The Geography of Ptolemy

Ebuda 15*0 62*0 Islay? Ebuda Insula 15*40 62*0 Jura? Rhicina 17*0 62*0 Isle of Arran? Malaeus 17*30 62*30 Island of Mull Epidium 18*30 62*0  Kintyre; Strathclyde Monaoeda Insula 17*40 61*30 Isle of Man Mona Insula 15*0 57*40 Anglesey Adru 15*0 59*30 unknown Limnu 15*0 59*0 unknown Novantarum Pen. 0*0 0*0 Rhinns of Galloway Novantarum prom. 21*0 61*40 Mull of Galloway Rerigonius Sin. 20*30 60*50 Loch Ryan; Dumfries & Galloway Vindogara Sin. 21*20 60*30 Irvine Bay; Strathclyde Clota Aest. 22*15 59*20 Firth of Clyde Lemannonius Sin. 24*0 60*0 Loch Fyne? Epidium Prom. 23*0 60*40 Mull of Kintyre ost. Longus Fl. 24*30 60*40 Firth of Lorn? ost. Itis Fl. 27*0 60*40 unknown Volas Sin. 29*0 60*30 unknown ost. Navarus Fl. 30*0 60*30 unknown Tarvedum sive Orcas Prom. 31*20 60*15 Dunnet Head; Scottish Highlands Novantarum Prom. 21*0 61*40 Mull of Galloway; Dumfries & Galloway ost. Abravannus Fl. 19*20 61*0 Water of Luce; Dumfries & Galloway? Iena Aest. 19*0 60*30 River Cree; Dumfries & Galloway? ost. Devas Fl. 18*0 60*0 River Dee; Dumfries & Galloway ost. Novius Fl. 18*20 59*30 River Nith; Dumfries & Galloway Ituna Aest. 18*30 58*45 Solway Firth Moricambe Aest. 17*30 58*20 Morcambe Bay Portus Setantiorum 17*20 57*45 nr. Fleetwood; Lancashire? Belisama Aest. 17*30 57*20 River Ribble; Lancashire Seteia Aest. 17*0 57*0 River Mersey; Merseyside Caeanganorum Prom. 15*0 57*0 Point of Ayr; Clwyd (Deceangi)??= Ganganorum Prom. = Lleyn Peninsula; Gwynedd (Gangani/Ordovices)? ost. Toesobis Fl. 15*40 56*20 Tremadog Bay; Gwynedd ost. Stuccia Fl. 15*20 55*30 Afon Ystwyth; Dyfed ost. Tuerobis Fl. 15*0 55*0 unknown Octapitarum Prom. 14*20 54*30 St. David's Head; Dyfed ost. Tobius Fl. 15*30 54*30 unknown ost. Ratostabius Fl. 16*30 54*30 unknown Sabrina Aest. 17*20 54*30 River Severn; Gloucestershire Uxella Aest. 16*0 53*30 River Axe; Somerset Herculis Prom. 14*0 52*45 Hartland Point; Devon Antivestaeum sive Bolerium Prom. 11*30 52*30 Land's End; Cornwall Damnonium sive Ocrium Prom. 12*0 51*30 Lizard Point; Cornwall ost. Cenio Fl. 14*0 51*45 unknown ost. Tamarus Fl. 15*40 52*10 River Tamar; Devon and Cornwall ost. Iscas Fl. 17*40 52*20 River Exe; Devon ost. Alaunus Fl. 17*40 52*40 unknown Magnus Portus 19*0 53*0 Bosham Harbour; nr. Chichester; Sussex ost. Trisantonis Fl. 20*20 53*0 River Arun; Sussex Novus Portus 21*0 53*30 Sussex Cantium Prom. 22*0 54*0 South Foreland; Kent Virvedrum Prom. 31*0 60*0 Duncansby Head; Scottish Highlands Verubium Prom. 30*30 59*40 Noss Head; Scottish Highlands ost. Ila Fl. 30*0 59*40 River Helmsdale; Scottish Highlands a high shore 29*0 59*40 Foothills of Beinn Dhorain; Scottish Highlands Varar Aest. 28*0 59*40 Beauly Firth; Scottish Highlands ost. Loxa Fl. 27*30 59*40 River Lossie; Grampian Tuesis Aest. 27*0 59*0 River Spey; Grampian ost. Caelis Fl. 27*0 58*45 River Deveron; Grampian Taezalon Prom. 27*30 58*30 Kinnaird's Head; Grampian ost. Deva Fl. 26*0 58*30 River Dee; Grampian ost. Tina Fl. 24*0 58*30 River Eden; Fife Boderia Aest. 22*30 59*0 Firth of Forth ost. Alaunus Fl. 21*20 58*30 River Aln; Northumberland ost. Vedra Fl. 20*10 58*30 River Wear; Tyne & Wear Dunum Sin. 20*15 57*30 Tees bay; Cleveland Gabrantuicorum Sin. with many harbors 21*0 57*0 Bridlington Bay? Ocelus Prom. 21*15 56*40 Spurn Head; Humberside? ost. Abi Fl. 21*0 56*30 River Humber; Humberside Metaris Aest. 20*30 55*40 The Wash ost. Gariennus Fl. 20*50 