Tadoriton and Maporiton

Attested:  RC Tadoriton and Maporiton

Where:  Near Threewater Foot at NT094021 in the Scottish borders, a triple confluence of Moffat Water and Evan Water with the River Annan.  In RC’s list, Tadoriton and Maporiton form a natural pair, with their approximate location fixed by two fairly solidly located names on either side: Carbantium (Raeburnfoot) and Alithacenon (Redshaw Burn).  Tadoriton was probably at Milton (otherwise known as Tassieholm), around NT092014, described by Canmore thus: “The forts, fortlet and camp at Milton ... sits on a low ridge and comprises a Flavian fort of two phases with annexes, and an Antonine fortlet with probably two phases enclosed by a trapezoidal palisaded enclosure ... To the south of the fortlet lies a small camp (Milton I), and a possible camp may lie under the forts (Milton II, see probable camps below ...”.  Then Maporiton was probably at Beattock, NT08450261, described by Canmore thus: “On the gravel terrace ... about 1km to the north of the fort at Milton, lie some five temporary camps, on either side of the Evan Water, close to its confluence with the River Annan.”  The ford separating so-called Beattock Bankend and Beattock Barnhill is at NT087024.

Name origin:  These two are famously ‘father and son’. Tado- is like the babble word ‘Daddy’ and shows up in many languages, including Welsh tad and Latin tataMapo- came from PIE *maghu- ‘child’ from which came words such as maiden or Welsh mab ‘son’, plus the patronymic prefixes Mac- and Ap-.  The -riton part is usually translated as ‘ford’ on the basis that the common Welsh place-name element Rhyd- descends from a proto-Celtic form *ritu, so the present two names would be father and son at the ford (or fords).  However, one cannot exclude alternatives related to PIE *reidh- ‘to ride’ (the root of modern road) or English rithe ‘stream’.

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Last Edited: 8 August 2016