[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 referred to in the work of Ammianus Marcellinus, dating to the second half of the 4th century AD.
The tribal name is based directly on a topographical place-name of the form Vertulion. The tribe lived in the lower Spey valley and comprised a people who used the hill-letter r and had been displaced from Caithness by the encroachment of the Cornavi on their territory. The place-name will include the hill-letter l because that area (the lower Spey valley) had been taken over (apparently only a few years earlier) by an l1-people who had migrated westwards from East Aberdeenshire (the tribal movements in the North of Scotland are explained in detail in ‘The Celtic “Picts”’, which may be accessed from the main menu). In the place-name Vertulion the element Vert, meaning ‘slope of hill high’, is qualified by the earlier element ul comprising the hill-letter l1. The people of Vertulion were called the Vertuliones and at some point the r/l interchange caused the tribal name to become Verturiones.
[This page was last modified on 24 March 2021]