Here we have the sixth and final episode of the Scotcast. This will bring us up to 410, where we are in the main podcast, and we will be able to continue forward into the dark ages!
(History of Britain, History of Scotland, Celtic History, Roman History)
The Picts. Who were they?
Well, to start with, when looking at it all, it’s amazing that Scotland is called Scotland at all. And as we go forward in the Podcast, we’ll explore how that came about. But lets set down some ground rules to make life easier for me. Since this isn’t Scotland yet, and it really isn’t Caledonia either. Can we agree that whenever I refer to Alba that I’m talking about what will become Scotland? awesome.
So at the end of the third century AD, we get our first mention of the Picts. And there was a significant period of darkness where we know little. There were invasions, and rebellions, and tremendous strife. And following all of this, by the Ninth Century AD, we now have a new nation. The Scots. Who were no longer the Britons we have come to know. Their culture had changed over the years following centuries of invasion and integration. But the last great group of people to hold Scotland before the Scots were the Picts. And it has been common knowledge since around the 12th century AD that the Pictish race and culture had vanished, which the other cultures of the area, the English, the Irish, and the Welsh, endured. But did they, or was Henry of Huntingdon (the 12th century historian) and those who followed him mistaken? So lets talk about these Picts.
So it’s 296 AD. Carausius is dead and Allectus is in charge, but not for long. As you probably remember, Constantius came in and crushed him. And in the Panegyric written about this event we get our first mention of this strange group of people that capture our imaginations. The Picts. According the the Panegyric, these were the same group of people who fought against Caesar during his invasions. And actually, this started a trend where Alba was referred to as Pictavia. Now did these Picts that he’s writing about predate the Caledonii? That seems to be what the Panegyric is suggesting. However, we need to take that statement with a whole boatload of salt. I mean, this is a panegyric so it’s designed to flatter and what is more flattering than to compare Constantius’ triumph to Julius Caesar’s adventures in Britannia. The implication would be that Constantius prevailed where the great Caesar could not.Click here to be able to read the full rough transcript.