Dea Latis Altar from Fallsteads
Dea Latis Altar from Birdoswald/Banna
In my book THE MYSTERIES OF AVALON, I suggested that perhaps the goddess Latis, found at Burgh By Sands/Aballava/Avalana/"Avalon" might be the basis for the Lady of the Lake. Two dedicatory inscriptions were found to this goddess. One comes from Fallsteads, but is believed to have been moved from the Aballava Roman fort. The other comes from Birdoswald, site of the Dark Age hall built within the ruins of the Banna Roman fort. For details on these inscriptions, please see:
The goddess name is debated. It comes from the following Proto-Celtic word:
liquor *lati-, SEMANTIC CLASS: body, Gaulish Are-late
‘(town) near the swamp’, Early Irish laith ‘beer, liquid,
swamp’, Welsh llat (Middle Welsh), llad ‘liquid, ale, grace,
blessing, goodness’, Cornish lad ‘gl. liquor’, Breton lat (Old
Breton); latar ‘gl. cr[a]pulam ‘intoxication (lit. ‘drink’)’;
humidity (of weather)
Burgh Marsh Near Burgh By Sands
I've made an argument for 'lake, swamp' and the like for a very simple reason; the Aballava Roman fort was surrounded by the extensive Burgh Marsh. In addition, we know of another deity from the same region who went by Ratis, and this last is certainly the Goddess of the Fort (cf. Irish rath).
It will be noticed that the Fallsteads altar was dedicated by a man whose father bore the name Urseius, a derivative of Latin ursus, 'bear.'