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(i)

The DEMETAE were a Celtic people of Iron Age Britain who inhabited modern Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
and Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
in south-west Wales
Wales
, and gave their name to the county of Dyfed .

CLASSICAL REFERENCES

They are mentioned in Ptolemy
Ptolemy
's _Geographia _, as being west of the Silures . He mentions two of their towns, Moridunum (modern Carmarthen ) and Luentinum (identified as the Dolaucothi Gold Mines near Pumsaint , Carmarthenshire). They are not mentioned in Tacitus ' accounts of Roman warfare in Wales, which concentrate on their neighbours the Silures and Ordovices .

Vortiporius , "tyrant of the Demetae", is one of the kings condemned by Gildas in his 6th century polemic _De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae _. This probably signifies the sub-Roman petty kingdom of Dyfed .

ETYMOLOGY AND RELATIONSHIP TO DYFED

The Latinized element _Demet_ has a clear and well attested relationship with the Welsh _Dyfed_ and even after the imposition of the English Shire system the use of the name _Dyfed_ for the former tribal lands continued unabated. Unsuccessful attempts were made in the 19th-century to link the etymon with the later kingdom of Deheubarth . A more plausible relationship with the word _defaid_ (English: sheep) was suggested by 1832 as Dyfed remained "a country fit for the pasture of sheep" and local people were noted for their cultivation of large numbers of sheep and goats from ancient times. Another possible root is _dwfn_ (English: deep or low), indicating the geographical area the tribe occupied in the lowest part of Wales. The English area of Devon
Devon
(Welsh: _Dyfnaint_) may share this origin.

REFERENCES

* ^ Ptolemy
Ptolemy
, _Geographia _ 2.2; Demetae
Demetae
at Roman-Britain.org * ^ Gildas , _De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae_ 31 * ^ Morgan, Thomas (1887). _HANDBOOK OF THE ORIGIN OF PLACE-NAMES IN WALES AND MONMOUTHSHIRE_. UK. p. 13. * ^ Morgan, Thomas (1887). _HANDBOOK OF THE ORIGIN OF PLACE-NAMES IN WALES AND MONMOUTHSHIRE_. UK. p. 13. * ^ Baxter, Mr (1832). "The Cambrian Quarterly Magazine and Celtic Reportage". _The Cambrian Quarterly Magazine and Celtic Reportage_. 4: 401.

* v * t * e

Iron Age tribes in Britain

* Atrebates * Belgae * Brigantes * Caereni
Caereni
* Caledonii * Cantiaci * Carnonacae * Carvetii * Catuvellauni * Coritani * Corionototae * Cornovii (Central) * Cornovii (Northern) * Creones * Damnonii * Decantae * Deceangli * Demetae * Dobunni * Dumnonii * Durotriges * Epidii
Epidii
* Gabrantovices * Iceni * Lopocares * Lugi
Lugi
* Novantae * Ordovices * Parisi * Regnenses * Selgovae * Setantii * Silures * Smertae * Suessiones
Suessiones
* Taexali * Textoverdi * Trinovantes * Vacomagi * Venicones * Votadini

_Part of:_ Celtic tribes in Europe

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