55*40 River Yare; Norfolk a Promontory 21*15 55*5 unknown ost. Sidumanis Fl. 20*10 55*0 unknown Tamesa Aest. 20*30 54*30 Thames Estuary; Greater London Cantium Prom. 22*0 54*0 South Foreland; Kent Locopibia 19*0 60*20Novantae  unknown Rerigonium 20*10 60*40Novantae  unknown Carbantorigum 19*0 59*30Selgovae  unknown Uxellum 18*30 59*20Selgovae  unknown Corda 20*0 59*40Selgovae  unknown Trimontium 19*0 59*0Selgovae  Newstead; Borders Colanica 20*45 59*10Damnoni  Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire Vindogara 21*20 60*0Damnoni  unknown Coria 21*30 59*20Damnoni  unknown Alauna 22*45 59*50Damnoni  unknown Lindum 23*0 59*30Damnoni  unknown Victoria 23*30 59*0Damnoni  unknown Coria 20*10 59*0Otalini Corbridge; Northumberland? Alauna 23*0 58*40Otalini Learchild; Northumberland? Bremenium 21*0 58*45Otalini High Rochester; Northumberland Bannatia 24*0 59*30Vacomagi  unknown Tamia 25*0 59*20Vacomagi  unknown Alata Castra 27*15 59*20Vacomagi  unknown Tuesis 26*45 59*10Vacomagi  unknown Orrea 24*0 58*45Venicones  Carpow; Fife? Devana 26*0 59*0Taezali  Aberdeen; Grampian? Epiacum 18*30 58*30Brigantes  Whitley Castle; Northumberland Vinovium 17*45 58*0Brigantes  Binchester; Durham Caturactonium 20*0 58*0Brigantes  Catterick; North Yorkshire Calatum 19*0 57*45Brigantes  Burrow in Lonsdale; Lancashire? Isurium 20*0 57*40Brigantes  Aldborough; North Yorkshire Rigodunum 18*0 57*30Brigantes  Castleshaw; Greater Manchester? Olicana 19*0 57*30Brigantes  Elslack; Lancashire? Eboracum; Legio VI Victrix 20*0 57*20Brigantes  York; North Yorkshire Camulodunum 18*0 57*45Brigantes  Slack; South Yorkshire? Petuaria 20*40 56*40Parisi  Brough on Humber; Humberside Mediolanum 16*45 56*40Ordovices  Whitchurch; Shropshire Brannogenium 16*45 56*15Ordovices  Leintwardine; Hereford & Worcester? Deva; Legio XX Victrix 17*30 56*45Cornavi  Chester; Cheshire Viroconium 16*45 55*45Cornavi  Wroxeter; Shropshire Lindum 18*40 56*30Coritani  Lincoln; Lincolnshire Ratae 18*0 55*30Coritani  Leicester; Leicestershire Salinae 20*45 55*50Catuvellauni  unknown Urolanium 19*20 55*30Catuvellauni  St. Alban's; Hertfordshire Venta 20*30 55*20Iceni  Caistor St. Edmund; Norfolk Camulodunum 21*0 55*0Trinovantes  Colchester; Essex Luentinum 15*45 55*10Demetae  Pumsaint; Dyfed Maridunum 15*30 54*40Demetae  Carmarthen; Dyfed Bullaeum 16*50 55*0Silures  Usk; Gwent Corinium 18*0 54*10Dobuni  Cirencester; Gloucestershire Caleva 19*0 54*15Atrebati  Silchester; Hampshire Londinium 20*0 54*0Canti  London; Greater London Daruernum 21*0 54*0Canti  Canterbury; Kent Rutupie 21*45 54*0Canti  Richborough; Kent Noeomagus 19*45 53*5Regni  Chichester; Sussex Iscalis 16*0 53*40Belgae  nr. Bawdrip; Somerset? Aquae Calidae 17*20 53*40Belgae  Bath; Avon Venta 18*40 53*0Belgae  Winchester; Hampshire Dunium 18*0 52*40Durotriges  Hod Hill; Dorset? Voliba 14*45 52*0Dumnoni  unknown Uxella 15*0 52*45Dumnoni  Launceston; Cornwall? Tamara 15*0 52*15Dumnoni  Plymouth; Devon? Isca 17*30 52*45Dumnoni  Exeter; Devon Scetis island 32*40 60*45 Skye Dumna island 30*0 61*20 Outer Hebrides (North Uist; South Uist & Isle of Lewis Orcades 30*0 61*40 Orkneys (possibly including Shetlands Thule (west) 29*0 63*0 Thule (east) 31*40 63*0 Thule (north) 30*20 63*15 Thule (south) 30*20 62*40 Thule (middle) 30*20 63*0 Toliapis 23*0 54*20 Isle of Thanet; Kent? Counus island 24*0 54*30 unknown Vectis 19*20 52*20 Isle of Wight; Hampshire

