Britannia, by William Camden

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DIMETÆ.

West-Wales. Small T THE remainder of this Tract which is extended westward, and is call’d by the English West-Wales, comprehending Caer-mardhin-shire, Pembrokeshire, and Cardiganshire, was thought by Pliny to have been inhabited by the Silures. But Ptolemy, to whom Britain was better known, placed another Nation here, whom he call’d Dimetæ and Demetæ. Moreover, both Gildas and Ninnius us’d the word Demetia to signify this Country; whence the Britains call it at this day Dyved, changing the M into V, according to the custom of that Language.Dimetae Demetae Meatae

If it would not be thought a strain’d piece of curiosity, I should be apt to derive this name Demetæ, from the words Deheu-meath, which signify the Southern plain; as all this south-part of Wales has been call’d Deheu-barth; i.e. the Southern Part. And I find that elsewhere the Inhabitants of a champain Country in Britain were call’d by the Britains themselves† There is no such word as Meath for a Champain Country (either in Manuscripts or common use) nor is this Country such, as is describ’d.Meatæ. Nor does the situation of this Country contradict that signification; for when you take a prospect of it, the Hills decline gently and gradually into a Plain. ⌈But seeing it was the custom among the Romans to retain such names of the places they conquer’d, as the ancient Natives made use of, adding only a Latin termination; it may seem more probable that Dimetia was made out of the British name Dyved, than the contrary.⌉

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