Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The A to Z of Aberdeen - A

A is for 'Apardion'

'Apardion' was the Viking name for the settlement which grew into present day Aberdeen. Apardion, it seems, was an important place to the Vikings, being mentioned in Shetland and Orkney chronicles, and in the exhaustive Norse political records of the 12th century.

At the time of the repeated Viking raids, between the 8th and 12th centuries, Apardion occupied the area we now know as The Green, which was the lowest-lying section of ground on the shore of the Denburn estuary. Broad and flat, and with easy access to the sea via sheltered moorings, this was ideal real-estate for the fisherfolk who are our forebears.

However, that very access to the sea was a major drawback, making invasion of the settlement a simple matter for the Viking raiders, who drifted in on the rapid incoming tides, perfectly relaxed and ready for anything.

The name Apardion most probably derives from the Norse Abar = Port or Harbour and Dien = violent death.

So Apardion, The Haven of Swift and Cruel Massacre.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't there an Apardion nursing home in rosemount?

G said...

Ooooops!