Attested: RC Velunia; inscription VELUNIATE
Where: Carriden fort, near Bo’Ness, Firth of Forth, in a logical position to have been a ‘command post’ for the Antonine Wall.
Name origin: For the much-discussed name element *vellaunus, Delamarre (2003) came down firmly on a meaning like ‘commanding’. Some poorly attested Celtic words may be related, notably Gaelic folladh ‘ruling’, but the best parallels are Germanic, such as Dutch bevelen and German befehlen ‘to order, to command’, OE befeolan ‘to commit’, Icelandic fela ‘to assign’, etc. (Modern English feal, fealty, feudal, etc. have become confused with Latin roots.) It is likely that *Velunion on Hadrian's Wall was the same word.
Notes: Later names recorded there (Kinneil/Cenail/Penguaul/Peanfahel/Penneltun and Carriden/Karreden/Kair Eden) show no real continuity with the Roman form, but testify to Scotland's multiple languages. The mention of vikani on that inscription suggests that this site was a trading post, and the name Dannoni nearby hints at a vicus magister or portreeve persisting there after the Roman departure. The idea that Vellaunus was a Celtic god should not be taken seriously.
Last Edited: 9 January 2018