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dernière mise à jour 17/07/2008 13:06:53

Définition : fleuve de la G. Bretagne, dans le Sussex. Elle débouche dans la Manche à Littlehampton, entre Bognor Regis et Worthing.

Elle tire son nom de celui d'Arundel. 

Elle reçoit 

Elle arrose : Alfoldean, Hardham, Arundel.

jean-claude Even

Extrait de Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain.

Les sources de l'Arun et de ses affluents sont pointés de vert Mammoù an Arun hag he eil-sterioù a zo merket e gwer


Étude étymologique :

* Rivet & Smith : The Place-names of Roman Britain. p. 476 et suiv.

Ptolemy II, 3, 3 : Trisantwnos potmon  ekbolai (= TRISANTONIS FLUVII OSTIA)

" Ravenna's entry might be a conflation with another name beginning or ending in Mu-, but more probably Mu- represents a garbled abbreviation of FI for Fl(umen) or Fl(uvius), as often. There is a further serious miscopying in the first syllable of the name proper. As often, the Cosmographer took the name - written inland along the course of the river on his map source - as a habitation-name.

DERIVATION. The first element is the intensive British prefix *tri-, for which see - TRINOVANTES. The second is problematic. Ekwall ERN 417-18 proposed a base in *santôn-, present also in the name of the Gaulish Santones people and as British *sento- `path' (see CLAUSENTUM), the word which gave Welsh hynt `path, road' and whose O1d Irish cognate is sét `journey'; this root, applied to a river, might mean ` trespasser', that is `one liable to flood'. One might suggest alternatively `wanderer, meanderer'. But Williams objected that Welsh hynt demands *sento- (as is clear) with -e-,, not from a root having -a- as in our river-names. He therefore proposed to seek a root *sem- (now Pokorny 901 : `schöpfen, gieBen') `to draw water', with -sant- in the British river-names representing -snt-, found in Old Irish words and in Latin sentina `bilge', etc.; Williams's sense for the river-names would then be (with the intensive prefix) `water pouring out, i.e. flooding strongly' or perhaps `draining thoroughly'. More recently Guyonvarc'h in Ogam, XIII (1961), 592-98 (especially 596), in a study of the British ethnicon Setantii upon which we have already drawn in that entry (but without mention of the British river-names) makes one think that Ekwall could have been right after all. The key reference of Guyonvarc'h is to a goddess Sentona perhaps 'déesse-route, maîtresse de la route', recorded in a dedication at Fiume (now Rijeka, Yugoslavia), CIL III. 3026, and known also as a female name; with quotation of O'Rahilly EIHM 295 on the same matter, more or less in agreement with Ekwall. British Trisantona might then be `great wanderer, great wayfarer', that is a description of a long and winding river (or possibly, again, one liable to variable meanders and to flooding) ; or the name might contain, or actually be, a divine name, as in many other instances. There remains, of course, the problem to which Williams drew attention: that -sant- is not -sent-. The two are not known as dialectal variations one of the other, and in any case British *sento- is well-established; so there must remain a considerable doubt about meaning and etymology.

The proper form of the two British names is unsure. For the next name Tacitus seems to assure us of a first-declension -ona. Ptolemy here gives us a third declension genitive in -is, which supposes a nominative *Trisanto; Ravenna, though often unreliable, offers -is, but is not likely to be giving us a nominative, and final -is in this text is sometimes a miscopying of -a (as in Uxelis 106,1 for Uxela). The two British rivers could have identical elements but differing Latin declensional forms.

For later developments of Trisantona in Welsh, and when taken from British into Anglo-Saxon, see LHEB 524-25. The present Trisantona > Tarrant (Tarente, c. 725), the former name of the Sussex Arun (this modern naine being by back formation from Arundel), which is identical to Trent and several other names, including Welsh Tarannon (Montgomeryshire).

IDENTIFICATION. The river Arun, Sussex, which is especially liable to flooding ine the area of Amberley Wild Brooks.


* A.D Mills, analysant le toponyme Trent, en Dorset : "Originally the name of the stream here, a Celtic river-name possibly meaning 'the trespasser', i.e 'river liable to floods'.

Bibliographie; sources; envois

* A.L.F RIVET & Colin SMITH : The Place-names of Roman Britain. Batsford Ltd. London. 1979-1982.

* Petit Larousse illustré. 1979.

* A.D MILLS : Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. 1991 - 2003.

Liens électroniques des sites Internet traitant de la rivière Arun / Trisantona :  

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