I know that I am mortal and the creature of a day: but when I search out the massed wheeling circles of the stars, my feet no longer touch the earth, but, side by side with Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods.
Ptolemy

Claudius Ptolemaeus was a celebrated geographer and astrologer who flourished between the reigns of Hadrian and Antonine in the second century AD. A greek by descent, he was a native of Alexandria in Egypt, and became known as the most wise and learned man of his time. He published several books on astronomy, including The Almagest which gave the positions of 1022 fixed stars by latitude and longitude, his discovery of the precession of the equinoxes, and also expounded an Earth-centred view on the workings of the universe based on epicycles – the Ptolemaic System – which was to remain unchallenged until the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus published his theory on a Sun-centred universe, the now-familiar Solar System, in 1543AD.

Ptolemy Map of Britain
Public Domain / National Library of Wales

His most remarkable publication, however, was perhaps his Geography, a work of seven volumes, which became the standard textbook on the subject until the 15th century. In the opening chapters of the second book of the Geography, we find information appertaining to the British Isles:

  • Chapter 1 is entitled Hibernia island of Britannia, and deals primarily with Ireland (Northern Ireland and Eire), including the islands of the Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Man, and curiously, Anglesey.
  • Chapter 2 is entitled Albion island of Britannia, and deals with mainland Britain (England, Wales and Scotland), giving lists of the prominent coastal landmarks, river mouths and estuaries, as well as the names of the British tribes and their principal towns.

Roman Britain Version of Ptolemy’s Map

You can plot the coordinates in Ptolemy’s description of the British coastline to produce the following map.

Ptolemy's Map of the British Isles
© Public Domain

When the  are plotted, an obvious error becomes readily apparent: everything north of the Solway Firth (Ituna Aestuarium) on the western side and the mouth of the River Wear (Vedra Fluvius) on the eastern side appear to have been rotated clockwise by 90°, so all directions north of Hadrian’s Wall should be adjusted accordingly. However, there are alternative interpretations of which one is that the map is an expanded view of Scotland south of the Highlands.

