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* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica 

dernière mise à jour 08/09/2008 13:21:21

Définition : fleuve du nord-est de l'Angleterre. Autrefois la Vedra.

Elle prend sa source à : 

Elle arrose : 

Elle baptise : 

jean-claude Even

Extrait de Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain.

Les points verts, positionnant les sources du bassin de la Wear, ont été rajoutés par JC. Even



Étude étymologique :

* Rivet & Smith, p. 489  : 


- Ptolemy II, 3, 4 : Ouedra potamon ekbolai ( =  VEDRA FLUVII OSTIA) 

- Ravenna 10833 (= R&C 254) : ADRON.

The association of Ravenna's entry with Ptolemy's was made by Pinder & Parthey, Holder, Müller, etc., and is repeated by Schnetz, who makes a correction to U[e]-dron; a for u is a common copying error. Ptolemy's ending is themore likely to be correct, and his name bas -a (a) in all but one of the MSS, which bas -ou (u) ; but it is just possible that Ravenna's -on (for -um, giving nominative *-us as for other rivers) is correct also, the name being adjectival (see below).

DERIVATION. This name is inseparable from Virvedrum, a cape. Both have been explained as containing a Celtic *uedro- 'clear', here feminine (if Vedra), presumably agreeing with 'water', and in Virvedrum a neuter qualifying 'cape' (Watson CPNS 36). But there seems to be no hard evidence for such a word in Celtic, and only Old Slavonic vedru 'clear' in support, first noted by Holder. Ekwall ERN 442 thinks the analogy doubtful, and prefers to derive the name from a root *ued- 'wet' (Walde-Pokorny I. 252), found with r- formation in Vedra, in Greek Odwr, udra, Umbrian utur 'water', Anglo-Saxon wœter, otr, etc. The German river-name Wetter is then a precise equivalent of present Vedra. See also E. P. Hamp in EC, XII (1971), 547-50, on primitive *uodr/n 'water'; and for further discussion of the group, Nicolaisen in BZN, VIII (1957), 236. There seems to be no reason to follow Ekwall into speculation that modem Wear (Anglo-Saxon Wiur) derives not from Vedra but from an unrecorded *Uisur-; see Jackson LHEB 362. A parallel is noted for the Wear (known in Welsh as Gweir) by Watson CPNS 360, when deriving the second part of the name of the river Traquair of Peeblesshire from another assumed Vedra : -quair corresponds to that same Welsh Gweir.

Jackson LHEB 431 remarks that Adron of Ravenna is a fossilised form, since -dr- > -ir- 'comparatively early in British'; but Ravenna was not necessarily using late Romano-British sources, and for rivers may have used the same map-source as that which was (ultimately) in Ptolemy's hands. 

IDENTIFICATION : The river Wear, Durham.


Bibliographie; sources; envois

* Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain. 1956.

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

Liens electroniques des sites Internet traitant de la riviere Wear / Vedra :  

* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica 

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