Aberlemno Pictish Stone, Scotland


January – 2024 15 MINS READ
Exploring the Hidden History and Culture of the Ancient Picts of Scotland: From the Meaning Behind Their Tattoos to Their Lost Language and Mysterious Stone Carvings – A Journey into the Lives, Beliefs, and Enigmatic Monuments and Art Left by the Picts. Unraveling Their Connections with the Celts and Their Conflicts with the Roman Empire, and Examining How the Legacy of the Picts Influences Modern Scotland.
Understanding the entire formation of the Kingdom of Scotland is essential before discussing “tartan,” a symbol deeply intertwined with Scottish identity and heritage.
古代スコットランドの神秘的な部族、ピクト人の隠された歴史と文化の探求します。 刺青の意味から失われた言語、神秘的な石彫りまで、ピクト人の生活、信仰、そして彼らが遺した謎に満ちた遺跡と芸術の探求。ケルト人との関係とローマ帝国との抗争の歴史を解き明かし、ピクト人の遺産が現代スコットランドにどのように影響を与えているのかを考察します。この全体のスコットランド王国の成立を理解しておかないと”タータン”について我々は語ることはできません。
The Picts (English: Picts; Latin: Picti) is the general term for the tribes that pre-dated the Roman invasion of Britain in eastern and northern Scotland north of the River Forth, and are thought to have developed from a confederation of native tribes that opposed the Roman Empire and achieved political and cultural unity. The name Pictish came to be used by the Romans from around the 3rd century, meaning ‘coloured (tattooed) people’. Around the 7th century, they are thought to have united politically with one of the leading tribes, the Foltriu, at their core, and in 843 Kenneth Macalpin united the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms of Dalriada. This united kingdom came to be known as the Kingdom of Alba from around the beginning of the 10th century and later developed into the Kingdom of Scotland.
ピクト族(英語:Picts; ラテン語:Picti)は、ローマ帝国のブリタニア侵攻以前の東部および北部スコットランド、フォース川北の部族を指す一般的な用語です。彼らはローマ帝国に対抗した複数の先住部族連合から発展し、政治的および文化的な統一を達成したと考えられています。ピクト族という名称は3世紀頃からローマ人によって使われ始め、「彩色された(刺青を施された)人々」を意味します。7世紀頃には、主要部族の一つであるフォルトリウと政治的に統合したと考えられており、843年にはケネス・マカルピンによってピクト王国とスコットランドのダルリアダ王国が統一されました。この統一された王国は、10世紀初頭からアルバ王国として知られるようになり、後にスコットランド王国へと発展しました。
The term ‘Pictish’ first appears in the Panegyric of around 297 AD, commemorating the reconquest of Britain by Roman Emperor Constantius I. It is believed to mean ‘colored people,’ thought to derive from the Pictish custom of tattooing. However, it might also have been a derogatory term implying ‘belligerent barbarians who tattoo their bodies with nudity.’ In Old Irish, Picts are referred to as ‘Cruthin,’ ‘Cruthini,’ etc., where ‘Cruthin’ also carried a derogatory connotation of ‘belligerent barbarians.’ The term ‘Cruthin’ is thought to have originated from ‘Qritani,’ the Gaelic equivalent of ‘Britanni,’ which means ‘Britons’—the indigenous people of Britain in general. ‘Cruthin,’ however, specifically referred to Britons living outside the Roman-conquered areas of Britannia. Therefore, the name ‘Pictish’ is merely a Roman designation, and the actual self-identification of these people remains uncertain
“Panegyric VIII. A. D. 297/8. Anonymous to Constantius. Dies imperii; recovery of a province. The author of the eighth panegyric is fond of representing the emperor and empire as a source of light. The sun must labor not to be outshone by the emperors’ maiestas (8.2.2-3) the inhabitants of Britain finally restored to life”
one of an ancient people formerly inhabiting the Highlands of Scotland and other parts of the British Isles beyond the reach of the Romans, late 14c. (replacing Old English plural Peohtas), from Late Latin Picti (late 3c., probably a nickname given them by Roman soldiers), usually taken as derived from picti “painted,” but probably ultimately from the Celtic name of the tribe, perhaps Pehta, Peihta, literally “the fighters” (compare Gaulish Pictavi, a different people, who gave the name to the French city of Poitiers). They painted and tattooed themselves, which may have suggested a Roman folk-etymology alteration of the name.
