Picts was the name given to an unidentified tribal confederation
of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland
during the Late
Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. They are thought
to have been ethnolinguistically Celtic. Where they lived and what
their culture was like can be inferred from the geographical
distribution of brochs, Brittonic place name elements, and Pictish
stones. The name
Picts appears in written records from Late Antiquity
to the 10th century, when they are thought to have merged with the
Gaels. They lived to the north of the rivers Forth and Clyde, and
spoke the now-extinct Pictish language, which is thought to have been
closely related to the Celtic Brittonic language spoken by the Britons
who lived to the south of them.
Picts are assumed to have been the descendants of the
other tribes that were mentioned by Roman historians or on the world
map of Ptolemy. Pictland, also called Pictavia by some sources,
gradually merged with the Gaelic kingdom of
Dál Riata to form the
Kingdom of Alba
Kingdom of Alba (Scotland). Alba then expanded, absorbing the
Brittonic kingdom of Strathclyde and Northumbrian Lothian, and by the
11th century the Pictish identity had been subsumed into the "Scots"
amalgamation of peoples.
Pictish society was typical of many
Iron Age societies in northern
Europe, having "wide connections and parallels" with neighbouring
groups. Archaeology gives some impression of the society of the
Picts. While very little in the way of Pictish writing has survived,
Pictish history since the late 6th century is known from a variety of
sources, including Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum,
saints' lives such as that of
Columba by Adomnán, and various Irish
3 Kings and kingdoms
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Picts called themselves is unknown.[nb 1] The
Picti first occurs in a panegyric written by
Eumenius in AD 297
and is taken to mean "painted or tattooed people" (from
"to paint"; pictus, "painted", cf. Greek "πυκτίς" pyktis,
"picture"). As Sally M. Foster noted, "Much ink has been spilt over
what the ancient writers meant by Picts, but it seems to be a generic
term for people living north of the Forth–Clyde isthmus who raided
the Roman Empire."
Their Old English name gave the modern Scots form Pechts and the
Welsh word Ffichti. In writings from Ireland, the
name Cruthin, Cruthini, Cruthni, Cruithni or Cruithini (Modern Irish:
Cruithne) was used to refer both to the
Picts and to another group of
people who lived alongside the
Ulaid in eastern Ulster. It is
generally accepted that this is derived from *Qritani, which is the
Goidelic/Q-Celtic version of the Britonnic/
P-Celtic *Pritani. From
this came Britanni, the Roman name for those now called the
Britons. It has been suggested that
Cruthin referred to all
Britons not conquered by the Romans—those who lived outside Roman
Britannia, north of Hadrian's Wall.
The so-called Daniel Stone, cross slab fragment found at Rosemarkie,
A Pictish confederation was formed in
Late Antiquity from a number of
tribes—how and why is not known. Some scholars have speculated that
it was partly in response to the growth of the Roman Empire.
Pictland had previously been described by Roman writers and
geographers as the home of the Caledonii. These Romans also used
other names to refer to tribes living in that area, including
Taexali and Venicones. But they may have heard these
other names only second- or third-hand, from speakers of Brittonic or
Gaulish languages, who may have used different names for the same
group or groups.
Pictish recorded history begins in the Dark Ages. At that time, the
Dál Riata controlled what is now Argyll, as part of a
kingdom straddling the sea between Britain and Ireland. The
Bernicia, which merged with Deira to form Northumbria, overwhelmed the
adjacent British kingdoms, and for much of the 7th century Northumbria
was the most powerful kingdom in Britain. The
Picts were probably
Northumbria until the reign of Bridei mac Beli, when, in
685, the Anglians suffered a defeat at the
Battle of Dun Nechtain
Battle of Dun Nechtain that
halted their northward expansion. The Northumbrians continued to
Scotland for the remainder of the Pictish period.
The Whitecleuch Chain, high status Pictish silver chain, one of ten
known to exist, dating from between 400 and 800 AD
Dál Riata was subject to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa during
his reign (729–761), and though it had its own kings beginning in
the 760s, does not appear to have recovered its political independence
from the Picts. A later Pictish king, Caustantín mac Fergusa
(793–820), placed his son Domnall on the throne of Dál Riata
(811–835). Pictish attempts to achieve a similar dominance over
the Britons of Alt Clut (Dumbarton) were not successful.
