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Principal stations have been discovered at Bewcastle, “Old Carlisle,” Ellenborough near Maryport, Moresby near Whitehaven, “Old Perith,” Caermot near Ireby, and Stocklewath near Rose Castle, in Cumberland; and at Brough, and Ambleside in Westmorland. Traces of smaller forts are discoverable near Milburn, Kirkby Thore, and Yanwath (at the present day known as Green Castle, Whelp Castle, and Castle Steads); and at Orton, and Watercrook in Westmorland. The names of places furnish us with three: Hincaster, Muncaster, and Casterton. These forts and camps were all connected by roads, though but few traces thereof now remain, that called the Maiden Way excepted, which passed through the east of Cumberland. From Brough a main road led west through Kirkby Thore, and north through “Old Perith,” opening up the great forest to Luguvallum and the Wall. In the south we recognise it in Veroda, the red way, which was apparently transferred to a fort, and farther north in Wadlyng, from which came the name of the well-known “tarn," now no
Traces of a main road have likewise been discovered, leading from Ambleside in the direction of Penrith, which in later times was called the High Street, whence the name of one of the highest hills in Westmorland.
The information of the Itineraries of Antoninus, and the Notitia Imperii unfortunately affords little certainty as to the positions of the forts, and establishes but one point, the exclusive use of native names. The possibility of now discovering the dialects in these words, shows a scrupulous care in writing that differs much from the general treatment of barbarous names by the Latin writers at home. It likewise testifies to the good understanding that had long subsisted between the conquered Cumbrians and their rulers. Whatever frivolous origin the name may have had, it was adopted by the Romans; thus we find that one of the forts was called Olenacum, that is, “having elbows or corners." As for the rest, the conjectures of antiquaries concerning the sites are hardly worth repeating. Tunnocellum may have been at Bowness, Axelodunum at Brough; Aballaba and Amboglanna are probably still to be traced in Appleby and Ambleside; but that is all that
can be said. Whilst such imaginary namings as Old Penrith and Old Carlisle, are of no value whatever.
It cannot be supposed that the conquest of these counties was effected entirely without opposition. Two "cities,” such as those described by Cæsar, are traceable in the names of Blencogo and Blencowe, taken in conjunction with the nature of the ground; and if any stand were made, it was especially in these places. These cities were not intended for permanent residences, the habits of the Celts being opposed to such localities. Resistance, however, was in vain; the Cumbrians were compelled to make the roads and build the forts that completed their subjugation. Like all the other conquered tribes, they became either the lever or the fulcrum for overthrowing the liberty of some people as unfortunate as themselves.
But the Romans found the Caledonians, including the Picts and Scots, an enemy differing very widely from the other tribes of Britain, of which we have substantial evidence in the wall built for no other purpose than to keep them out. We cannot judge of the nature of the opposition encountered by the Romans in this island from the native writers. Cæsar, who could not acknowledge his defeat at Gergovia, or the streights to which he was driven in Britain, Domitian, who purchased slaves to make a triumph, were not the men to publish reverses that could be concealed. The difficulties of Britain, it is evident, either prevented the invasion of Ireland, or, if a celebrated Irish tradition* be founded on fact, the attempt was made, and was foiled. Dangers were indeed sometimes exaggerated for obvious purposes, but defeats were as patriotically hushed up in the city of the Cæsars, as to day in the city of the Czars.
The Roman occupation of Britain lasted either too long or too short for the welfare of the country-long enough to enervate by tutelage the unfortunate natives, to show the country to the
* The Battle of Ventry Harbour, the invasion of Ireland in the fourth century by the king of the world, on which an Iliad of wonders was raised by the romance writers of the middle ages. The story still exists independently in local tradition.
Gothic tribes, literally to pave the way for the invading hordes that followed,—too short to protect them when the dangers became imminent. Whatever we may think of the romance of the pious Gildas, it is certain that the northern neighbours were not less troublesome for the withdrawal of the foreign garrisons. The Cumbrians could hardly repel the assaults of an enemy that was not to be vanquished by Roman arms. About this time, some permanent settlements appear to have been made in this district by the Scots,-the well-known Scots of school histories, who, having united their forces with the Picts, “ began to look upon Britain as their own.” Three names at least can be referred with certainty to this tribe, Skiddaw, the Scots' mountain, Bailey, and Ballydoyle. On the other hand, the Picts appear to have confined their ravages altogether to the other side of the Pennine, as we have no evidence that they ever entered Cumberland.
