Where did they come from? Who gave them the name?
People moved into Scotland after the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. These people were hunter-gathers. However they left enough archeological evidence to have a fair idea of how they lived. They have been called the Mesolithic people.
It is believed that these people came to Brittan across the “Land Bridge” that existed between the continent and Britain , and then migrated north as the ice gradually withdrew from the land. They left middens in the Hebrides , so they were able to cross water areas. The most remarkable settlement of the Neolithic people is Skara Brae in the Orkneys which was occupied from about 3100BC to 2500BC.
Later prehistoric people arrived in the period 1500BC and were Celtic speaking. They were farmers and left many archeological areas. These people lived in houses and they were usually circular. They also left the marks of hill forts, soterrains, brochs, cairns, stone circles and standing stones and well as picture stones. They were organized into tribal groups. These names were given in Roman documents as the Celts had no written language.
The Romans by 71AD had moved as far north as Carlisle . North of that area were a number of Tribes, Brigantes in the area of Hadrian’s Wall . North of these were the Votadini in the east and the Novantae in the west with the Selgovae between. North of the Clyde â€“ Forth line were the Damnonii going up to the highlands. Above this area were the highland tribes, the Caledonie, the Epidin, the Maetae and other Highland tribes. The name Caledonii was generally used by the Romans when referring to these people
In AD80 Gnaeus Julius Agricola moved the .IX Legion up the East while the XX Legion went up the west side dividing the tribes and then setting up a series of forts on the Clyde Forth line, In AD81 he marched across the Solway into Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire. He realized he could not hold this area with the northern tribes unconquered. In AD83-84 he moved north to face the Caledonians north of Fife . In AD84 he faced the combined army of Caledonians under the command of their chief Calgacus at the Battle of Mons Grampus. Following the defeat of the Caledonian Army which retreated or vanished into the Highlands he moved north to the land of the Borestii (near Forries) this was the peak of the Roman power in Britain . Agricola was recalled back to Rome and slowly the Romans left Scotland , more of a retreat than a withdrawal. The British expansion ended when Hadrian became Emperor and in AD122 he decided to construct the Wall to keep the Wild Scots out of Roman Britain.
The name PICTS was given to the Celtic people by the Roman historian Tacitus who accompanied Agricola. He described them as PAINTED warriors.
The moral of the story is that The Scots always wanted freedom.
Other important dates.
The North Channel separating Kintyre and the north eastern tip of Ireland was only 12 miles wide. For years the Galic-speaking Celts of the Scoti (the name means Bandits) were crossing and settling along the western coast of Scotland .
AD 498 “Feargus Mor mac Earca cum gente Dalriada partum Britanniae tenuit, et ibi mortus est.” This one entry from the Annals of Tigernach is effectively the first entry of the history of the Kingdom of the Scots. “Fergus the Great, son of Erc, with the people of Dalriada held part of Britain , and there he died”
Over the years the Scoti increased. There was intermittent wars, inter marriage, shifting of who was king of what group between the Picts, the Scoti, the Strathclyde and even the Angles.
AD 742 Kenith mac Alpin who was descended from both Pict and Scoti royal families became the King of Alba. Thus both groups were united.
The Tribe of Mar is the oldest organized House in Britain. It relates to the Kingdom of Mar , and was one of nine Pictish Kingdoms. Mar lies between the Don and the Dee, and from the sea to the mountains.