Viking Age brought great changes in Britain and Ireland, no less
Scotland than elsewhere, conquering and settling the islands and
various mainland areas, including Caithness,
Sutherland and Galloway.
In the middle of the 9th century
Ketil Flatnose is said to have
founded the Kingdom of the Isles, governing many of these territories,
and by the end of that century the Vikings had destroyed the Kingdom
of Northumbria, greatly weakened the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and
founded the Kingdom of York. In a major battle in 839, the Vikings
killed the King of Fortriu, Eógan mac Óengusa, the King of Dál
Riata Áed mac Boanta, and many others. In the aftermath, in the
840s, Cínaed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin) became king of the
During the reign of Cínaed's grandson, Caustantín mac Áeda
(900–943), outsiders began to refer to the region as the Kingdom of
Alba rather than the Kingdom of the Picts, but it is not known whether
this was because a new kingdom was established or Alba was simply a
closer approximation of the Pictish name for the Picts. However,
Pictish language did not disappear suddenly, a process of
Gaelicisation (which may have begun generations earlier) was clearly
underway during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a
certain point, probably during the 11th century, all the inhabitants
of northern Alba had become fully Gaelicised Scots, and Pictish
identity was forgotten. Later, the idea of
Picts as a tribe was
revived in myth and legend.
Kings and kingdoms
See also: List of Kings of the Picts
Approximate location of Pictish kingdoms, based on the information
The early history of Pictland is unclear. In later periods multiple
kings existed, ruling over separate kingdoms, with one king, sometimes
two, more or less dominating their lesser neighbours. De Situ
Albanie, a late document, the Pictish Chronicle, the Duan Albanach,
along with Irish legends, have been used to argue the existence of
seven Pictish kingdoms. These are as follows; those in bold are known
to have had kings, or are otherwise attested in the Pictish period:
Cait, or Cat, situated in modern
Caithness and Sutherland
Ce, situated in modern Mar and Buchan
Circinn, perhaps situated in modern Angus and the Mearns
Fib, the modern Fife, now known as 'the Kingdom of Fife'
Fidach, location unknown, but possibly near Inverness
Fortriu, cognate with the
Verturiones of the Romans; recently shown to
be centred on Moray
More small kingdoms may have existed. Some evidence suggests that a
Pictish kingdom also existed in Orkney.
De Situ Albanie is not the
most reliable of sources, and the number of kingdoms, one for each of
the seven sons of Cruithne, the eponymous founder of the Picts, may
well be grounds enough for disbelief. Regardless of the exact
number of kingdoms and their names, the Pictish nation was not a
Map showing the approximate areas of the kingdom of
neighbours c. 800, and the kingdom of Alba c. 900
For most of Pictish recorded history the kingdom of
dominant, so much so that king of
Fortriu and king of the
mean one and the same thing in the annals. This was previously thought
to lie in the area around Perth and southern Strathearn; however,
recent work has convinced those working in the field that
name referring to a very much larger area in the High Middle Ages than
the county of Moray) was the core of Fortriu.
Picts are often said to have practised matrilineal kingship
succession on the basis of Irish legends and a statement in Bede's
history. The kings of the
Bede was writing were
Bridei and Nechtan, sons of Der Ilei, who indeed claimed the throne
through their mother Der Ilei, daughter of an earlier Pictish
In Ireland, kings were expected to come from among those who had a
great-grandfather who had been king. Kingly fathers were not
frequently succeeded by their sons, not because the
matrilineal succession, but because they were usually followed by
their own brothers or cousins, more likely to be experienced men with
the authority and the support necessary to be king. This was
similar to tanistry.
The nature of kingship changed considerably during the centuries of
Pictish history. While earlier kings had to be successful war leaders
to maintain their authority, kingship became rather less personalised
and more institutionalised during this time. Bureaucratic kingship was
still far in the future when Pictland became Alba, but the support of
the church, and the apparent ability of a small number of families to
control the kingship for much of the period from the later 7th century
onwards, provided a considerable degree of continuity. In much the
same period, the Picts' neighbours in
Dál Riata and
considerable difficulties, as the stability of succession and rule
that previously benefited them ended.
The later Mormaers are thought to have originated in Pictish times,
and to have been copied from, or inspired by, Northumbrian usages.
