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Earliest Scotland

Earliest Scotland

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Earliest Scotland

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  1. Earliest Scotland The foundations of a nation

  2. The word ‘Scotland’ will not be used until the Middle Ages. • Before other names are attached to northern Britain: ‘Alba’, Caledonia. • The first peoples of ‘Scotland’ that we know about belong to the Celtic Iron Age.

  3. Iron age Scotland At this time all of Britain is Celtic in speech, and has various forms of Iron Age La Tène culture. These names come from Ptolemy the Geographer

  4. The Caledones‘The Noblest in All Britain’ • Tacitus is the only source for Caledonian warfare. • War-trumpets • ‘nudi sont Brittones’ • Chariots (scythed axled covinnus)


  6. Broch

  7. Tribal territories (Lowlands) • Between the Tyne-Solway and the Clyde-Forth lines (later the frontiers constructed by Hadrian and then Antoninus), we have four tribes: • Votadini (Uotadini, Gododdin)-Traprain Law. • Novantae • Selgovae (Eildon Hill) • Damnonii

  8. Tribal territories (Highlands) • Homeland of the Caledones. • Eastern coastal region • Venicones, Vacomagi, Taezali • . Western and northern: • Epidiii, Creones, Smertae etc • North and Western Isles- occupied by about 500 families inhabiting broch towers.

  9. The campaign of Agricola (the emperor was Vespasian). The leader of the ‘Caledones’ was Calgacus (confederacy with 30,000 warriors). Roman Campaigns 43-83AD

  10. Agricola’s Campaigns 82AD • In 82AD Agricola pushed north establishing camps as far as the river Spey. • The enemy in this case is described as being Caledonii (Caledonians), who harass the Romans and their camps. • Finally in 83AD Agricola brought his troops accompanied by British allies to a spot called Mons Graupius.

  11. Agricola’s Campaigns 83AD • The exact location ismost probably close to Bennachie. • Most locate it on the northern edge of the Grampian Mountains. • The leader of the confederated Caledonii is one Calgacus (Calgacos, Galgacus)‘who among many leaders was preeminent in bravery and ancestry’.

  12. Agricola’s Campaigns: the battle of Mons Graupius • The Caledonians like the southern Britons used chariots to bring the warrior class to the battlefield. • Agricola led a large contingent of cavalry and infantry on foot. • As the British army descended down the slope, the Roman horses broke through their ranks and encircled them. Tacitus claims 10,000 casualties on the British side and ‘360’ on the Roman.

  13. Mons Graupius Mons Graupius or ‘ Mons Cripius’

  14. September AD 83

  15. The battle AD83 • First phase was a cavalry action. • The small Caledonian cavalry were defeated and their chariots. • The Romans had c8000 troups. • Celtic troups descended from the two sides to attack the rear of the Roman force. • Romans broke up these warbands, they were defeated by Roman cavalry.

  16. The Battle AD83 • By nightfall (September, c8pm), hundreds of the Caledones fled. • ‘It was a cheerful night for the victors with rejoicing and plunder’. • ‘it would not be inglorious to die at the very place where the world and nature end’.

  17. Aftermath of the battle • ‘they make a desert and call it peace’ • Calgacus (according to Agricola referring to the Roman victory.

  18. Aftermath of the Battle • The Roman historian Tacitus adds, ‘Britain was completely conquered and immediately neglected’. • • ‘It was then, for the first time, that a Roman fleet, circumnavigating this coast of the remotest sea, established that Britain was an island’.

  19. After the Romans (c410AD), the peoples of Scotland in the early Middle Ages • The Picts • The Britons • The Dal Riata/The Scotti (Irish Gaels) • The Angles (Germanic speaking)

  20. The Strathmartine Castle Stone The Picts

  21. The Britons • Dumbarton Rock, nr Glasgow

  22. The Britons • The Gododdin • Kingdom of Altclut • The Govan Sarcophagus

  23. The Govan Sarcophagus c850AD

  24. The Dal Riata • Dunadd, Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute

  25. The Early Irish in Scotland • The Dal Riata • The Scotti • The Gaels

  26. Dal Riata/Strathclyde Britons • •

  27. The Picts An eastern Scottish people

  28. The Pictish Carvings 6th-9th centuries

  29. Meaning of the stones • Personal memorials • Tribal territories • Lineage territories

  30. Some 60 different symbols outline pictures of animals (such as the adder, salmon, wolf, stag, eagle and the mythical Pictish Beast).2 There are also representations of everyday objects such as the mirror and comb, which could have been used by high-status males. The symbols are almost always arranged in pairs or sets of pairs, sometimes with the mirror and comb below, hence the thinking they could represent lineage or kindred (such as two parents/clans). According to Anthony Jackson the symbol pairs represent matrilineal marriage alliances.3 The symbols

  31. The double disk • Double disk and Z-rod symbols

  32. Pictish carvings

  33. The Pictish Carvings

  34. Pictish carvings

  35. Pictish cross

  36. Based on the time period there are three possible occasions for it to commemorate. Kenneth MacAlpins's grim victory over the Pictish nobles. Confrontation between the Pictish force and the Norsemen at Burghead The death of Scottish King Dubh during a battle in 966 at Forres. The body of the king lay beneath the bridge at Kinloss The tallest Pictish stone

  37. The Whitecleuch Chain • Found in Lanarkshire on 1869 • 400-800AD

  38. The Drosten Stone

  39. Aberlemno Stone

  40. The Knocknagael Boar Stone

  41. Picts • There has been a tendency to see the Picts as a peculiar and special people. • This idea goes back to Bede (7th century). • But possibly we should see them as a typical NW European barbarian nation.

  42. Picts • The Picts probably saw their territory as comprising the whole of eastern Scotland (where most of the population lived). • Division between the Northern and Southern Picts. • The first reference to Picts (Picti) by this name comes from Eumenius in the year 297AD.

  43. Picts • However, their long-seated occupation of the territories in which they lived is reflected in the native names given to them. • The Irish called them ‘cruithne’. This word comes from the Celtic word borrowed by the Romans- Priteni (Pritani)- ie Britons. • To distinguish them from the southern Britons, the later were called Britanni (Britons). • In early Welsh, the Picts were called ‘Prydyn’.

  44. Picts • The Picts are obviously the descendants of the various Iron-Age peoples who mainly occupied the east of Scotland, and who may have extended their power into the Lowlands. • Language of the Picts.

  45. Picts • The Pictish Chronicle is the most important source for the history of the Picts to have survived. • A list of kings with the duration of each king. • Here are some of the names: Breidei, Nectan, Tallorcen, Drest, Taran, Elpin, Constantin, Kinart.

  46. Picts • It is difficult to plot the progress of the tribes of Caledonia towards Pictish nationhood. • The Maeatae and the Caledonians.

  47. The Pit- place-names. • The element Aber- in Scottish place-names will mostly come from Pictish sources (compare Welsh/Breton Aber-). • Also Pit- such as Pitlochry and Pittenweem, Pitcairn. • Originally pett-= piece of land (compare Welsh peth, Breton pezh). • 300 pit-names,