Smetri

Attested:  RC Smetri

Where:  One or more of the multiple Roman forts around Dalswinton and Carzield, around NX951833, near the river Nith, just north of modern Dumfries.  At this point in its list of places RC is heading south from Cambroianna (Drumlanrig) down the Nith, towards Uxela (near Caerlaverock) on the Solway Firth.

Name origin:  A precursor of Dutch smederij or Frisian smitterij ‘smithery’, because Roman troops in that area were of of Dutch/Belgian origin, as revealed, for example, by the inscription fortvnae coh i nervana germanor m eq found at Birrens.  R&S could see no parallels better than Ptolemy’s Σμερται people, far away in northern Scotland.

Notes:  The best places for the Roman army to make its iron tools, weapons, and horse sandals would be dictated mainly by transport links, since iron bloomeries could operate almost anywhere with plenty of timber to make charcoal.  Macadam (1887) mentioned that numerous sites of ancient iron-making were said to be near Ecclefechan, but he could obtain no precise sites.

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Last Edited: 10 August 2016