Vernemetum

Attested:  AI iter 6 Verometo, iter 8 Vernemeto

Where:  At or near the Roman crossroads settlement around SK649252 near Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire.

Name origin:  The element nemeton ‘sanctuary’ meant a space allocated to the gods, often at tribal boundaries, from PIE *nem- ‘to assign’, as discussed under NemetotatioVer- probably came from PIE *per- ‘to pass over/beyond’.  The root *nem- and the prefix ver- have developed much more in Germanic languages than in Celtic.  Around AD 570, Venantius Fortunatus (Carmina 1,9) explicitly translated Vernemetis (in Gallica lingua) as fanum ingens ‘huge temple’.  That interpretation is often described as “Celtic”, but the Nemetes tribe were Germanic.  The Slavic name for Germans (Немец etc) is suspiciously close, but is usually explained (not entirely credibly) as meaning ‘mute’.

Notes:  The most interesting geographical feature in that area lies 4 km south where eight parish boundaries radiate like spokes of a wheel from the crossroads at SK644208, now called Six Hills (Trubshaw, 1995).  No one has yet identified what might have constituted a Roman-era temple site, but the tumulus (now destroyed and about which Pastscape is very dismissive) at Cross Hill SK64922520 sounds very like a medieval moot marker.

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Last Edited: 22 July 2016