Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,5 Κελνιου (or Καιλιος) river mouth
Where: River Deveron, reaching the Moray coast next to Banff, NJ694639.
Name Origin: PIE *kel- confusingly has a dozen or more meanings. One is *kel- ‘to cover, to conceal’, which developed to *kelna-, and then to Latin cella ‘storeroom, granary’. This might mean that the Roman navy chose Banff Bay for a stores depot to supply camps further inland as the army marched roughly along the line of the modern A96 road from Aberdeen to Elgin. Or else, Greek κελλω (possibly related to the verb hail) meant ‘to put to shore or into harbour’.
Notes: One wonders how far up the Deveron the Roman navy could have taken stores in boats. Modern canoeists could reach all the way to the likely vicinity of Lodone camp. And is it significant that Greek κελαινος meant ‘black’ and Watson (1928 p231) wrote that the river Deveron was on record as meaning something like ‘black Eire’?
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Last edited 19 April 2020 To main Menu