DCSIMG

01/06/07 - Roman name still open for debate

NEILL Butters wants to know whether Ancaster was called Causennis in Roman times (Letters, May 25).

NEILL Butters wants to know whether Ancaster was called Causennis in Roman times (Letters, May 25).

Causennis is one grammatical form of a Roman settlement name in south Lincolnshire. Its other grammatical forms are not known for certain but may have included Causenna, Causennae or Causenni. It's known from a Roman route itinerary that lists places on a journey from London to Carlisle via East Anglia. This list says Causennis was thirty Roman miles (28.3 statute miles) south of Lincoln on the way to Water Newton (Durobrivis) in Cambridgeshire, thus placing Causennis about seven Roman miles south of Ancaster.

Unfortunately there are three possible Roman roads in the area to the east of Grantham so no one knows the exact location, but the best guess is one of the Roman settlements at Saltersford and Sapperton.

The Roman name of Ancaster is unknown but my guess is it would probably have been known by a name that alluded to the cult of Viridios which undoubtedly existed there.

One might speculate that it was named Fanum Viridii, 'the shrine of Viridios'.

GUY DE LA BEDOYERE

Time Team's Roman expert

Welby

 

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