It is unclear whether the Mormaers were originally former kings, royal
officials, or local nobles, or some combination of these. Likewise,
the Pictish shires and thanages, traces of which are found in later
times, are thought to have been adopted from their southern
The harpist on the Dupplin Cross, Scotland, c. 800 AD
The archaeological record provides evidence of the material culture of
the Picts. It tells of a society not readily distinguishable from its
British, Gaelic, or
Anglo-Saxon neighbours. Although analogy and
knowledge of other so-called 'Celtic' societies (a term they never
used for themselves) may be a useful guide, these extended across a
very large area. Relying on knowledge of pre-Roman Gaul, or 13th
century Ireland, as a guide to the
Picts of the 6th century may be
misleading if analogy is pursued too far.
As with most peoples in the north of Europe in Late Antiquity, the
Picts were farmers living in small communities. Cattle and horses were
an obvious sign of wealth and prestige, sheep and pigs were kept in
large numbers, and place names suggest that transhumance was common.
Animals were small by later standards, although horses from Britain
were imported into
Ireland as breed-stock to enlarge native horses.
From Irish sources it appears that the élite engaged in competitive
cattle-breeding for size, and this may have been the case in Pictland
also. Carvings show hunting with dogs, and also, unlike in Ireland,
with falcons. Cereal crops included wheat, barley, oats and rye.
Vegetables included kale, cabbage, onions and leeks, peas and beans
and turnips, and some types no longer common, such as skirret. Plants
such as wild garlic, nettles and watercress may have been gathered in
the wild. The pastoral economy meant that hides and leather were
Wool was the main source of fibres for clothing,
and flax was also common, although it is not clear if they grew it for
fibres, for oil, or as a foodstuff. Fish, shellfish, seals, and whales
were exploited along coasts and rivers. The importance of domesticated
animals suggests that meat and milk products were a major part of the
diet of ordinary people, while the élite would have eaten a diet rich
in meat from farming and hunting.
No Pictish counterparts to the areas of denser settlement around
important fortresses in
Gaul and southern Britain, or any other
significant urban settlements, are known. Larger, but not large,
settlements existed around royal forts, such as at Burghead Fort, or
associated with religious foundations. No towns are known in
Scotland until the 12th century.
The technology of everyday life is not well recorded, but
archaeological evidence shows it to have been similar to that in
Anglo-Saxon England. Recently evidence has been found of
watermills in Pictland.
Kilns were used for drying kernels of
wheat or barley, not otherwise easy in the changeable, temperate
Reconstructed crannóg on Loch Tay
Picts are associated with piracy and raiding along the
coasts of Roman Britain. Even in the Late Middle Ages, the line
between traders and pirates was unclear, so that Pictish pirates were
probably merchants on other occasions. It is generally assumed that
trade collapsed with the Roman Empire, but this is to overstate the
case. There is only limited evidence of long-distance trade with
Pictland, but tableware and storage vessels from Gaul, probably
transported up the Irish Sea, have been found. This trade may have
been controlled from
Dunadd in Dál Riata, where such goods appear to
have been common. While long-distance travel was unusual in Pictish
times, it was far from unknown as stories of missionaries, travelling
clerics and exiles show.
Brochs are popularly associated with the Picts. Although these were
built earlier in the Iron Age, with construction ending around 100 AD,
they remained in use into and beyond the Pictish period. Crannóg,
which may originate in
Neolithic Scotland, may have been rebuilt, and
some were still in use in the time of the Picts. The most common
sort of buildings would have been roundhouses and rectangular timbered
halls. While many churches were built in wood, from the early 8th
century, if not earlier, some were built in stone.
Picts are often said to have tattooed themselves, but evidence for
this is limited. Naturalistic depictions of Pictish nobles, hunters
and warriors, male and female, without obvious tattoos, are found on
monumental stones. These stones include inscriptions in
ogham script, not all of which have been deciphered. The well known
Pictish symbols found on standing stones and other artifacts, have
defied attempts at translation over the centuries. Pictish art can be
classed as 'Celtic' (a term not coined till the 1850s), and later as
Insular. Irish poets portrayed their Pictish counterparts as very
much like themselves.
Main article: Christianisation of Scotland
An early 20th century depiction of Saint Columba's miracle at the gate
of King Bridei's fortress, described in Adomnán's late 7th century
Animal head from
St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle Treasure
Early Pictish religion is presumed to have resembled Celtic polytheism
in general, although only place names remain from the pre-Christian
era. When the Pictish elite converted to
Christianity is uncertain,
but traditions place Saint Palladius in Pictland after he left
Ireland, and link Abernethy with Saint Brigid of Kildare. Saint
Patrick refers to "apostate Picts", while the poem
Y Gododdin does not
remark on the
Picts as pagans.
