Attested: (1) AI iter 14 Verlucione; (2) writing tablet ... silvam Verlucionium ...
Where: (1) The Roman settlement at Sandy Lane ST968677, Wiltshire. (2) Somewhere in Kent.
Name origin: Ver- in ancient names has many possible explanations, among which a Celtic intensive prefix meaning ‘very’ (picked by R&S) ranks low. PIE *per- ‘to pass over’, which led to OE fær ‘journey’ and modern fare, is better. The –lucio part probably derived from PIE *leuk- ‘light’, which developed a sense of ‘clearing’ at inland sites and became one of the commonest place-name elements in England, OE leah (Gelling and Cole, 2003: 237-241), which developed a meaning of ‘pasture’. Since the Sandy Lane area is even now relatively wooded and the second Verlucio in Kent was linked with a silva ‘wood’ it seems reasonable to interpret -lucio as ‘clearing’ and therefore to translate Verlucio as ‘passage through clearing’. Roads through woodland have always made travellers nervous, so the existence of a substantial clearing might have been noteworthy enough to generate a name, especially for a Roman-era road stopping place that was on a fairly dry watershed rather than the usual location by a river.
Notes: Tomlin (1996) commented that the AD 118 date of the tablet invalidated one of the phonological assumptions made by Jackson (1956).
Last Edited: 11 June 2016