Medionemeton

Attested:  RC Medionemeton

Where:  A Roman fort on the Antonine Wall.  Auchendavy fort is a plausible candidate, at NS67767492, near Kirkintilloch, on the south side of the river Kelvin, near the middle of the Wall.

Name origin:  From PIE *medhyo- ‘middle’ plus *nem- ‘to apportion’.  Nemeton meant ‘sanctuary’, not ‘grove’ as often mistranslated.  There is nothing obvious in the nature of a temple here, though several dedicatory altars have been found.

Notes:  It would have been logical for the extensive flood plain that stretched in front of the Wall here to be common grazing land.  In ancient Greece it was common for a patch of land to be set aside to graze cattle, situated on neutral ground away from tribal centres, as a sanctuary protected by religious taboos – a τεμενος, literally ‘cut out’.

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Last Edited: 13 July 2016