Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654

Name: Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673  
Title: Lavden sive Lothien  
Pagination: 37
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Translation of text:

LAUDEN or LOTHIAN (Section Note)

The region of Leithian, commonly wrongly called Lothian, even worse Laudon, is named from a fictitious king of the Picts, as the authorities claim, although in fact it takes its name from the Water of Leith which intersects it in the middle. Once this region formed part of the territory of the Attalini or Attacotti, who inhabited that whole stretch of land along the sea between the Tyne and Forth; their own name is proof, for Atta means coast, and Lin is a house, dwelling, as Cotte, which we shall discuss clearly elsewhere.

Now this region is bounded on the east by the Scottish Sea, on the north the Forth encloses it, on the west it has the prefecture of Stirling from which it is separated by the River Avon; on the south-east the boundary is the River Cockar, which flows from the neighbouring hills and enters the Scottish Sea; its mouth is commonly called Cockburnspath instead of Cockarsmonth, which authorities have wrongly called Cockburn's wood, although there is no wood or tree there. From the source of the Cockar to the west is a long tract of raised land, arid and uncultivated, which our natives call Lammer, better Laumore, the name being a compound of Lau or Loff (whence our lofty, which means elevated, raised, high; from the Greek word lophos, which means a raised place) and Mure or Moor (which to our people is arid and uncultivated land, as heath-land, no doubt from its colour; for land of this kind is of a dull colour and dusky, if it is compared to green valleys, likewise from the Greek mauros, which is dusky, dull). Further our Lomure rises to frequent hills; after a long tract of lesser hills one stands out compared to the rest, and is called in the vernacular Lomure Law, that is the highest place in Lomure; seeing that for us Law, Lo and La, as it is variously pronounced, is a raised place, as has just been said, and it is found just as much on its own as in composition. Lomure, or the hills of Lamure after the Cockar bound this region to the south for the most part; and where these hills end, sloping to the south, is part of the valley of the Clyde, the neighbour to this province. Part of this region, from east to west, next to Lomure, is higher and more raised up than that part which is more distant from it and nearer the Forth. This more raised part of the region is commonly called Penlan, badly pronounced by the ignorant as Pentland; the name is a compound and means High Land, for Pen, or Pin, or Bin is high (hence alpes Peninae, by contraction Apennines, are high peaks) and Lana is land, dwelling (from the Hebrew lun to inhabit); some wrongly call this land Pickland (1) , as though this part of the region pertained more to the Picts than the rest. This whole Penlan is elevated here and there into mountains, which are called the Penlan mountains, not the Pictish, as the common people wish. Penlan, like the neighbouring sub-region, was once called Horrestia (Greek horestia, that is the dwelling or habitation horeston, that is mountain people, from horos mountain). In this neighbourhood is a trace of the old nomenclature in Forrest, by which name is designated a small village in this area; by the word Forrest also we denote a wood, because a mountain is properly the seat of a wood, or of tall trees; thus Orestia and Forrestia is a mountainous region. The better known rivers of this region are these: the Cockar, which comes down from Lomure and flows into the Scottish Sea, as we have said; there are also two other rivers of the same name in this island, of which one is in Cumbria, the other in Lancashire, both flowing into the Irish Sea; and they are so named, because they flow down from raised places; Ar is a mountain, and Cok or Coch, in Greek kochos, a river. The second river worthy of note is the Tyne, which flowing from the Lamure Hills runs from west to east and is finally taken into the Scottish Sea; at its mouth is a place commonly called Tyninghame for Tinninham, that is habitation on the Tyne. This stream, as others of the same name in this island, notably that at which Hadrian built his Wall, takes its name from mud, for Hebrew thin is mud, sea deposit. Now our Tyne, before it mingles with the sea, takes in many torrents, notably the Keith. The Biel Water, running from west to east, also enters the Scottish Sea. At the mouth of this Biel is a village called in the vernacular Belhaven, that is harbour of Biel; now Biel takes its name, like other rivers of the same name, from the Greek eileo roll, because they flow in a rolling manner. Next is the Peffer or Phefer, better Pever or Bever; a stagnant lake with deep water rather than a river, it nevertheless discharges into the Scottish Sea, with one mouth on the east; on the west however a small stream flows from it in the opposite direction; it takes it name like the River Baphyras in Greece from Hebrew bavir deep. There is also another Pefer or Bever in our country in Strathearn, in which there is an island commonly called Pepher island, where there was once a notable monastery. After this two synonymous rivers occur, commonly called Esk, for Isac, of which the one is named the South Esk, the other the North; these flow from west [p.38]

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