List of Latin place names in Iberia

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Latin Place Names
by country
Africa
Asia
Europe
by type
Cities
Countries
Islands
Lakes
Mountains
Regions
Rivers

This list includes countries and regions in the Iberian Peninsula (Latin Hispania) that were part of the Roman Empire, or that were given Latin place names in historical references.

Background[edit]

Until the Modern Era, Latin was the common language for scholarship and mapmaking. During the 19th and 20th centuries, German scholars in particular have made significant contributions to the study of historical place names, or Ortsnamenkunde. These studies have, in turn, contributed to the study of genealogy. For genealogists and historians of pre-Modern Europe, knowing alternate names of places is vital to extracting information from both public and private records. Even specialists in this field point out, however, that the information can be easily taken out of context, since there is a great deal of repetition of place names throughout Europe; reliance purely on apparent connections should therefore be tempered with valid historical methodology.

Caveats and notes[edit]

Latin place names are not always exclusive to one place – for example, there were several Roman cities whose names began with Colonia and then a more descriptive term. During the Middle Ages, these were often shortened to just Colonia. One of these, Colonia Agrippinensis, retains the name today in the form of Cologne.

Early sources for Roman names show numerous variants and spellings of the Latin names.

The modern canonical name is listed first. Sources are listed chronologically. In general, only the earliest source is shown for each name, although many of the names are recorded in more than one of the sources. Where the source differs in spelling, or has other alternatives, these are listed following the source. As an aid to searching, variants are spelled completely, and listed in most likely chronology.

Superscripts indicate:

  1. Latinized form of the Greek-derived name.
  2. Latinized form of the Asian-derived name via Greek.
  3. Altered Latinized form of the Greek-derived name.

Gibraltar[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Calpe (2PG3) Gibraltar

Portugal[edit]

Cities and towns[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Aeminium Coimbra
Aquae Flaviae Chaves
Arabriga Alenquer
Arandis Garvão, a parish of Ourique
Aretium Alvega
Aviarium Aveiro
Baesuris, Esuri Castro Marim
Balsa west of Tavira
Bevipo Alcácer do Sal
Bracara Augusta Braga
Brigantia Bragança
Caeciliana (a Roman villa between Caetobriga and Malateca)
Caetobriga Tróia, near Setúbal
Calipolis Vila Viçosa
Castra Leuca Castelo Branco
Cilpes Silves
Civitas Aravorum Marialva Castle, near Mêda
Civitas Calabriga Monte do Castelo, Almendra
Civitas Cobelcorum Almofala, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
Centum Cellae Colmeal da Torre, a parish of Belmonte
Collipo Leiria
Conímbriga Condeixa-a-Nova, south of Coimbra (the inhabitants of Conímbriga fled to nearby Aeminium, the ancient name of Coimbra, in 468)
Conistorgis (location unknown in the Algarve or Baixo-Alentejo)
Dipo Elvas
Ebora, Ebora Cerealis, Liberalitas Julia Évora
Eburobritium, Eburobrittium Óbidos
Egiptania Idanha-a-Velha
Equabona Coina, a parish of Barreiro
Guimaranis, Vimaranis Guimarães
Ipses Alvor
Lacobriga, Laccobriga Lagos
Lamecum Lamego
Lancobriga Fiães, a parish of Santa Maria da Feira
Lorica Loriga, a parish of Seia
Malateca Marateca, a parish of Palmela
Metallum Vipascense Mina de Aljustrel, central Alentejo
Mirobriga Celticorum Santiago do Cacém
Mondobriga Alter do Chão
Moron near Santarém
Myrtilis Iulia Mértola
Nabantia, Nabancia, Selleum, Sellium Tomar
Olisipo, Olisipo Felicitas Iulia, Felicitas Julia Olissipo, Ulyssipolis, Ulisseia Lisbon (Lisboa)
Ossonoba Faro
Pax Iulia, Pax Augusta, Colonia Civitas Pacensis Beja
Portus Alacer Portalegre
Portus Cale Porto
Portus Hannibalis Portimão
Salacia Alcácer do Sal
Scalabis Santarém
Sirpe Serpa
Sinus Sines
Talabara Alpedrinha, a parish of Fundão
Talabriga Marnel, near Águeda
Tongobriga Freixo, Marco de Canaveses
Tritium Covilhã
Tubucci Aurantes Abrantes
Veniatia Vinhais
Villa Euracini Póvoa de Varzim
Vipasca Aljustrel
Vissaium Viseu