The following text includes some degree of additional formatting, in an attempt to improve clarity. Some passages have been broken up to display in a tabular format. The additions [highlighted and enclosed in square brackets] are not original nor the question marks ?, which are used to indicate those names where more doubt than normal exists. The names of the British Tribes have been rendered in bold type and some passages have been displayed as headings

In addition, the following Latin¹ abbreviations have been adopted throughout the translated text:

  • Aest. = Aestuarium = Estuary or tidal river-mouth.
  • Fl. = Fluvius, Flumen = River.
  • Ost. = Ostium = River-mouth.
  • Pen. = Peninsula = A narrow strip of land projecting into the sea. The literal Latin meaning is ‘almost an island’.
  • Prom. = Promonturium = Promontory or Headland. A high point of land or rocky coast which juts out into the sea.
  • Sin. = Sinus = Bay. A wide indentation of the shoreline, especially between two peninsulas or promontories.
  • I. = Insula = Island (used on diagram above).
  1. I know Ptolemy wrote in Greek, but Latin is much easier for most people to understand.

Claudius Ptolemaeus – Geography

Book II, Chapter 1

Hibernia Island of Britannia

[… Ptolemy’s description of the Irish coastline, rivers and towns has been omitted from here. …]

Above Hibernia are the ?Ebuda Insulae five in number
[?= Ebudae Insulae = Hebrides Islands]

the largest of which toward the west is called
Ebuda 15*00 62°00 [?= Islay?]
next to this toward the east likewise is
Ebuda Insula 15*40 62°00 [?= Jura?]
then ?Rhicina 17*00 62°00 [?= Isle of Arran?]
then Malaeus 17*30 62°30 [= Malaius = Island of Mull]
then Epidium 18*30 62°00 [= Epidium Prom. = Kintyre, Strathclyde]

Toward the east of Hibernia are these Islands

Monaoeda Insula 17*40 61°30 [= Manavia Insula = Isle of Man]
Mona Insula 15*00 57°40 [= Mona Insula = Anglesey]
?Adru which is barren 15*00 59°30 [unknown]
?Limnu which is barren 15*00 59°00 [unknown]
[end of chapter one]

Book II, Chapter 2

Albion Island of Britannia

[Part One – The Coastline of Mainland Britain]

A description of the northern coast, above which is the Oceanus Duecaledonius

Novantarum Pen. [== Rhinns of Galloway]
and Prom. of the same name 21*00 61°40 [= Novantarum Prom. = Mull of Galloway]
Rerigonius Sin. 20*30 60°50 [== Loch Ryan, Dumfries & Galloway]
Vindogara Sin. 21*20 60°30 [== Irvine Bay, Strathclyde]
Clota Aest. 22*15 59°20 [== Firth of Clyde]
?Lemannonius Sin. 24*00 60°00 [?= Loch Fyne?]
Epidium Prom. 23*00 60°40 [== Mull of Kintyre]
ost. ?Longus Fl. 24*30 60°40 [?= Firth of Lorn?]
ost. ?Itis Fl. 27*00 60°40 [unknown]
?Volas Sin. 29*00 60°30 [unknown]
30*00 60°30 [unknown]
Tarvedum sive Orcas Prom. 31*20 60°15 [== Dunnet Head, Scottish Highlands]

Description of the west1 side which borders on the Hibernian Ocean and the Vergionius Ocean

Novantarum Prom. 21*00 61°40 [== Mull of Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway]
ost. ?Abravannus Fl. 19*20 61°00 [?= Water of Luce, Dumfries & Galloway?]
?Iena Aest. 19*00 60°30 [?= River Cree, Dumfries & Galloway?]
ost. Devas Fl. 18*00 60°00 [== River Dee, Dumfries & Galloway]
ost. Novius Fl. 18*20 59°30 [== River Nith, Dumfries & Galloway]
Ituna Aest. 18*30 58°45 [== Solway Firth]
Moricambe Aest. 17*30 58°20 [== Morcambe Bay]
?Portus Setantiorum 17*20 57°45 [?= nr. Fleetwood, Lancashire?]
Belisama Aest. 17*30 57°20 [== River Ribble, Lancashire]
Seteia Aest. 17*00 57°00 [== River Mersey, Merseyside]
Caeanganorum Prom. 15*00 57°002 [?= Ceanganorum Prom. = Point of Ayr, Clwyd (Deceangi)?
?= Ganganorum Prom. = Lleyn Peninsula, Gwynedd (Gangani/Ordovices)?]
ost. Toesobis Fl. 15*40 56°20 [= Tisobis Fl. = Tremadog Bay, Gwynedd]
ost. Stuccia Fl. 15*20 55°30 [= Stuctia Fl. = Afon Ystwyth, Dyfed]
ost. ?Tuerobis Fl. 15*00 55°00 [unknown]
Octapitarum Prom. 14*20 54°30 [== St. David’s Head, Dyfed]
ost. ?Tobius Fl. 15*30 54°30 [unknown]
ost. ?Ratostabius Fl. 16*30 54°30 [unknown]
Sabrina Aest. 17*20 54°30 [== River Severn, Gloucestershire]
Uxella Aest. 16*00 53°30 [== River Axe, Somerset]
Herculis Prom. 14*00 52°45 [== Hartland Point, Devon]
Antivestaeum sive Bolerium Prom. 11*30 52°30 [== Land’s End, Cornwall]
Damnonium sive Ocrium Prom. 12*00 51°30 [== Lizard Point, Cornwall]

