Identification: Firth of Tay
Tuessis was the name of the Roman fort now called Bertha (for an explanation of this identification see Chapter 16: Olcaclavis to Voran), located on raised ground overlooking the river Tay, this being the information actually conveyed by the name Tuessis. In names of this kind, with an essa-type ending, the first part of the name may be a land-name including the hill-letter s or a river-name including the corresponding river-letter b (explained in Chapter 4: place-names with an essa-type ending). In the present case Tu will have been Tv (presumably pronounced as tav) and will have been the Celtic proper name of the river Tay. The Romans then transferred the name Tuessis to the river and so for them the Firth of Tay became the Tuessis estuary. The name is simply in the wrong place in Ptolemy’s coastal list – for a possible explanation of this, click here on Caelis.
[NB. Detailed information as to the different river-letters and as to how they were combined to form compound river-names, together with information as to the four categories of Celtic river-names, is given in Chapter 19: the rivers of Roman Britain. Detailed information as to the different hill-letters is given in Chapter 1 and information as to how the hill-letters were combined to form compound place-names is given in Chapter 2]
[This page was last modified on 06 April 2021]