Bede wrote that Saint Ninian
(confused by some with Saint Finnian of Moville, who died c. 589), had
converted the southern Picts. Recent archaeological work at
Portmahomack places the foundation of the monastery there, an area
once assumed to be among the last converted, in the late 6th
century. This is contemporary with Bridei mac Maelchon and
Columba, but the process of establishing
Pictland will have extended over a much longer period.
Pictland was not solely influenced by
Iona and Ireland. It also had
ties to churches in Northumbria, as seen in the reign of Nechtan mac
Der Ilei. The reported expulsion of Ionan monks and clergy by Nechtan
in 717 may have been related to the controversy over the dating of
Easter, and the manner of tonsure, where Nechtan appears to have
supported the Roman usages, but may equally have been intended to
increase royal power over the church. Nonetheless, the evidence of
place names suggests a wide area of Ionan influence in Pictland.
Cáin Adomnáin (Law of Adomnán, Lex Innocentium)
counts Nechtan's brother Bridei among its guarantors.
The importance of monastic centres in Pictland was not, perhaps, as
great as in Ireland. In areas that have been studied, such as
Strathspey and Perthshire, it appears that the parochial structure of
the High Middle Ages existed in early medieval times. Among the major
religious sites of eastern Pictland were Portmahomack, Cennrígmonaid
(later St Andrews), Dunkeld, Abernethy and Rosemarkie. It appears that
these are associated with Pictish kings, which argues for a
considerable degree of royal patronage and control of the church.
Portmahomack in particular has been the subject of recent excavation
and research, published by Martin Carver.
The cult of Saints was, as throughout Christian lands, of great
importance in later Pictland. While kings might patronise great
Saints, such as
Saint Peter in the case of Nechtan, and perhaps Saint
Andrew in the case of the second Óengus mac Fergusa, many lesser
Saints, some now obscure, were important. The Pictish Saint Drostan
appears to have had a wide following in the north in earlier times,
although he was all but forgotten by the 12th century. Saint Serf of
Culross was associated with Nechtan's brother Bridei. It appears,
as is well known in later times, that noble kin groups had their own
patron saints, and their own churches or abbeys.
The Rogart brooch, National Museums of Scotland, FC2. Pictish
penannular brooch, 8th century, silver with gilding and glass.
Classified as Fowler H3 type.
The Aberlemno Kirkyard Stone, Class II Pictish stone
Pictish art appears on stones, metalwork and small objects of stone
and bone. It uses a distinctive form of the general Celtic Early
Medieval development of
La Tène style
La Tène style with increasing influences from
Insular art of 7th and 8th century
Ireland and Northumbria, and
Irish art as the Early Medieval period continues.
The most conspicuous survivals are the many
Pictish stones that are
located all over Pictland, from
Inverness to Lanarkshire. An
illustrated catalogue of these stones was produced by J. Romilly Allen
as part of The Early Church Monuments of Scotland, with lists of their
symbols and patterns. The symbols and patterns consist of animals
including the Pictish Beast, the "rectangle", the "mirror and comb",
"double-disc and Z-rod" and the "crescent and V-rod", among many
others. There are also bosses and lenses with pelta and spiral
designs. The patterns are curvilinear with hatchings. The so-called
cross-slabs are carved with Pictish symbols, Insular-derived interlace
and Christian imagery, though interpretation is often difficult due to
wear and obscurity. Several of the Christian images carved on various
stones, such as David the harpist, Daniel and the lion, or scenes of
St Paul and St Anthony meeting in the desert, have been influenced by
the Insular manuscript tradition.
Pictish metalwork is found throughout Pictland (modern-day Scotland)
and also further south; the
Picts appeared to have a considerable
amount of silver available, probably from raiding further south, or
the payment of subsidies to keep them from doing so. The very large
hoard of late Roman hacksilver found at
Traprain Law may have
originated in either way. The largest hoard of early Pictish metalwork
was found in 1819 at
Norrie's Law in Fife, but unfortunately much was
dispersed and melted down (Scots law on treasure finds has always been
unhelpful to preservation). Two famous 7th century silver and enamel
plaques from the hoard, one shown above, have a "Z-rod", one of the
Pictish symbols, in a particularly well-preserved and elegant form;
unfortunately few comparable pieces have survived. Over ten heavy
silver chains, some over 0.5m long, have been found from this period;
Whitecleuch Chain is one of only two that have a
penannular ring, with symbol decoration including enamel, which shows
how these were probably used as "choker" necklaces.
