AttestedVerturiones (or Vecturiones) by Ammianus writing about AD 390

Where:  One of two Pictish peoples, probably living around Inverness and the Moray Firth, in what later became the kingdom of Fortriu.

Name origin:  It is likely that Fortriu was a Gaelic development from Verturiones, but the suggested Celtic interpretation as ‘very strong’ (Rivet & Smith pp 496-7) is not credible, because ver- has too many other meanings to consider.  For the rather similar Verteris the most likely explanation is a word related to German Werder ‘river island’, cognate with *werth ‘marsh’ in English place names. 

Notes:  In reporting the conversion of the Picts by Saint Columba in AD 565, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (manuscripts A and E) mentions Žęt synd žonne węrteras be noršum morum, which has been translated as ‘They are the dwellers by the northern moors’, upon the possibly-wrong assumption that węrteras was a precursor of the modern word wardens.

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Last edited 9 April 2020     to main Menu