Gallia Transpadana


This chapter considers the XI regio of Italy, bounded southward by the river Po, northward and westward by the Alps, eastward by the river Adda. The region includes various Roman colonies and municipalities, on the lands previously belonged to Ligurian and Celtic tribes, including the Taurini, the Salassi, the Libici or Libui that occupied the lands of the Sallui, the Vocontii that occupied the lands of the Vertamocori, the Insubri, the Boii, the Ligurian Laevi and Marici, the Orumbovii or Oromobii.

Common remarks: the place-names are given in the nominative case


Taurasia, Augusta Taurinorum

Duria (Minor) fl.

Forum Vibii Caburrum


Orgus fl.

Stura fl.


Augusta Praetoria
  • Place: Aosta, region Valle d'Aosta, Italy
  • Name: Augusta Praetoria (Ptol., Plin.) Augusta Pretoria (Peut.)
  • Etymology: A Roman colony, it took its name from emperor Augustus.

*Bautex fl.

Duria (Maior) fl.

  • Place: Ivrea, province Torino, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Eporedia (Ptol., Plin., Cic., Tacit., Peut.) Eporedium (It. Ant.)
  • Etymology: It is a Gaulish name, meaning 'city fortified by horse chariots'. The name is derived with the suffix -ia from Gaulish eporeda 'horse chariot', a compound of epos (*ekwo-s) 'horse' and reda (*reidha) 'chariot'.

  • Place: Verres, region Valle d'Aosta, Italy
  • Name: Vitricium (It. Ant., Peut.)
  • Etymology: Possibly a Celtic name related to the IE root *uitero- 'further', with reference to the location of the settlement. Locally, the name is now interpreted as being from Latin vitris 'glass'.

Libici, Sallui, Vocontii, Vertamocorii


Novaria, Novaria fl.


Sesites fl.


  • Place: San Secondo di Salussola, province Biella, region Piemonte, Italy
  • Name: Victimula (Rav.) Ictimuli (Strab.)
  • Etymology: Likely the placename reflects the ethnic name of the Ictimuli. The settlement originated from a mine used by the latter tribe and by the Salassi.

Laevi et Marici


  • Place: Dorno, province Pavia, region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Duni (?) (Burd.)
  • Etymology: Unclear.



Ticinus fl., Ticinum

Insubri, Boii


Adua fl.


Lambrus fl., Lambrum

Laus Pompeia
  • Place: Lodivecchio di Lodi, province Lodi, region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Laus Pompeia (Plin., Burd.) Laus (Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: A Latin name given to the town in honor of a consul Pompeius who gave the Roman citizenship to the Galli Cisalpini. Laus is Latin for 'praise'.



  • Place: Monza, province Milano, region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Modicia (Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: Usually it is considered as of late origin, from a Roman personal name.

Ollius fl.

Olonna fl.


  • Place: Bellinzona, canton Ticino, Switzerland
  • Name: Bilitio (Greg. Tur., Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: Possibly related to Gaulish bili- 'good' in personal name compounds. Alternatively, from the IE root *bel- 'strong'.

Ceresius lac.



Verbannus lac.




Eupilis lac.
  • Place: lake Pusiano, province Como, region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Eupilis lac. (Plin.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.

Forum Licini
  • Place: not identified, region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Forum Licini (Plin.)
  • Etymology: A market (forum) dedicated to a Licinius.

Larius lac.
  • Place: lake of Como (Lario), region Lombardia, Italy
  • Name: Larius lac. (Ptol., Plin., Paul. Diac.)
  • Etymology: Unknown.


Pons Aureoli

Sebinnus lac.


The wider part of Transpadana's placenames surely belongs to the Celtic stratum, particularly Gaulish. These are recognized mainly from the comparison of known appellatives in modern or extinct Celtic languages.

Not considering obvious late Latin names, there are traces of two more strata. The former, probably the oldest, can be reconducted to the wide family that I propose to call Liguro-Sicanian. These names can be recognized for the typical shift of the type *bh>p.

A third stratum could include names that are not Ligurian, since they don't show the typical Ligurian consonant shift, but cannot be Celtic either, since they show an initial p or they derive from appellatives which are different in Gaulish. This tentative stratum is called here Pre-Celtic.