Dun


Dun
Ruined dun in Loch Steinacleit on the Isle of Lewis

Dun (from the Brythonic Din (modern Welsh Dinas) and Gaelic Dún, meaning fort) is now used both as a generic term for a fort (mainly used to describe a sub-group of hill forts) and also for a specific variety of Atlantic roundhouse. In some areas they seem to have been built on any suitable crag or hillock, particularly south of the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth down across the border into Northumberland.

Dúns feature prominently along some coastal areas of the West of Ireland, particularly Co. Mayo and feature in legendary Celtic tales as the forts of the tribal kings of the tuatha. The tale of the Táin Bó Flidhais features Dúns of Flidais, Dun Chiortáin and Dún Chaocháin.

Duns, as forts, appear to have arrived with the Brythonic Celts in about the 7th century BC, associated with their Iron age culture of warrior tribes and petty chieftains. Early Duns had near vertical ramparts constructed of stone laced with timber, and where this was set on fire (accidentally or on purpose) it forms the vitrified forts where stones have been partly melted, an effect that is still clearly visible. Use of Duns continued in some cases into the medieval period.

Duns, as roundhouses, share many characteristics of brochs (often including galleries and stairs), but are smaller and probably would not have been capable of supporting a very tall structure. Very good examples of this kind of dun can be found in the Western Isles of Scotland, on artificial islands in small lochs.

Contents

Toponymy

The word in its original sense appears in many place names, and can include fortifications of all sizes and types, for example , Din Eidyn, in Gaelic Dùn Èideann which the Angles renamed Edinburgh, Dún na nGall in Ireland (Irish Gaelic: "fort of foreigners") renamed Donegal by English planters, and the Broch Dun Telve in Glenelg.

Gaul

The Proto-Celtic form is *Dūno-,[1] yielding Gaulish δου̃νον.[2] It is ultimately cognate to English town.[3] The Gaulish term survives in many toponyms in France and Switzerland:

References

  1. ^ Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, ISBN 2-87772-237-6
  2. ^ Ptolemy
  3. ^ Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, ISBN 0-19-861112-9
  • Scotland Before History - Stuart Piggott, Edinburgh University Press 1982, ISBN 0-85224-348-0
  • Scotland's Hidden History - Ian Armit, Tempus (in association with Historic Scotland) 1998, ISBN 0-7486-6067-4

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dun — dun·al; dun·bar·ton·shire; dun·can; dun·ci·cal; dun·ci·fy; dun; dun·das·ite; dun·dathu; dun·dee; dun·der·funk; dun·der·head; dun·der·head·ed; dun·der·pate; dun·drear·ies; dun·edin; dun·ga·ree; dun·ga run·ga; dun·ge·ness; dun·ka·doo; dun·ker;… …   English syllables

  • DUN — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dun — duñ interj. bum, du: Klausau – tik duñ, duñ, duñ dundina į duris Rdm. Girdi ragana su geležiniais klupsčiais stuk stuk stuk, dun dun dun TDrIV223(Kb). Dun dun duñ ratai kieman įdundėjo Š. Dun dun, dun dun [patrankos] dieną ir naktį, kad net… …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • Dun —    , DUN HIM    When it comes to the origin of the word dun, most dictionaries play it safe and mark it obscure. They are wise because etymologists have disagreed for years over which of two plausible theories is the right one. According to some… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Dun —    DUN, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Montrose; containing 581 inhabitants. This place by some antiquaries is supposed to have derived its name from the family of Dun, who were its ancient proprietors, and by… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Dun — Dun, a. [AS. dunn, of Celtic origin; cf. W. dwn, Ir. & Gael. donn.] Of a dark color; of a color partaking of a brown and black; of a dull brown color; swarthy. [1913 Webster] Summer s dun cloud comes thundering up. Pierpont. [1913 Webster] Chill… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dun — 〈Adj.; nddt.〉 = duhn * * * dun <Adj.> [aus dem Niederd. < mniederd. dun, urspr. = geschwollen] (landsch.): betrunken: d. sein. * * * Dün   der, bewaldeter Muschelkalkhöhenzug im Eichsfeld, Nordwestthüringen, östlich von Heilbad… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dun — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda No debe confundirse con Dün. Dun País …   Wikipedia Español

  • dunđer — dùnđer (dùnđerin) m DEFINICIJA reg. graditelj, istovremeno drvodjelja, tesar i zidar; cimerman ONOMASTIKA pr. (prema zanimanju): Dùnđer (Slavonski Brod, Banovina, Primorje, Slavonija), Dùnđerović (Dunđérović) (Đakovo, Crikvenica), Dùnger (Dvor,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Dun — Dun, n. 1. One who duns; a dunner. [1913 Webster] To be pulled by the sleeve by some rascally dun. Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster] 2. An urgent request or demand of payment; as, he sent his debtor a dun. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dun — [dʌn] verb dunned PTandPPX dunning PRESPARTX [transitive] informal old fashioned to demand payment of an unpaid debt: • The IRS dunned the corporation for $6.3 million in back tax and penalties …   Financial and business terms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.