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.
Portmahomack today is a serene fishing village on the Dornoch Firth, north east Scotland where archaeological excavations have written a new history of the origins of Scotland. This book brings alive the expedition and its discoveries, most famously a monastery of the eighth century in the land of the Picts.Starting from chance finds of a Pictish carved stone in St Colman's churchyard, the archaeologists unearthed four settlements one on top of the other. An elite farm was succeeded by the Pictish monastery, which, following a Viking raid in AD800, became a trading place and then a medieval village. Scientific analysis shows at each stage where the people came from, their life-style and what they ate. Together it creates a story of the heroic adaptation of a European nation to new politics between the sixth and sixteenth century.The Picts were the outstanding sculptors of their day, producing carved stone monuments equal to anything being made in contemporary Europe. They were Britons, who resisted the Romans invaders and created their own warrior nation in the north east of the island. Coming under pressure from the Scots and the Norse, they disappeared from history in the ninth century AD. Now archaeology is finding them again.This massively updated new edition follows eight years intensive research on the huge assemblage of artefacts, human bone, animal bone and plant remains that were recovered. This has revealed a world of high mobility, rich in ideas and constantly changing it political orientation in a greater European context.
“A major study of the art of the Picts.” —Library Journal Drawing on their extensive research and expertise, renowned historians George and Isabel Henderson illuminate one of the great enigmas of medieval art: the unique metalwork and sculpture of the Picts. Tribal Celtic-speaking warriors and farmers in what is now Scotland, the Picts were one of the major peoples of early medieval Britain, but their culture and their beautiful art have puzzled historians for centuries. George and Isabel Henderson’s acute analysis reveals an art form that both interacted with the currents of “Insular” art and was produced by a sophisticated society capable of sustaining large-scale art programs. The illustrations include specially commissioned drawings that help one understand the mysterious symbols found in the art.
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.
Included in this volume is a comprehensive Historia Pictorum, a Pictish symbols dictionary, a brief social and cultural history of the Picts, and an introduction to the Pictish Royal families of the eight Pictish kingdoms. Description (1462 / 2500) The Picts are not a mysterious alien race from another planet, their history and culture have not vanished. Languages, oral traditions, crafts, religious influences, ruins, archaeological relics and their DNA have all survived down through the years to this day. What has been lost is our knowledge to interpret what they passed down to us over the generations. What began as a series of feuding clans and tribes at the time the Romans invaded Prydein slowly morphed into a series of nations forged in a shared history of survival. War and cultural interactions with Romans forced the tribes to adapt and unite behind strong leaders and stronger families. From the unification of tribes and clans emerged perhaps a dozen families that vied for the right to rule the eight main provinces of the Pictish Britons. For this is what they were, Britons, like those from Cornwall to the Shetlands, from Kent to the west coast of Ireland. Britons with shared culture, languages, technologies, religious beliefs, trade, kinship links and a shared history of the islands. What forged them into kingdoms, then nations were the transformational arrivals of outsiders like the Beaker Folk, Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, Vikings, Normans and the rest.
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.