The Picts is a survey of the historical and culturaldevelopments in northern Britain between AD 300 and AD 900.Discarding the popular view of the Picts as savages, they arerevealed to have been politically successful and culturallyadaptive members of the medieval European world. Re-interprets our definition of ‘Pict’ and providesa vivid depiction of their political and military organization Offers an up-to-date overview of Pictish life within theenvironment of northern Britain Explains how art such as the ‘symbol stones’ arehistorical records as well as evidence of creativeinspiration. Draws on a range of transnational and comparative scholarshipto place the Picts in their European context
Stuart McHardy examines the Pictish symbols which have been discovered on various items across Scotland. The book sets out a cohesive interpretation of the Pictish past, using a variety of both temporal and geographical sources. This interpretation serves as a backdrop for his analysis of the symbols themselves, providing a context for his suggestion that there was an underlying series of ideas and beliefs behind the creation of the symbols.
During the 19th and 20th centuries a trail of chance finds on the outskirts of Portmahomack led to the first exposure in 1996 of a Pictish settlement in northern Scotland. The area became the subject of one of the largest research excavations ever to have taken place on the Scottish mainland. This book describes the discovery and excavation of an early monastery. Dating from the 6th to the 9th century AD Portmahomack is one of the earliest Christian sites to be revealed in Britain and the first in the land of the Picts. The monastery was destroyed between 780 and 830 AD and was then lost to history before being unearthed by one of the largest archaeological research projects ever seen in Scotland.
The Picts, who occupied north-eastern Scotland between the sixth and ninth centuries, are perhaps the least well-known of the Celtic peoples. The only real traces of their society are a large series of stone cross slabs, and some silverwork, all engraved with symbols which nobody has ever properly deciphered (despite many attempts). This book locates this work within the Insular style seen throughout the British Isles at this time and marvellously expressed in such works as the Book of Kells. Not only is it the most comprehensive survey of Pictish art in recent memory, it is the first scholarly book to address the art-historical aspects of work formerly only treated by archaeologists.
Early historic Scotland - from the fifth to the tenth century AD - was home to a variety of diverse peoples and cultures, all competing for land and supremacy. Yet by the eleventh century it had become a single, unified kingdom, known as Alba, under a stable and successful monarchy. How did this happen, and when? At the heart of this mystery lies the extraordinary influence of the Picts and of their neighbours, the Gaels - originally immigrants from Ireland. In this new and revised edition of her acclaimed book, Sally M. Foster establishes the nature of their contribution and, drawing on the latest archaeological evidence and research, highlights a huge number of themes, including the following: • The origins of the Picts and Gaels • The significance of the remarkable Pictish symbols and other early historic sculpture • The art of war and the role of kingship in tribal society • Settlement, agriculture, industry and trade • Religious beliefs and the impact of Christianity • How the Picts and Gaels became Scots.
Survey chapters analyse advances in studies of Pictish culture during the last fifty years. Inter-disciplinary case studies cover archaeology, place-names, history, liturgy, and history within a wider European framework.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Saltire Society History Book of the Yea. rFrom Caledonia to Pictland examines the transformation of Iron Age northern Britain into a land of Christian kingdoms, long before 'Scotland' came into existence. Perched at the edge of the western Roman Empire, northern Britain was not unaffected by the experience, and became swept up in the great tide of processes which gave rise to the early medieval West. Like other places, the country experienced social and ethnic metamorphoses, Christianisation, and colonization by dislocated outsiders, but northern Britain also has its own unique story to tell in the first eight centuries AD.This book is the first detailed political history to treat these centuries as a single period, with due regard for Scotland's position in the bigger story of late Antique transition. From Caledonia to Pictland charts the complex and shadowy processes which saw the familiar Picts, Northumbrians, North Britons and Gaels of early Scottish history become established in the country, the achievements of their foremost political figures, and their ongoing links with the world around them. It is a story that has become much revised through changing trends in scholarly approaches to the challenging evidence, and that transformation too is explained for the benefit of students and general readers.
Scotland is unusually rich in field monuments and objects surviving from early times. This comprehensive survey of Scotland's prehistoric and early historic archaeology covers the full chronological range from the earliest inhabitants to the union of the Picts and Scots in AD 843. Fully illustrated throughout, this book will help both students and visitors to monuments to understand the lifestyles of Scotland's early societies.
Once the dominant culture in the northern reaches of the British Isles, the Picts, renowned for the blue tattoos that gave them their name, were known as a formidable enemy by the armies of Roman Emperor Severus. Their prominence rose as early as 350 BC and continued until at least AD 900. Then, 1,100 years ago, they vanished from history. Although many consider them the predecessors of modern Scots, little is known about them outside of limited archaeological artefacts and mentions of them left by the Romans. In this thorough and compelling exploration of extant historical sources, we finally have a clearer picture of this enigmatic people. Clayton N. Donoghue argues that much of what we consider culturally Scottish actually has its roots in the Picts, and that they had a more dynamic and rich culture than previously thought. This book fills in the gaps and helps to paint a clearer picture of a people that the Romans considered ferocious savages living in a desolate and frozen waste land. As we now know, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Picts were an ancient nation who ruled most of northern and eastern Scotland during the Dark Ages. Despite their importance in Scottish history they remain shrouded in an aura of myth and misconception. IN the ninth century they were absorbed by the kingdom of the Scots and lost their unique identity, their language and their vibrant artistic culture. The Pictish nation seemingly vanished, leaving few traces but many unanswered questions. The most puzzling of these questions surround the great monuments that still survive in the landscape of modern Scotland: standing stones decorated with incredible skill and covered with enigmatic symbols. These stones are the vivid memorials of a powerful and gifted people who have bequeathed no chronicles to tell their story, no sagas to describe the deed of their kings and heroes. Pictish history is recorded only in fragments presented by writers whose lords and masters were often bitter enemies of the Picts. Here, the various fragments are drawn together to tell the story of this mysterious people from their emergence in Roman times to their eventual disappearance.