Daroeda

AttestedDaroeda (or Daroecla) at position 295 in the Ravenna Cosmograhy

Where:  An island off western Scotland, probably Tiree, to make the Cosmography's list of names follow a simple track across the map, and because of the similar name Ethica Terra used in Latin written around AD 800 by Adomnan describing events around AD 500 in the Life of St (Columba).  Tiree is famously low-lying and consists essentially of three lumps of hard rock surrounded by peat marsh mixed with wind-blown crushed-seashell sand.  This is rather like the Isles of Scilly, except that post-glacial rebound is making them lose land to the sea whereas it is raising Tiree.

Name Origin:  Uncertain.  Maybe this name was a disparaging comment on an island after a cursory visit by Roman sailors recruited from the Frisian islands, who went on to name Ταρουεδουμ ‘tear-water’ point.  Then the first element would resemble Old English daro/daru, which developed into later dere ‘harm’ and came from PIE *der- ‘to split’.  Other possible origins of Daro- include words for ‘tree’, similar to Irish dair ‘oak’, suggested by Richmond & Crawford, but that seems unlikely since Tiree has no trees and other western islands have few.  Greek τυρος ‘cheese’, from PIE *teuə- ‘to swell’, is invoked in a geographic context for Τουεροβιος.
  The ending -eda is a problem (and reading it as -ecla, with cl instead of d, does not help.)  As Watson (1926:86) explained, reinterpretation of Adomnan's Eth- into Irish íath ‘land’ indicates that “the second part is not Gaelic, possibly not even Celtic”.  This suggests that, if Daroeda was indeed Tiree, its name must have been opaque to Gaelic speakers.  Richmond & Crawford suggested an unlikely parallel for that ending with Welsh gwedd ‘appearance’, but if one accepts loss of a W sound, many other PIE roots become possible candidates, including those that led to water, weather, widow, woe, and divide.  The best parallel for the ending may be οιδεω ‘to swell’ as in Ptolemy's Μοναοιδα and modern oedema.
  Dividing the name Da-roeda suggests a good Greek parallel, from δα- ‘ery’ plus ροωδης ‘having strong currents’.

Notes:  There is a possible parallel in *Durbedis, a place in Lusitania, which Villar (2010) suggested had a first element similar to over a dozen rivers with names similar to Duria, plus a banal adjective-building suffix -eto.  See here for a general discussion of Scottish islands.  Tiree is statistically the windiest and also the sunniest place in Britain.  Although surrounded by fine beaches it is so low-lying that modern yachtsmen describe it as “not a place to be when it's rough or windy from any direction”, which makes Old English Úd ‘safety’ an unlikely explanation of the ending.  Also probably irrelevant is an the ancient musical instrument like a lyre, the citharoedus (which gave its name to the guitar) to be likened to Tiree's Ringing Stone, which emits a musical tone when struck.

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