Eboracum

Eboracum (Latin /ebo'rakum/, English /ˈbɒrəkəm/ or /ˌbɔːˈrɑːkəm/)[1] was a fort and later a city in the Roman province of Britannia. In its prime it was the largest town in northern Britain and a provincial capital. The site remained occupied after the decline of the Roman Empire and ultimately evolved into the present-day city York, occupying the same site in North Yorkshire, England.

Eboracum
Shown within England
Alternative nameEburacum
LocationYork, North Yorkshire, England
RegionBritannia
Coordinates53°57′42″N 01°04′50″W
TypeFortification and settlement
History
BuilderQuintus Petillius Cerialis
Founded71
PeriodsRoman Imperial
Site notes
ArchaeologistsLeslie Peter Wenham

Two Roman emperors died in Eboracum: Septimius Severus in 211 AD, and Constantius Chlorus in 306 AD.

Etymology

The first known recorded mention of Eboracum by name is dated c.95–104 AD and is an address containing the genitive form of the settlement's name, Eburaci, on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in what is now the modern Northumberland.[2] During the Roman period, the name was written both Eboracum and Eburacum (in nominative form).[2]

The name Eboracum comes from the Common Brittonic Eburākon, which means "yew tree place".[3] The word for "yew" was *ebura in Proto-Celtic (cf. Old Irish ibar "yew-tree", Irish: iúr (older iobhar), Scottish Gaelic: iubhar, Welsh: efwr "alder buckthorn", Breton: evor "alder buckthorn"), combined with the proprietive suffix *-āko(n) "having" (cf. Welsh -og, Gaelic -ach)[4] meaning "yew tree place" (cf. efrog in Welsh, eabhrach/iubhrach in Irish Gaelic and eabhrach/iobhrach in Scottish Gaelic, by which names the city is known in those languages). The name was then