In the 8th and 9th centuries, after Christianization, the Pictish
elite adopted a particular form of the
Celtic brooch from Ireland,
preferring true penannular brooches with lobed terminals. Some older
Irish pseudo-penannular brooches were adapted to the Pictish style,
for example the
Breadalbane Brooch (British Museum). The St Ninian's
Isle Treasure contains the best collection of Pictish forms. Other
characteristics of Pictish metalwork are dotted backgrounds or designs
and animal forms influenced by Insular art. The 8th century Monymusk
Reliquary has elements of Pictish and Irish style.
Main article: Pictish language
Pictish language is extinct. Evidence is limited to place names,
the names of people found on monuments, and the contemporary records.
The evidence of place-names and personal names argues strongly that
Insular Celtic languages related to the more southerly
Brittonic languages. A number of
Ogham inscriptions have been
argued to be unidentifiable as Celtic, and on this basis, it has been
suggested that non-
Celtic languages were also in use.
The absence of surviving written material in Pictish—if the
ambiguous "Pictish inscriptions" in the
Ogham script are
discounted—does not indicate a pre-literate society. The church
certainly required literacy in Latin, and could not function without
copyists to produce liturgical documents. Pictish iconography shows
books being read, and carried, and its naturalistic style gives every
reason to suppose that such images were of real life. Literacy was not
widespread, but among the senior clergy, and in monasteries, it would
have been common enough.
Place-names often allow us to deduce the existence of historic Pictish
settlements in Scotland. Those prefixed with the Brittonic prefixes
"Aber-", "Lhan-", or "Pit-" (=? "peth", a thing) are claimed to
indicate regions inhabited by
Picts in the past (for example:
Aberdeen, Lhanbryde, Pitmedden, etc.). Some of these, such as "Pit-"
(portion, share), may have been formed after Pictish times, and may
refer to previous "shires" or "thanages".
The evidence of place-names may also reveal the advance of Gaelic into
Pictland. As noted, Atholl, meaning New Ireland, is attested in the
early 8th century. This may be an indication of the advance of Gaelic.
Fortriu also contains place-names suggesting Gaelic settlement, or
Gaelic influences. A pre-Gaelic interpretation of the name as
Athfocla meaning 'north pass' or 'north way', as in gateway to Moray,
suggests that the Gaelic Athfotla may be a Gaelic misreading of the
minuscule c for t.
Medieval Welsh tradition credited the founding of Gwynedd to the
Picts and traced their principal royal families—the Houses of
Aberffraw and Dinefwr—to Cunedda Wledig, said to have invaded
northern Wales from Lothian.
Kings of the Picts
Origins of the Kingdom of Alba
Picts in fantasy
Picts in literature and popular culture
St Andrews Sarcophagus
Scotland in the Early Middle Ages
List of Celtic tribes
^ It has been proposed that they called themselves albidosi, a name
found in the
Chronicle of the Kings of Alba during the reign of Máel
Coluim mac Domnaill, but this idea has been disputed. See: Broun,
"Alba", p. 258, note 95; Woolf, Pictland to Alba, pp. 177–181.
^ Katherine Forsyth, Language in Pictland. The case against
non-Indo-European Pictisch, Studia Hamelina 2, Utrecht 1997
^ Foster 1996. p. 17.
^ pingo, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A
Latin Dictionary, on
Perseus Digital Library
^ πυκτίς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English
Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
^ Foster 1996. p. 11.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has pihtas and pehtas.
^ a b Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí. A New History of Ireland: Prehistoric
and Early Ireland. Oxford University Press, 2008. Page 213.
^ a b Chadwick, Hector Munro. Early Scotland: the Picts, the Scots
& the Welsh of southern Scotland. CUP Archive, 1949. Page 66-80.
^ a b Dunbavin, Paul.
Picts and ancient Britons: an exploration of
Pictish origins. Third Millennium Publishing, 1998. Page 3.
^ See the discussion of the creation of the Frankish Confederacy in
Geary, Before France, chapter 2.
^ e.g. by Tacitus, Ptolemy, and as the Dicalydonii by Ammianus
Ptolemy called the sea to the west of
^ e.g. Ptolemy, Ammianus Marcellinus.
