Attested: RC Velurtion (a better reading than Velurcion or Velurticorum); ND Borcovicio; Inscription ...VER...
Where: Housesteads Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall at NY790688
Name origin: Vercovicium is a compromise spelling. If its first part can indeed be taken as Verco-, its meaning was close to ‘work’, from PIE *werg- ‘to do, to make’. The –vicium part must be based on Latin vicus ‘Romanised settlement’. So Vercovicium meant something like ‘workshop settlement’. R&S spelled out this logic, but then swerved away onto a daft alternative because no really satisfactory Celtic descendants of this name's elements are known. A less attractive translation is ‘village on the slope’, offered here, from PIE *wer-/*werg- ‘to turn’, but “The area surrounding the Housesteads fort is bristling with ... signs of industrial and agricultural activity”.
Notes: Inscriptions discovered around this fort reveal garrison troops from several tribes around the lower Rhine, notably a pair of altars described here (pp 148-172) with one mention of marti thincso et dvabvs alaisiagis bede et fimmilene, which match the Frisian words bodthing and fimelthing as specific instances of the pan-Germanic thing ‘public meeting’. A good candidate for the moot marker involved is the artificial mound near the fort known as Chapel Hill, at NY7937868338, which is exceptionally large for Northumberland.
Last Edited: 12 February 2017