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For other uses, see Valania (disambiguation).

Valania is the Classical Latin name for the island of Faeland. The name Valania was taken from Greek geographical accounts. During his exploration of northwest Europe (c. 320 BC), Pytheas of Massilia called the island Falania (written Φαλανία). In his book Geographia (c. 150 AD), Claudius Ptolemaeus ("Ptolemy") called the island Valnia (written Βαλνία). It is likely that the Romans saw a connection between these historical names and imported them in due course. In any case, the Roman historian Tacitus, in his book Agricola (c. 98 AD), uses the name Valania. See also: Names of Faeland.

Falania was a Greek alteration of the Q-Celtic name Fheol from which eventually arose the Faelish name Fáel. The original meaning of the name is thought to be "wolf country".

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Valania in the Historical Record

The island of Faeland was only partially incorporated into the Roman Empire. The fact that the Romans never occupied the interior meant that Roman influence on Faeland was limited to the Latin Coast (see the Claudian Invasion). According to Seneca, Agricola was of the opinion that Faeland could be conquered with two legions and a moderate amount of auxiliaries recruited from the Midlands. Overall, the relative lack of Roman influence beyond the Aemili Mountains meant that it preserved its ancient culture to a much greater degree than continental countries such as Iberia or Gaul.

Initially, Roman and Greek knowledge of Faeland was thin. The geographers Strabo and Pomponius Mela describe a thickly vegetated and uncultivated land populated by extremely fierce inhabitants, where, despite the impenetrable forests, the grazing lands at river deltas was unusually lush.

By the 2nd century, the geographer Ptolemy gave coordinates for a surprisingly detailed map of Faeland, naming tribes, oppida, rivers and headlands. This information could have come from a variety of sources but does demonstrate an increasing knowledge and interest in the interior.

Faelish written history mentions Rome frequently. The lack of permanent settlements south of the province, however, means that Roman cultural influence on the interior was limited. It is possible but wholly unproven that the Roman Road and the Wall of Hadrian were meant to withstand a retaliatory attack provoked by an invasion of the hinterlands that never happened.