Description of the south side below which is the Oceanus Britannicus

After the Ocrium Prom. is
ost. Cenio Fl. 14*003 51°45 [unknown]
ost. Tamarus Fl. 15*40 52°10 [== River Tamar, Devon and Cornwall]
ost. Iscas Fl. 17*40 52°20 [== River Exe, Devon]
ost. ?Alaunus Fl. 17*40 52°40 [unknown]
?Magnus Portus 19*00 53°00 [?= Magnvs Portvs = Bosham Harbour, nr. Chichester, Sussex]
ost. Trisantonis Fl. 20*20 53°00 [= Trisantona Fl. = River Arun, Sussex]
?Novus Portus 21*00 53°30 [?= nr. Brighton and Hove, Sussex]
Cantium Prom. 22*00 54°00 [== South Foreland, Kent]

A description of the eastern and the southern side next to which is the Oceanus Germanicus

After the Tarvedum Prom., or Orcades, by which it is known
Virvedrum Prom. 31*00 60°00 [== Duncansby Head, Scottish Highlands]
Verubium Prom. 30*30 59°40 [== Noss Head, Scottish Highlands]
ost. Ila Fl. 30*00 59°40 [== River Helmsdale, Scottish Highlands]
a high shore 29*00 59°40 [?= Foothills of Beinn Dhorain, Scottish Highlands]
Varar Aest. 28*004 59°40 [== Beauly Firth, Scottish Highlands]
ost. Loxa Fl. 27*30 59°40 [== River Lossie, Grampian]
Tuesis Aest. 27*00 59°00 [== River Spey, Grampian]
ost. Caelis Fl. 27*00 58°45 [== River Deveron, Grampian]
Taezalon Prom. 27*30 58°30 [= Taexalorum Prom. = Kinnaird’s Head, Grampian]
ost. Deva Fl. 26*00 58°30 [== River Dee, Grampian]
ost. Tina Fl. 24*00 58°30 [== River Eden, Fife]
Boderia Aest. 22*30 59°00 [= Bodotria Aest. = Firth of Forth]
ost. Alaunus Fl. 21*20 58°30 [== River Aln, Northumberland]
ost. Vedra Fl. 20*10 58°30 [== River Wear, Tyne & Wear]
Dunum Sin. 20*15 57°30 [== Tees bay, Cleveland]
?Gabrantuicorum Sin. with many harbors 21*00 57°00 [?= Bridlington Bay?]
?Ocelus Prom. 21*15 56°40 [?= Spurn Head, Humberside?]
ost. Abi Fl. 21*00 56°30 [= Abus Fl. = River Humber, Humberside]
Metaris Aest. 20*30 55°40 [== The Wash]
ost. Gariennus Fl. 20*50 55°40 [= Gariannus Fl. = River Yare, Norfolk]
a Promontory 21*15 55°05 [unknown]
ost. ?Sidumanis Fl. 20*10 55°00 [unknown]
Tamesa Aest. 20*30 54°30 [= Tamesis Aest. = Thames Estuary, Greater London]
Next to this the Cantium Prom. 22*00 54°00 [== South Foreland, Kent]

[Part Two – The Tribes and Cities of Mainland Britain]