The origin of the Scots is involved in some obscurity, but various traditions confirm a belief that they came into Ireland from Spain. They landed in the south and south-east, and, some time during the Roman occupation of Britain, passed over from the north into Caledonia. Thus they traversed the entire island, Connaught apparently excepted, and made so deep an impression on their new country, as to give to it the name that it bore for some centuries, namely, Scotia. In short they were to Ireland what the Angles, at a later period, were to England. Their invasion of Caledonia finally transferred the name to that country. It is very probable they were Celtiberians, as their migration from Spain would lead us to suppose ; and it is certain that the Scottish Highlanders and the Basques strikingly correspond in many important characteristics.
CELTIC NAMES OF PLACES AND PEOPLES.
FOUR different Celtic colonisations of Cumbria have left names to the etymologist, besides a certain number of exceptional words, which it is proposed to refer to Iberian. In the explanation of all the former names, nevertheless, the main distinction to be observed, is that of Hibernian and Cambrian, and for such a separation very great facility exists in the distinct and marked characters of both languages.
During the European transit of the Celts, the Cambrian division fell under an influence that altered the initial c of a number of words into p: Irish cean, Welsh pen. The Greek dialects have suffered under a similar mixture or influence.* Again, the main character of Welsh utterance is that of a violent separation of syllables, not unlike the well-known peculiarity of Italian, a striking contrast with the extreme fluency and connectedness of Irish. Both these influences are southern, and proceed from the earlier inhabitants of the two peninsulas; Irish has escaped them.
Every consonant in standard Irish is capable of two pronunciations, a broad and a narrow; the western dialect still preserves the distinction clearly audible. The vowels are divided into broad and narrow, a, 0, u being of the former kind, e, i the latter. If there be no other overruling cause, the consonant takes its sound from the following vowel; and, according to a practice now ancient, the kind of the medial or final consonant is indicated, if necessary,
* Ionic kē, Attic pē, Doric pa: Latin yua. The Latin qu is the eq. in most cases to these varying sounds.
by a preceding vowel. Thus the a vowel in cean only shows the broad sound of the n. Some of the Celtic dialects and many of the European languages that received this influence did not preserve its original condition; its existence is now therefore best traced in its effects, which form many of the most striking changes of modern dialects. Traces of this organic peculiarity are strong and general in Russian, partial in Danish and Latin, scarcely to be found in Welsh, and non-existent in German. Its effects are sufficiently ample in the Romance languages, in Anglo-Saxon orthography, and in the pronunciation of modern English. That this influence belongs to the north is tolerably evident; and seeing that it is almost perfect in Magyar, and more or less traceable in all the languages of the same stock, we may conclude that it has come to us through the Tatár peoples.
Welsh and Irish have in common a number of initial changes which are still inexplicable to the philologist; but as some of these are euphonic, they cannot be considered foreign to the stock. But, besides these, the Celtic languages have undergone a system of aspiration that, in process of time, has quite altered the sound of the word. Fortunately, in Irish the process is still living, and in a majority of cases the old orthography has been preserved. The limited number of words explained in this chapter, is sufficient to show that the system of aspiration had commenced before the Roman occupation; in some instances the aspirated letter has disappeared, in others it is retained. Aspiration is marked in English characters with the letter h. These peculiarities, indeed, increase the difficulties of Celtic etymology, but they enable the student to identify his words almost with certainty.
Nothing in language has led to more unfounded assumptions and theories than the disappearance of Celtic names in Europe. When the succeeding races pressed in among the Celts, the names belonging to the latter were not thickly sown, as is visible in the map of Ireland, where the words that fill up the picture, whether English or Irish, all proceed from a late period. The original Celtic names were given to whole tracts of country, rivers, peoples, promontories and cities.