Durotrages

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,29 Δουροτργιγες, a tribe with one πολις at Δουνιον
  inscription  C DVRTRG #ENDINESIS;  inscription CI DVROTRAG LENDINIESI#

Where:  Dorset, because Ptolemy's coordinates for Δουνιον point to Hod Hill, but one should be wary of assuming that the Durotrages were a politically unified tribe or that LEND- necessarily referred to Ilchester (*Lindinis).

Name originDuro- ‘crossing’ is clear enough, and Lendin- probably arose from *lendh- ‘wetness’.  Second element -trages matches Latin traho ‘to draw’, but it is uncertain whether the underlying PIE root ‘to draw, to drag’ should be written *dragh- or *tragh- or *dreg-.  Modern English words drag, tractor, trek, trigger, truck, and thrall all have a sense of pulling, but show the same uncertainty about the vowel as the ancient sources, plus the tendency of D/T/Θ to interchange.  Either way, the *Durotrages were probably ‘through-transporting people’, presumably referring to their situation astride the trans-peninsula route, leading on the Dorset side towards France and on the Somerset side towards Wales and Ireland.

Notes:  Delamarre (2017:293-7) offered a translation of ‘feet of steel’, inspired by Welsh dur and Irish traig ‘foot’.  Not convincing.

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Last edited: 18 July 2018