The Novantae dwell on the side toward the north below the peninsula of this name, among whom are the following towns:
?Locopibia 19*00 60°20 [unknown]
?Rerigonium 20*10 60°40 [unknown]
Below are the Selgovae, among whom are the following towns:
?Carbantorigum 19*00 59°30 [unknown]
?Uxellum 18*30 59°20 [unknown]
?Corda 20*00 59°40 [unknown]
Trimontium 19*00 59°00 [= TRIMONTIVM = Newstead, Borders]
From these toward the east, but more northerly, are the Damnoni, among whom are the following towns:
?Colanica 20*45 59°10 [?= COLANIA = Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire?]
?Vindogara 21*20 60°00 [unknown]
?Coria 21*30 59°20 [unknown]
?Alauna 22*45 59°50 [unknown]
?Lindum 23*00 59°30 [unknown]
?Victoria 23*30 59°00 [unknown]
Further south are the Otalini5, among whom are the following towns:
?Coria 20*10 59°00 [?= CORSTOPITVM = Corbridge, Northumberland?]
?Alauna 23*00 58°40 [?= ALAVNA = Learchild, Northumberland?]
Bremenium 21*00 58°45 [= BREMENIVM = High Rochester, Northumberland]
Next to the Damnoni, but more toward the east near the Epidium Prom. are the Epidi and next to these the Cerones; then the Carnonacae, and the Caereni but more toward the east; and in the extreme east dwell the Cornavi; from the Lemannonis Sin. as far as the Varar Aest. are the Caledoni, and above these is the Caledonian forest, from which toward the east are the Decantae, and next to these the Lugi extending to the Cornavi boundary, and above the Lugi are the Smertae;
below Caledonia are the Vacomagi, among whom are the following towns:
?Bannatia 24*00 59°30 [unknown]
?Tamia 25*00 59°20 [unknown]
Alata Castra 27*15 59°20 [unknown]
?Tuesis 26*45 59°10 [unknown]
Below these toward the west are the Venicones, whose town is
?Orrea 24*00 58°45 [?= Horrea Classis = Carpow, Fife?]
More toward the east are the Taezali and the town
?Devana 26*00 59°00 [?= Devana = Aberdeen, Grampian?]
Below the Selgovae and Otalini are the Brigantes extending to both seas, among whom are the following towns:
Epiacum 18*30 58°30 [= Epiacvm = Whitley Castle, Northumberland]
Vinovium 17*45 58°00 [= Vinovivm = Binchester, Durham]
Caturactonium 20*00 58°00 [= Cataractonivm = Catterick, North Yorkshire]
?Calatum 19*00 57°45 [?= Calacvm = Burrow in Lonsdale, Lancashire?]
Isurium 20*00 57°40 [= Isvrivm = Aldborough, North Yorkshire]
?Rigodunum 18*00 57°30 [?= Rigodvnvm = Castleshaw, Greater Manchester?]
?Olicana 19*00 57°30 [?= Olenacvm = Elslack, Lancashire?]
Eboracum, Legio VI Victrix 20*00 57°20 [= Ebvracvm = York, North Yorkshire]
?Camulodunum 18*00 57°45 [?= Cambodvnvm = Slack, South Yorkshire?]
Near which on the Opportunum Sin. are the Parisi and the town
Petuaria 20*40 56°40 [= Petvaria = Brough on Humber, Humberside]
Below these are the Brigantes but some distance toward the west are the Ordovices, among whom are the towns:
Mediolanum 16*45 56°40 [= Mediolanvm = Whitchurch, Shropshire]
?Brannogenium 16*45 56°15 [?= Bravonivm = Leintwardine, Hereford & Worcester?]
From these toward the east are the Cornavi, among whom are the towns:
Deva, Legio XX Victrix 17*30 56°45 [= Deva = Chester, Cheshire]
Viroconium 16*45 55°45 [= Viroconivm = Wroxeter, Shropshire]
Next to these are the Coritani, among whom are the towns:
Lindum 18*40 56°30 [= Lindvm = Lincoln, Lincolnshire]
Ratae 18*00 55°30 [= Ratae = Leicester, Leicestershire]
Next are the Catuvellauni, among whom are the towns:
?Salinae 20*45 55°50 [unknown]
Urolanium 19*20 55°30 [= Vervlamivm = St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire]
Next to these are the Iceni, whose town is called
Venta 20*30 55°20 [= Venta = Caistor St. Edmund, Norfolk]
Farther eastward and near the Tamesa Aestuarium are the Trinovantes and the town
Camulodunum 21*00 55°00 [= Camvlodvnvm = Colchester, Essex]
Below the peoples we have mentioned, but more toward the west are the Demetae, whose towns are:
?Luentinum 15*45 55°10 [?= Lventinvm = Pumsaint, Dyfed]
Maridunum 15*30 54°40 [= Moridvnvm = Carmarthen, Dyfed]
More toward the east are the Silures whose town is
?Bullaeum 16*50 55°00 [?= Bvrrivm = Usk, Gwent]
Next to these are the Dobuni, and their town
Corinium 18*00 54°10 [= Corinivm = Cirencester, Gloucestershire]
then the Atrebati and their town
Caleva 19*00 54°15 [= Calleva = Silchester, Hampshire]
Next to these, but farther eastward, are the Canti among whom are the towns:
Londinium 20*00 54°00 [= Londinivm = London, Greater London]
?Daruernum 21*00 54°00 [= Dvrovernvm = Canterbury, Kent]
Rutupie 21*45 54°00 [= Rvtvpiae = Richborough, Kent]
Below the Atrebati and the Canti are the Regni and the town
Noeomagus 19*45 53°05 [= Noviomagvs = Chichester, Sussex]
Below the Dobuni are the Belgae and the towns:
?Iscalis 16*00 53°40 [?= Iscalis = nr. Bawdrip, Somerset?]
Aquae Calidae 17*20 53°40 [= Aqvae Svlis = Bath, Avon]
Venta 18*40 53°00 [= Venta = Winchester, Hampshire]
Toward the west and south of these are the Durotriges whose town is
?Dunium 18*00 52°40 [?= Dvnvm = Hod Hill, Dorset?]
Next to these, but more to the west, are the Dumnoni, whose towns are:
?Voliba 14*45 52°00 [unknown]
?Uxella 15*00 52°45 [?= Vxelis = Launceston, Cornwall?]
?Tamara 15*00 52°15 [?= Tamaris = Plymouth, Devon?]
Isca, where is located Legio II Augusta 17*30 52°45 [= Isca = Exeter, Devon]

