Separating History from Myth: Scotland

#1
Hey folks,

I know I'm new and all, but as I've seen some chatter on this subject on other threads I figured I'd try to take advantage of some of the more knowledgeable people on this forum and ask some questions that have been on my mind for awhile.

I know that Scotland (or regions of Scotland anyway) has been occupied and controlled by many various peoples over the course of recorded history, including the Picts, Romans, Anglos, Normans, the English and the Scots. However, it seems that we have less written history about those people when they were living in and struggling for that Land than we do when investigating events that happened elsewhere, leaving us with myth that often passes for history.

My questions are as follows:

1. How far, really, did the Gaelic culture of the Scots spread to domination and where did it merely mix with other cultures or terminate all together?


2. Going along with the first question is this one, did the Scots really obliterate the Picts as was implied in the Declaration of Arbroath? It seems unlikely to me, but I’m no expert.

3. I know that Scotland was ruled by Scot-Norman nobility by the time of the Wars of Independence. That said, I've no idea how that happened as I do not recall ever reading about William or his decedents conquering that far north.

4. Does anyone have a clue to the kinds of feudal obligations that bound England and Scotland to each other before Edward the First tried to gain dominion over Scotland, and were relations between the two countries ever friendly before the late 13th century?

Again, I'm fairly well versed in the accepted, nationalist myths about the country, but am keen to know the history. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

t_f
 

Chookie

Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
7,628
Alba
#2
I don't really understand the first question due to way it's framed -" mix with other cultures or terminate all together" Can you please expand this?

Anyway, to look at your other questions in order:-

2) The Picts were not and have not been exterminated. Their culture has vanished and their language is only seen in placenames nowadays.

3) The Normans, whether ruled by William the Bastard or not, never did invade Scotland. David I invited Norman nobles into Scotland, possibly because of the time he spent in England.

4) There has been a long-term desire by the rulers of what is now England to conquer Scotland too. Starting in Roman times? Prior to Longshanks there had been something like 200 years of peace between the Realms.

 
Nov 2008
69
Lincoln,UK
#3
From what I understand of it, The Picts vanished like the early occupiers of England through intergration into other culteres due to trade, economy and war. The original language spoken in England is now only present in some words of what is now Welsh.
I have read accounts that show that during the middle ages the English throne wanted to establish a strong trade relationship with Scotland. How ever as is the case with history there are many counter arguments of equal worth. I did have a CD of lectures about the history of England and this went into some serious depth about the fraught relationship between the two nations.
 
#4
Sorry if the question was vague Chookie. What I meant was, where in Scotland did the Gaelic culture of the Scots gain dominance, and where did it mix with the cultures of the other inhabitants of the land? What I meant by "terminate altogether" was, where did the advance of the Scottish language and culture stop, not even mixing with nearby cultures?

Thanks for the info on the other questions. I suppose I figured that, as aggressive as the Normans were, that it was as good a bet that they'd at least tried a military take-over of Scotland, as they'd tried in parts of Ireland.

regards,

t_f
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
#5


2) The Picts were not and have not been exterminated. Their culture has vanished and their language is only seen in placenames nowadays.
between the Realms.

I remember something about two Pictish princes that were sent to the Gaels for protection from the Vikings. They grew-up there seeped in Gaelic culture before returning and evicting the Vikings. One of them became king and was then succeeded by the other. The point is that these guys were more Gaelic than Pictish and thus the Gaels came to dominate the throne of Alba and Pictish culture died out along with their pagan religion - the Gaels brought Christianity.
 
Oct 2007
366
Southern Vermont
#6
I remember something about two Pictish princes that were sent to the Gaels for protection from the Vikings. They grew-up there seeped in Gaelic culture before returning and evicting the Vikings. One of them became king and was then succeeded by the other. The point is that these guys were more Gaelic than Pictish and thus the Gaels came to dominate the throne of Alba and Pictish culture died out along with their pagan religion - the Gaels brought Christianity.
I was not aware that paganism was still practiced anywhere in Britain at the time of the earliest Viking invasions, or that the Picts were still viewed as a distinct people that late.
 

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