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The Demetae
Demetae
were a Celtic people of Iron Age Britain who inhabited modern Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire
and Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire
in south-west Wales, and gave their name to the county of Dyfed. Classical references[edit] They are mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia, as being west of the Silures. He mentions two of their towns, Moridunum (modern Carmarthen) and Luentinum
Luentinum
(identified as the Dolaucothi Gold Mines
Dolaucothi Gold Mines
near Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire).[1] They are not mentioned in Tacitus' accounts of Roman warfare in Wales, which concentrate on their neighbours the Silures
Silures
and Ordovices. Vortiporius, "tyrant of the Demetae", is one of the kings condemned by Gildas
Gildas
in his 6th century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae.[2] This probably signifies the sub-Roman petty kingdom of Dyfed. Etymology and relationship to Dyfed[edit] The Latinized element Demet has a clear and well attested relationship with the Welsh Dyfed
Dyfed
and even after the imposition of the English Shire system the use of the name Dyfed
Dyfed
for the former tribal lands continued unabated.[3] Unsuccessful attempts were made in the 19th-century to link the etymon with the later kingdom of Deheubarth.[4] A more plausible relationship with the word defaid (English: sheep) was suggested by 1832 as Dyfed
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.[5] 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[edit]

^ Ptolemy, Geographia 2.2; Demetae
Demetae
Archived 2005-10-28 at the Wayback Machine. at Roman-Britain.org ^ Gildas, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae
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. 

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Iron Age tribes in Britain

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

Part of: Celti

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