[Part Three – The Remaining British Islands]

The islands which are near Albion Insula and the Orcades Prom. are

Scetis island 32*40 60°45 [= Scitis = Skye]
?Dumna island 30*00 61°20 [?= Outer Hebrides (North Uist, South Uist & Isle of Lewis]

Above these islands are the Orcades, about thirty in number

the middle of which is in 30*00 61°40 [?Orcades = Orkneys (possibly including Shetlands]

Far above these is the island ?Thule.

[?= Thule / Ultima Thule ?= Shetland Islands ?= Iceland ?= Norway == A mythical northernmost inhabitable island.]
The part of this which extends much toward the west is in 29*00 63°00
that which is farthest eastward is 31*40 63°00
that which is farthest northward is 30*20 63°15
that which is farthest southward is 30*20 62°40
the middle is in 30*20 63°00

Eastward from the Trinovantes region there are two islands

?Toliapis 23*00 54°20 [?= TANATVS Isle of Thanet, Kent?]
?Counus island 24*00 54°30 [unknown]

Below Magnus Portus is the island Vectis

the middle of which is in 19*20 52°20 [= VECTIS = Isle of Wight, Hampshire]
[end of chapter two]
Textual Amendations
1 The 1932 edition has east.
2 The 1932 edition has 56°00.
3 The 1932 edition has 14*51.
4 The 1932 edition has 27*00.
5 The 1932 edition has Otadini.

For the Complete Text of Ptolemy’s Geography

The basis for this page is Book 2 of Ptolemy’s Geography, the last two paragraphs of chapter 1, and the entirety of chapter 2, are from the website of Bill Thayer: see: Bill Thayer’s Roman Gazetteer

  • The Geography of Claudius Ptolemaeus, trans. by E.L. Stevenson (Dover, New York, 1991);
  • Place Names of Roman Britain by A.L.F. Rivet & Colin Smith (Batsford, London, 1979);
  • Historical Map and Guide: Roman Britain by the OS (4th Ed., 1990);