Britannia, by William Camden

ornament

OTTADINI.

See the Gadeni, in Scotland. Small N NEXT after the Brigantes, Ptolemy places those, who (according to the various readings of several Copies) are call’d Ottalini, Ottadeni, and Ottadini. ⌈All the Copies which Dr. Gale had perused, read Greek otadenoi, Greek otalinoi, &c. with a single τ; and Selden’s Manuscript contracts the word (as it doth most others of the like kind) into Greek otadnoi.⌉ Instead of all which, I would willingly, with a very easie alteration, read Ottatini; that so the word might signifie beyond or upon the river Tyne. Thus, the name of the Inhabitants would exactly agree with the situation of their Country. For this People were seated beyond the Tyne: and our modern Britains call that Country in Wales which lies beyond the river Conway, Uch-Conway; that, beyond the Mountains, Uch-Mynyth; beyond the Wood, Uch-Coed; beyond the River Gyrway, Uch-Gyrway. Nor could it be at all improper, if, by the same rule, they nam’d this Country that is beyond the Tyne, Uch-Tin; out of which, by a little disjointing and mellowing of the word, the Romans seem to have form’d their Ottadini.Nicaeus Maeatae Yet since (as Xiphiline reports out of Dio Nicæus) all the Britains that dwelt near the foremention’d Wall, were call’d Greek maiatai, or Mæatæ;Mæatæ. it is reasonable to believe that our Ottadini (living on the Wall) were some of those Mæatæ, who, in that remarkable Revolt of the Britains, wherein the Caledonians were brought into the Confederacy, took up Arms: when the Emperour Severus gave orders to his Soldiers to give no Quarter to the Britains, in those words of Homer;

Iliad.3. Greek

—None our Arms shall spare,
None shall escape the fury of the War;
Children unborn shall die.—

⌈Humphrey Lhuyd places these People about Lothian in Scotland: and herein he is not contradicted by Buchanan, who never fails of contradicting him, when he can have an opportunity. All agree, that they were Picts; and therefore, if they did inhabit same part of this County, it must have been beyond the Wall. Naeatae Possibly, Næatæ is the true reading; and then, they are more probably placed near the Wall or Rampire, for Naid or Nawd, in the old British, signifies a Defence or Security. And why might not the Transcribers of Dio (for he is the only person of Antiquity that mentions these People) turn his Næatæ into Mæatæ; as well as the transcribers of Marcellinus have made Attigotti, and Catacotti, and Catiti, out of his Attacotti?

But to return:⌉ The storm of that Rebellion was calm’d by the death of Severus, who dy’d at York, in the midst of his preparations for war. A good while after, this Country seems to have been part of Valentia:Valentia. for so Theodosius nam’d it, in honour of the Emperour Valentinian, after he had vanquish’d the Barbarians, and recover’d this lost Province. But, in the Saxon wars, these ancient names grew out of date; and all those Counties which lie North of the Frith of Humber, took the Saxon Name of Saxon northan-humbra-ric, i.e. the Kingdom of the North-Humbrians. And yet even this name is now lost in the other Counties; being only retain’d in this of Northumberland; which we are now to visit.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06