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dernière mise à jour 10/02/2009 13:01:51

Définition : Peuple 'celte' ou 'celtisé' de l'Ile de Bretagne, dans les parages du Loc'h Ness / Canal Calédonien. 


Extrait de la carte Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain

Étymologie :

* A.L.F RIVET & C. SMITH : Place-names of Roman Britain, p 291 : 

- Lucan VI,68 : CALEDONII

- Martial X, XliV, I : CALEDONII

- Ptolémée, II,3,8 : Kaledonioi ( = CALEDONII)

- Ravenna 1086 : LODONE, for (Ca)ledone(s) ?

- Xiphilinus 321 / Dion Cassius LXXVI,12 : Kaledonioi ( = CALEDONII, 2 fois)

- Panegyrici Latini VI (VII), 7,2 : CALIDONES.

- Nomina Provinciarum Omnium (Liste de Vérone), 13 : CALEDONII (variante : CALIDONI); 

- Apollinaris Sidonius, VII,89 : CALEDONII (variante : CALIDONII)

- Jordanes 2,14 : CALYDONII.

Ravenna's form has not hitherto been associated with these names. As argued in Chapter V (pp. 193-94), Ravenna took from the same map-source as that on which Ptolemy ultimately depended many tribal names, misreading them as place-names, and it is logical for *Caledonii or *Caledones to figure in Ravenna as it does in Ptolemy. The two letters at the start of the name may have been separated from the rest by a line of some sort on the map; o for e is a not uncommon error.

To these must be added a variety of other records. Ammianus mentions the Dicalydones (q.v.). RIB 191 (Colchester) is a votive tablet of Lossio Veda. . .Nepos Vepogeni Caledo, the last word designating 'the Caledonian'. Caledu, Calidu appear on coins of the Arverni and Galetes of Gaul (Dottin LG 43, Watson CPNS 21), and presumably the latter people, the Kaletai ( = Caletae) of Ptolemy, with their settlement Juliobona Caletum now Lillebonne (Seine-Maritime, France) were related at least in name to the Caledonii of Scotland. There is a range of personal names listed by Holder I. 691, Kajanto, etc.: Calidius, Caleidius (CIL VI. 33968), Calezius (RIB 764, Kirkby Thore; a nomen restored by Wright as Caledius, but a good vulgar form as it stands), Callidianus, etc. Two building-stones from the Wall, RIB 1679 and 1854, record work under the centurion Caledonius Secundus, whose name was thought by Birley in Arch. Ael.4, XVI (1939), 234, to the Umbrian. It is probable that not all these widespread personal names are of the same Celtic origin. For the e/i variation, compare CALIDONIA. The third-declension form Calidones of the Panegyric and ( ?) Ravenna may not be erratic but a genuine variant; cf. Attrebates.

The adjective Caledonius (always with -e-) is used by Silius Italicus, Punica iii, 598 ; Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica i, 8 ; Statius V, ii, 142; Martial, Epig. vii, 3; Ausonius, Mosella 68, etc.; and Claudian, Carmina VIII, 26, etc. See also CALIDONIA SILVA. In Solinus 22, I, the adjective is Caledonicus.

DERIVATION. See CALIDONIA. The ethnic name must have preceded the regional name.

IDENTIFICATION. Ptolemy locales a specifie tribe of this name in the area of the Great Glen, but it may be significant that Tacitus never uses the tribal name as such but always a periphrasis (habitantes Caledoniam, etc.). In general classical usage the name came to be applied to all the inhabitants of Scotland north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus, but in the reference by Xiphilinus (= Cassius Dio) they are specifically a confederation of tribes occupying northern Scotland, as opposed to the Maetae (q.v.) who occupied the south".

Explication étymologique

- Rivet & Smith : même racine que Ancalites, à savoir : *calet = hard, severe, austere, firm, tough, hardy.


* Tacite, Vie d'Agricola, compte tenu de leur taille, de la rousseur de leurs cheveux et de la longueur de leurs membres, il s'agirait d'un peuple d'origine germanique.

Galgacos : chef de la confédération calédonienne, battu par Agricola, en 84, dans les Monts Grampians. Cette bataille fut la dernière menée par des peuples 'celtiques' d'avant la conquête romaine de la G. Bretagne.

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