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Carvetii. A British tribe and civitas. The Carvetii are one of the many smaller tribes that made up the Brigantian confederation of northern England. Their name means ‘the Deer Men’, and their principal deity seems to have been a war-god called Belatucadrus. They occupied the extreme north-west corner of Brigantian territory comprising Cumberland and part of Westmorland. Roman authors make no mention of the Carvetii, but the existence of the Civitas Carvetiorum is recorded on two inscriptions—a milestone and a tombstone from Brougham and Old Penrith respectively. The former is important because, dated to ad 258–68, it confirms that the civitas was in existence by the middle of the 3rd cent. at the latest. It was possibly created as part of a reorganization of the northern frontier in the early 3rd cent. A capital was established at Carlisle, known to the Romans as Luguvalium.

Keith Branigan

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