[NB The brief explanation given below has been drafted on the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the basic building-blocks used in Celtic topographical place-names (Chapter 1 of the Home menu), with the structure of compound place-names (Chapter 2) and with the structure of Celtic river-names (Chapter 19)]
This tribal name is apparently known only from the Geography of Ptolemy. It is given in the form Creones, but in some manuscripts this form is followed by the name Cerones. This is seen by some scholars as an erroneous duplication, but it is more likely to be a correction of the erroneous spelling of Creones. The form Creones makes one think there was earlier a consonant between the e and the o, whereas the form Cerones is complete as it stands. The tribal centre will have had a name of the form Ceronion, a simple old-style name in the hill-letter r, where the Cer element means ‘steep hill’, no doubt referring to the topography at the location of the tribal centre.
The tribal centre will thus have been Ceronion and the people of the tribe the Cerones. The information given by Ptolemy indicates that the territory of the tribe was on the west coast of Scotland. It may have extended from Mull in the south up to Loch Ewe in the north and would include Skye. It is suggested here that the northern frontier was around Loch Ewe because a “Pictish” Class I stone was found just south of the loch. These stones were produced (of course much later than Ptolemy's time) by people who used the hill-letter r, such as the Cerones, but apparently not by people who used the hill-letter n2, such as the Carnonacae (see ‘The Celtic “Picts”: Part 3’, 7.6), who were the northern neighbours of the Cerones .
[This page was last modified on 08 April 2021]