Britannia, by William Camden



Small N NEXT to the Danmonii Eastward, Ptolemy in his Geographical Tables has plac’d the Greek text, as he stiles them in Greek, who in Latin Copies are also written Durotriges: The very same People, whom the Britains about the year of our Lord 890. call’d Dwr-Gwyr, according to Asserius Menevensis, who liv’d at that time, and was himself a Britain by birth. The Saxons call’d them Saxon: Dor-settan; as we at this day call the Tract, the County of Dorset, and Dorsetshire. The name of Durotriges is ancient, and purely British, and seems very probably to be deriv’d from Dour or Dwr,Dwr, what. which in British signifies Water, and Trig an Inhabitant; as if one should say, Dwellers by the Water or Sea-side. Nor is there any other Etymology of the names of those places which begin or end in Dur or Dour in ancient Gaul (where formerly they spoke the same language with that of Britain;) such are, Durocases, Durocottorum, Duranius, Dordonia, Durolorum, Doromellum, Divodurum, Breviodurum, Batavodurum, Ganodurum, Octodurum, and many others, as well in Gaul as Britain. But the Saxon word Saxon: Dor-settaSetta, what. is a compound of British and English; and is of the same import and signification, as Durotriges: for, Saxon: Settan among our Saxon Ancestors as well as other Germans, signified to inhabit or dwell upon. Thus, we find the dwellers upon mountains, call’d in their language, Saxon: Dun-settan; those who dwell upon the Chiltern-hills, Saxon: Cyltern-settan; and those who border upon the river Arow, Saxon: Arow-settan; as the Germans call’d the People who dwelt among the woods, Holt-satten, from inhabiting the Holts or Woods. Nor did the Britains deviate from the sense of the ancient name, when they call’d these Durotriges, Dwr-Gweir, that is, Dwellers on the sea-coast; since their Country, for about 50 miles together, fronts the British Ocean; being stretch’d-out in length from East to West, with an uneven shore, full of turnings and windings.

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