Rivers[edit]

Fl. Fluvius (Latin), R. Rio (Portuguese)

Roman name Modern name
Minius Fl. R. Minho
Limia Fl. R. Lima
Tamaca Fl. R. Tâmega
Durius Fl. R. Douro
Vacua Fl. R. Vouga
Monda Fl. R. Mondego
Tagus Fl. R. Tejo
Calipus Fl. R. Sado
Ana vel Anas Fl. R. Guadiana
Nabantius Fl. R. Nabão

Mountains[edit]

Roman name Modern name
Herminius Mons Serra da Estrela, its former name meant the Mountains of Hermes.
Lunae Mons Serra de Sintra, its former name meant the Mountains of the Moon.

Spain[edit]

Cities and towns[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Abdera Adra, Andalusia
Acinipo Ronda la Vieja, near Ronda, Andalusia
Allabo Alagon, Aragon
Arunda Ronda, Andalusia
Asturica Augusta Astorga, León
Baelo Claudia Bolonia, a village near Tarifa, Andalusia
Baetulo Badalona, Catalonia
Barcino Barcelona, Catalonia
Baria Villaricos, Andalusia
Beligio Belchite / Azuara / Azaila, Aragon
Bilbilis Calatayud, Aragon
Flavium Brigantium probably Betanzos, Galicia
Bursao Borja, Aragon
Caesaraugusta Saragossa, Aragon
Calagurris Calahorra, La Rioja
Carthago Nova Cartagena
Colonia Victrix Iulia Lepida / C. V. I. Celsa Gelsa / Velilla de Ebro, Aragon
Complutum Alcalá de Henares, Madrid
Contrebia Belaisca Botorrita, Aragon
Corduba (2PG3) Córdoba
Dertusa Tortosa, Catalonia
Egara Terrassa, Catalonia
Emerita Augusta Mérida
Flaviobriga Castro Urdiales, Cantabria
Gades Cádiz, Andalusia
Gerunda Girona, Catalonia
Granata Granada
Hispalis (2PG3) Seville
Iacca Jaca, Aragon
Ilerda Lleida, Catalonia
Iluro Mataró, Catalonia
Iria Flavia Iria Flavia, Galicia
Labitolosa La Puebla de Castro, Aragon
Legio VII Gemina León
Lucentum Alicante
Lucus Augusti Lugo, Galicia
Matrix, Matritum Madrid
Malaca (2PG3) Málaga
Minorisa Manresa, Catalonia
Numantia Soria
Oiasso Oiartzun, Basque Country
Pompaelo, Pampalona, Pampelona Pamplona, Navarre
Salmantica Salamanca
Segeda Belmonte de Gracián / Mara, Aragon
Tarraco Tarragona, Catalonia
Toletum Toledo
Tude, Tyde Tui, Galicia
Turiaso Tarazona, Aragon
Urci Almería, Andalusia
Valentia Valencia
Virgis Berja

References[edit]

In order of likely publication:

  • PNH: Pliny (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Naturalis Historia; book "PNH" chapter (that is, "37PNH81" instead of the usual "N.H.xxxvii.81").
  • PG: Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), Geographia; book "PG" chapter (that is, "2PG3" instead of the usual "II.3"). Ptolemy wrote in Greek, so names are transliterated back into Latin to reveal the original form.
  • GOL: The standard reference to Latin placenames, with their modern equivalents, is Dr. J. G. Th. Graesse, Orbis Latinus : Lexikon lateinischer geographischer Namen des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (1909), an exhaustive work of meticulous German scholarship that is available on-line. To use it, one must understand German names of countries, as they were in 1909. The original was re-edited and expanded in a multi-volume edition in 1972.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]