Caledonii is attested from a grave marker in Roman Britain.
^ See e.g. Higham, The Kingdom of Northumbria.
^ Broun, "Pictish Kings", attempts to reconstruct the confused late
history of Dál Riata. The silence in the Irish Annals is ignored by
Bannerman in "The Scottish Takeover of Pictland and the relics of
^ According to Broun, "Pictish Kings"--but the history of Dál Riata
after that is obscure.
^ Cf. the failed attempts by Óengus mac Fergusa.
^ Annals of
Ulster (s.a. 839): "The (Vikings) won a battle against the
men of Fortriu, and Eóganán son of Aengus, Bran son of Óengus, Aed
son of Boanta, and others almost innumerable fell there."
^ Broun, "Dunkeld", Broun, "National Identity", Forsyth, "
1100", pp. 28–32, Woolf, "Constantine II"; cf. Bannerman, "Scottish
Takeover", passim, representing the "traditional" view.
^ For example, Pechs, and perhaps Pixies. However, Sally Foster quotes
John Toland in 1726: "they are apt all over
Scotland to make
everything Pictish whose origin they do not know." The same could be
said of the
Picts in myth.
^ Broun, "Kingship", for
Ireland see, e.g. Byrne, Irish Kings and
High-Kings, and more generally Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Ireland.
^ Forsyth, "Lost Pictish Source", Watson, Celtic Place Names, pp.
Scotland in the Middle Ages#Minor kingdoms
^ earls of moray. Irvinemclean.com (2010-12-15). Retrieved on
^ earls of ross. Irvinemclean.com (2011-04-22). Retrieved on
^ Bruford, "What happened to the Caledonians", Watson, Celtic Place
Names, pp. 108–113.
^ Woolf, "Dun Nechtain"; Yorke, Conversion, p. 47. Compare earlier
works such as Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, p. 33.
^ Adomnán, "Life of Columba", editor's notes on pp. 342–343.
^ Broun, "Seven Kingdoms".
^ Woolf, "Dun Nechtain".
^ Bede, I, c. 1
^ The Female Royal Line: matrilineal succession amongst the Picts?
^ Clancy, "Nechtan".
^ Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, pp. 35–41, 122–123, also pp.
108, 287, stating that derbfhine was practised by the cruithni in
^ Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, p. 35, "Elder for kin, worth for
rulership, wisdom for the church." See also Foster, Picts,
Scots, pp. 32–34, Smyth, Warlords and Holy Men, p. 67ff.
^ Broun, "Kingship", Broun, "Pictish Kings"; for Dál Riata, Broun,
"Dál Riata", for a more positive view Sharpe, "The thriving of
Dalriada"; for Northumbria, Higham, Kingdom of Northumbria, pp.
^ Woolf, "Nobility".
^ Barrow, "Pre-Feudal Scotland", Woolf, "Nobility".
^ See, e.g. Campbell, Saints and Sea-kings for the
Gaels of Dál
Riata, Lowe, Angels, Fools and Tyrants for Britons and Anglians.
^ Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, pp. 49–61. Fergus Kelly, Early
Irish Farming: a study based mainly on the law-texts of the 7th and
8th centuries AD (School of Celtic Studies/DAIS, Dublin, 2000.
ISBN 1-85500-180-2) provides an extensive review of farming in
Ireland in the middle Pictish period.
^ The interior of the fort at Burghead was some 12 acres (5 hectares)
in size, see Driscoll, "Burghead"; for Verlamion (later Roman
Verulamium), a southern British settlement on a very much larger
scale, see e.g. Pryor, Britain AD, pp. 64–70.
^ Dennison, "Urban settlement: medieval".
^ Carver (2008)
^ Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, pp. 52–53.
^ Trade, see Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, pp. 65–68; seafaring in
general, e.g. Haywood, Dark Age Naval Power, Rodger, Safeguard of the
^ Armit, Towers In The North, chapter 7.
^ Crone, "Crannogs and Chronologies", PSAS, vol. 123, pp. 245–254.
^ Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, pp. 52–61.
^ See Clancy, "Nechtan", Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, p. 89.
^ For art in general see Foster, Picts,
Gaels and Scots, pp. 26–28,
Laing & Laing, p. 89ff., Ritchie, "Picto-Celtic Culture".
^ Forsyth, "Evidence of a lost Pictish Source", pp. 27–28.
