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Fishbourne Roman Palace

Clearly the original residents did not call it that.   I'm guessing it doesn't have a documented original name, or at least I can't find one from hasty rummaging.

If you think it has a Latin name that I've missed, what's it called?   If you think it doesn't have a (known) Latin name, what might be a good name for someone in 197AD to use for it?

(The word Fishbourne sounds and looks Saxon. So It Will Not Do. It is Just Wrong. I know that Chichester is the rather magnificent Noviomagus Regnensium, but I need a separate name for the Palace.)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
1st Feb, 2016 21:17 (UTC)
Something based on the name of one of the owners?

1st Feb, 2016 21:30 (UTC)
Then Domus Sallustia, maybe?
(just going by what might have a bit of a ring to it, rather than technicalities?)
2nd Feb, 2016 09:16 (UTC)
I like that, it does have a ring to it!
2nd Feb, 2016 09:33 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like a probable way to name it. And I think I'm right in saying that after Domitian died everyone said what a disaster he was and his memory was supposed to be forgotten, so if the place was named after Sallustius Lucullus, it could still be called that a century later, even though Domitian had Sallustius executed...
15th Feb, 2016 00:04 (UTC)
That sounds perfectly sensible to me. On the same lines, I was going to suggest calling it Cogidubnus' Palace, (whether in English or if you prefer as Domus Cogidubna.) Though iirc, Sallustius has some physical evidence (something with his name on?), whereas Cogidubnus is just a theory albeit an often accepted one for main/first owner. Perhaps more famous, though?
1st Feb, 2016 23:37 (UTC)
if a name can't be found --
piscosos flumine?

or something a person with more Latin knowledge than I have (not hard!) says is the Latin translation, since it means "Fish stream."
2nd Feb, 2016 09:40 (UTC)
Re: if a name can't be found --
I wondered about reflecting the Saxon name, but my feeling is that the Saxon name reflects the land use of the time, ie rural farming and fishing where the ruins of the 'giants' are irrelevant/ignored/kind of scary, whereas in the second century, this place is a major grandiose administrative centre that feels kind of plonked rather than organically grown.

Saxon things develop and grow out of farms and settlements over centuries, Roman things, at least in Britain, feel like they are more... almost more computer-game-ish: ZAP we shall have a monstrous palace here! and an enormous wall there!
2nd Feb, 2016 08:30 (UTC)
I've skimmed the very thorough guidebook that I bought when we last visited the place, and there's no mention of any original name, not even any wild speculation about it.

What about making up a name inspired by one of the mosaics?
2nd Feb, 2016 09:45 (UTC)
Thank you for checking!

Something like the House of Fancy Floors? That definitely sounds like it would be what the locals would call it :-D

"They Romans, what with their fancy floors. Tain't Naaaaaatural."
15th Feb, 2016 00:14 (UTC)
Hah, nice. Certainly lots of houses in Pompeii etc are *now* known as things like the House of the Dolphins after the one of the mosaics (naturally I can't currently recall an actual Pompeiian example, but dolphins might work for Fishbourne) BUT that doesn't reflect any known naming tradition from Roman times. On the other hand, Nero's Golden House (Domus Aurea) was named as such at the time, so something along similar lines might work?
15th Feb, 2016 00:21 (UTC)
Actually, probably the most notable thing about it was its size, so maybe just the Great Palace or something?
15th Feb, 2016 09:05 (UTC)
Following LoA's suggestion, I have tentatively settled on 'Domus Picta' to reference the painted walls: presumably those would have been a bit notable even when the place was first built and was a lot smaller and first needed a name...

At that point, perhaps people locally were less familiar with wallpaintings, but the name would still work at the end of the second century.

I wondered also about House of Fountains, as the gardens had some rather good ones apparently, which can't have been run of the mill in Britain.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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