are the Epidii,” &c.

More than one text of Ptolemy, as well, perhaps, as the context itself, justifies us in connecting the Gadeni and Ottadini with the Selgovae rather than with the Damnii; i. e., in making the first named of those two populations the one to which the Gadeni and Ottadini lie north and south. But this will not [p. 1.750]meet the difficulty. The change of form from Damnii to Damnonii introduces another complication. The variae lectiones throw no light on this. The variation is even repeated in two inscriptions found in the neighbourhood of Carvoran (a station on the Vallum and the Magna of the Notitia), one of which is CIVITAS DUMNI, and the other CIVITAS DUMNONI. The historian of the Roman Wall sees in this only a transplantation of the Dumnonii of Devonshire, and draws attention to the policy by which one tribe already subdued is made to become instrumental in the subjugation of others. He overlooks the Damnii of Ptolemy. Thirdly, the geographical boundaries are indistinct. Of the twenty-one one names contained in the above-given extract, no more than eight can claim to be identified in a manner sufficiently satisfactory to serve as the basis for further criticism. These are, Novantae, Loucopibra, Retigonium (Mel. Rerigonium), Selgovae, Bremenium, Gadeni, Ottadini, and the Epidian Promontory. These== Wigtonshire, Glen Luce, Stranraer, the shore of the Solway, High Rochester, Berwickshire, Northumberland, and the Mull of Cantyre respectively. Now, no part of the northern shore of the Solway Frith lies south of the southernmost points of Wigton (Novantae). Neither can any population lie (at one and the same time) east of Kircudbright (Selgovae), and west of the Epidii (Argyle). By carrying the Selgovae as far as Dumfries, these difficulties are increased. Peebles, Selkirk, Lanark, Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Renfrew, and Stirling give us the nearest approximation to the area of the Damnii or Damnonii of North Britain. [See DUMNONII.]


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: