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Graupius Mons

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* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica 

dernière mise à jour 08/09/2009 14:02:43

Définition : probablement Bennachie, en Aberdeenshire, Écosse. 





Lors de la bataille finale entre Bretons et Romains, en 84 après J-C, il est probable que le camp des Bretons de Galgacos se situait à Mither Tap, en Bennachie, tandis que le camp romain d'Agricola se trouvait à Durno.


* Rivet & Smith : 

- Tacite, Agricola, 29,2 : (Agricola) ad MONTEM GRAUPIUM pervenit".

DERIVATION. The name in Tacitus is normally taken as an accusative in apposition to montem, although notionally it could be thc genitive plural of a tribal name. The etymology has been much debated. Holder I. 2040 thought it could be 'Pictish', the root being *graup- (*grup- *gruq-) 'biegen, krümmen', related to Greek grupos 'gekrümmt', used especially of the nose, but also 'Hügel, Berg, als der sich wöhlbende, erhebende'. Certainly words pertaining to human physique are often used of geographical features in the wly that Holder implies. Watson CPNS 55-56 held that the true form was *Craupius; then *Craup- > crup in Old Welsh, and > crwb 'hump, hunch' in modem Welsh, so that 'in form (but not necessarily in place) Mons *Craupius is identical with Dorsum Crup of the Pictish Chronicle'. This again seems feasible, but Jackson in PP 135 was not convinced on phonetic grounds, and preferred to consider the celticity of the name unproven; the Welshness of modem crwb has also been doubted. Recently, however, Jackson has revised his view. In an important note to R. Feachem's paper 'Mons Craupius = Duncrub ?', Antiquity, XLIV (1970), 120-24, Jackson says that 'Crub could be from *Craupius (not Graupius), if we suppose that the Pictish descendant *crub (pronounced crüb. . . ) was borrowed by the Gaels with sound-substitution of their own u.. ., as they had no u in their own language. This is quite a familiar thing. . . Hence Duncrub could be Mons Graupius, philologically.' (This Duncrub is in earlier records the Dorsum Crup mentioned by Watson.)

Thus far British scholars. The etymology has been further debated between Pokorny and others. Pokorny in Vox Romanica, x (1948-49), 229, also Pokorny 623, has proposed to see in *Croupios (his adjustment of Graupius) a root *kreup~ 'Schorf, sich verkrusten ', a further derivative of which is found in Gallic cruppellarii 'gepanzerte Gladiatoren der Aedui'. The root has produced words in Germanic, Lithuanian and Slavic, according to Pokorny, but seemingly nothing in Celtic apart from the cruppellarii (Tacitus Annals III, 43) which Pokorny mentions. The sense of Pokorny's *kreup- seems to make it an unlikely place-name element, and the lack of Celtic cognaes is serious. Pisani doubted whether Pokorny could be right : 'Naturalmente bisogna pensare. . .que qualche " Veneto " o qualche "Illirio" abbia fatto un viagetto in Britannia per andarvi a battezzare il Mons*Croupios. ..' (Paideia, IX (1954), 101-103). Whatmough in Language, XXIX (1953), 482, also took a rather jocular view of the matter. Pisani was prepared to think that if textual Graupius was right after all, there might be some relation with Greek grupos, but he preferred to think the name probably pre-Indo-European.

It seems best, then, to regard the etymology as unknown, but to follow Jackson (in his revised view) about the later development of the name; this, naturally, without prejudice to the discussion of the site of Mons Graupius, which is to be argued on quite different lines.

IDENTIFICATION. Probably Bennachie, Aberdeenshire - the suggestion of J. K. St Joseph, JRS, LXVII (1977), 141-45; see p. 45 above, with notes 1 and 2. This identification dépends on the interpretation of the somewhat vague description of Agricola's campaign by Tacitus and the location at Durno (NJ 699272) of a Roman camp whose size seems to indicate the concentration there of all the Roman forces. The British battle base would then be thehill-fort of Mither Tap of Bennachie (NJ 683224) which, though relatively small, commands a most extensive view.


Étymologie non résolue. 


* A.L.F RIVET & Colin SMITH : The Place-names of Roman Britain. Batsford Ltd. 1979. Édition 1982.

Liens électroniques des sites Internet traitant de Bennachie :   

* lien communal : 

* autres liens Internet : 

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennachie

- http://www.forestry.gov.uk/Website/recreation.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/ScotlandAberdeenshireNoForestBennachie

* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica 

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