^ Clancy, "'Nennian recension'", pp. 95–96, Smyth, Warlords and Holy
Men, pp. 82–83.
^ Markus, "Conversion to Christianity".
^ Bede, III, 4. For the identities of Ninian/Finnian see Yorke, p.
^ Mentioned by Foster, but more information is available from the
Tarbat Discovery Programme: see under External links.
^ Bede, IV, cc. 21–22, Clancy, "Church institutions", Clancy,
^ Taylor, "
^ Clancy, "Church institutions", Markus, "Religious life".
^ See Carver, Portmahomack.
^ Clancy, "Cult of Saints", Clancy, "Nechtan", Taylor, "
^ Markus, "Religious life".
^ Youngs, no. 111, with a plate showing the decoration much better;
^ Henderson, Isabel, "The 'David Cycle' in Pictish Art". Early
Medieval Sculpture. Ed. J.Higgitt. Oxford, 1986. pp. 87–113.
^ "The Meeting of Saint Paul and Saint Anthony: Visual and Literary
Uses of a Eucharistic Motif". Keimelia. Eds. P. Wallace and G. M.
Niocaill. Galway, 1989. pp. 1–58.
^ Youngs, 26–28; Poor image of 19th-century illustration
^ Youngs, 28
^ Youngs, 109–113
^ Forsyth, Language in Pictland, Price "Pictish", Taylor, "Place
names", Watson, Celtic Place Names. For K.H. Jackson's views, see "The
Language of the Picts" in Wainwright (ed.) The Problem of the Picts.
^ Jackson, "The Language of the Picts", discussed by Forsyth, Language
^ Forsyth, "Literacy in Pictland".
^ For place names in general, see Watson, Celtic Place Names;
Nicolaisen, Scottish Place Names, pp 156–246. For shires and
thanages see Barrow, "Pre-Feudal Scotland".
^ Watson, Celtic Place Names, pp. 225–233.
^ James E. Fraser, The New Edinburgh History Of
Scotland Vol.1 - From
Caledonia To Pictland, Edinburgh University Press(2009)
^ The statement Nid oedhynt y Picteit onyd yr hen Gymry ("The Picts
were none other than the old Cymry", i.e., Welsh) is recorded in
Peniarth MS. 118. Op. cit. Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Law.
"Introduction". Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 30 Jan 2013.
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Gaels and Scots. London: B.T.
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Dauvit Broun &
Thomas Owen Clancy (eds.), Spes
Scotorum: Hope of Scots. Saint Columba,
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Kingdom of the Scots. Edinburgh UP, Edinburgh, 2003.
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Scotland Vol.1 - From
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Romans, Groam House Museum,
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Picts.
Glasgow University ePrints server, including Katherine Forsyth's
Language in Pictland (pdf) and
Literacy in Pictland (pdf)
The language of the Picts, article by Paul Kavanagh, 2012-02-04
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork
The Corpus of Electronic Texts includes the Annals of Ulster,
Tigernach, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum,
the Lebor Bretnach, Genealogies, and various Saints' Lives. Most are
translated into English, or translations are in progress
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
Annals of Clonmacnoise at Cornell
Bede's Ecclesiastical History and its Continuation (pdf), at CCEL,
translated by A.M. Sellar.
Annales Cambriae (translated) at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook.
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland (PSAS) through
Tarbat Discovery Programme with reports on excavations at
Scottish Place-Name Society (Comann Ainmean-Áite na h-Alba),
including commentary on and extracts from Watson's The History of the
Celtic Place-names of Scotland.
Picts and Scots in history
Scotland website on Pictish stones
Ancient Scotland: Caledonia and Pictavia
Hjaltadans Stone Circle
Pettigarths Field Cairns
Scord of Brouster
Standing Stones of Yoxie
Iron Age Shetland
Broch of Clickimin
Broch of Culswick
Broch of Mousa
Burra Ness Broch
Ness of Burgi Fort
Broch of West Burrafirth
St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle Treasure
Carved Stone Balls
Battle of Mons Graupius
Dálriata / Alba
Iron Age Britain /
Roman Britain / Sub-Roman Britain
Gaul / Roman
Gaul / Brittany
Brigantia (ancient region)
Warfare (Gaelic warfare)
Modern Celtic nations
Pan-Celticism (Celtic Congress
English words of Celtic origin
Spanish words of Celtic origin
Galician words of Celtic origin
French words of Gaulish origin