by Paul Kavanagh

Myth, misunderstanding and legend mix with fact in popular understanding of the Picts.  Many years ago I met a guy who insisted that the Picts were in fact pygmies from Africa.  He was deadly serious, though how a population of Central African people made it to Iron Age Scotland was never explained, CalMac ferries still don't go to the Congo.  Others have maintained that the Picts spoke a language related to Finnish or Basque, or even that they spoke a Germanic language ancestral to modern Scots.   None of these theories is supported by the linguistic evidence.

Our regularly updated contribution from The Scots Language Centre, exploring the origins, meanings and evolution of our language.

bi Stuart McHardy

Gliog an seo gus an aiste seo leughadh sa Ghàidhlig
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Nou awbodie kens that history is written bi winners. Tho it micht be fairer tae say that history is written bi fowk paid bi winners. In the early days o oor history in Scotland awthin written cam frae the church – onlie monks an priests, an mebbe nuns, were literate.

Ane o the daftest things aboot history is that historians, fowk paid tae study, lecture an write aboot the past, act like since the comin o literacy, the auld wey o daein things, tellin stories, his nae relevance. Oral tradition is ‘jist stories’, or ‘simply anecdotal.’ As if fowk stoppit telling stories jist because some ither fowk cuid write things doun. Stories hae survived an it micht be that in some o the traditional tales there is information that cuid help us see oor past a bit clearer.

bi Stuart McHardy

Gliog an seo gus an aiste seo leughadh sa Ghàidhlig
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This is the name o an airticle publisht back in 2000 bi Ewan Campbell o Glesca University.  Maist histories o Scotland is happy tae tell ye that the Scots, the Gaelic-speakin tribes that formit the kingdom o Dalriada, in Argyll, came ower fae Ulster roun aboot the year 500CE.  It’s jist ane o thae ‘facts’ o historie that awbody kens, an there’s the problem – awbody kens it but whit if they’re aw wrang.

bi Stuart McHardy

Click here to read this article in English
Gliog an seo gus an aiste seo leughadh sa Ghàidhlig

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control the Gaelic version of this article has been delayed.  It will be published as soon as it becomes available.  We apologise for the inconvenience.

Julius Caesar’s famous sayin Veni, Vidi, Vici “A cam, A saw, A conquert” is aw verra weel but it’s aboot England. Up here it wis awthegither different.  No that ye’d ken bi the attention peyed by archaeologists an historians tae the Romans in Scotland.

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