Additional Information / 2024
The region where the Picts lived was earlier identified by Roman authors and geographers as the territory of the Caledonii. Romans also referred to other Britannic tribes in this area with names like Verturiones, Taexali, and Venicones.Historical records about the Picts start appearing in the Early Middle Ages. During this period, the Gaelic people of Dál Riata governed present-day Argyll, a part of their kingdom that spanned both Britain and Ireland. Meanwhile, the Angles of Bernicia, who later united with Deira to form Northumbria, overpowered neighboring British kingdoms. For much of the 7th century, Northumbria was Britain’s most dominant kingdom. The Picts likely paid tribute to Northumbria until Bridei mac Beli’s reign, when in 685, the Angles were defeated at the Battle of Dun Nechtain, stopping their expansion north. However, Northumbrians continued to influence southern Scotland throughout the Pictish era.
Dál Riata came under the rule of the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761), and although it began having its own kings in the 760s, it seemed to remain politically subordinate to the Picts. Another Pictish ruler, Caustantín mac Fergusa (793–820), appointed his son Domnall as the king of Dál Riata (811–835). The Picts’ efforts to dominate the Britons of Alt Clut (Strathclyde) were unsuccessful. The Viking Age brought major changes to Britain and Ireland, including Scotland. Vikings conquered and settled in various regions such as Caithness, Sutherland, and Galloway. Around the mid-9th century, Ketil Flatnose reportedly established the Kingdom of the Isles. By the century’s end, Vikings had obliterated the Kingdom of Northumbria, significantly weakened the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and established the Kingdom of York. A crucial 839 battle led to the deaths of the King of Fortriu, Eógan mac Óengusa, the King of Dál Riata Áed mac Boanta, among others. Following this, Cínaed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin) became the Pictish king in the 840s.
During the rule of Cínaed’s grandson, Caustantín mac Áeda (900–943), outsiders started referring to the region as the Kingdom of Alba, not the Kingdom of the Picts. It’s unclear whether this indicated the establishment of a new kingdom or if Alba was a more accurate term for the Picts. While the Pictish language gradually faded, a Gaelicisation process, possibly starting earlier, was evident during Caustantín’s and his successors’ reigns.By the 11th century, all northern Alba’s inhabitants had fully adopted Gaelic culture, erasing Pictish identity. Henry of Huntingdon, in his mid-12th century Historia Anglorum, was among the first historians to document this disappearance. Later, the concept of the Picts resurfaced in myths and legends.
Pictish people were talented Seafarers
There is a wealth of evidence to support that Pictish tribes lived alongside the coast of the regions we now refer to as northern England and southern Scotland, and this geographical detail explains their relationship with the water as sailors. By way of their sailing abilities, the Picts forged alliances with other tribes in Europe against the Romans. Photo: via WikiCommons
Pictish people were talented Seafarers
Dunnicaer, or Dun-na-caer, is a precipitous sea stack just off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, between Dunnottar Castle and Stonehaven. Despite the unusual difficulty of access, in 1832 Pictish symbol stones were found on the summit and 21st-century archaeology has discovered evidence of a Pictish hill fort which may have incorporated the stones in its structure. The stones may have been incised in the third or fourth centuries AD but this goes against the general archaeological view that the simplest and earliest (Class I) symbol stones date from the fifth or even seventh century AD.
Sited between Stonehaven and the similarly situated Dunnottar Castle, the sea stack is in Strathlethan Bay, with Downie Point to the north and just offshore from the cliffs at Bowdun Head to the south. It is cut off from the mainland at high tide and the flat, grassy summit is entirely surrounded by precipitous cliffs some 30–35 metres (100–115 ft) high. The conglomerate rock is lower Old Red Sandstone.[3] At the time of the hill fort the location may have been a promontory and subsequent erosion of the cliffs has turned it into a stack with a summit plateau about 20 by 12 metres (66 ft × 39 ft), much smaller than it was in Pictish times
During archaeological investigations on the summit in 1977 and 1982 nothing of significance was found. In 2015 new excavations by an Aberdeen University team started to reveal the presence of a hill fort and excavations were continued in the following years. There had been a stone rampart framed with timbers leading southwest to the mainland. From radiocarbon dating of the timber the fort has been dated to being used between the second and fourth centuries AD making it the earliest known Pictish fort in Scotland.[note 1] A hearth and the footings of internal rooms have been found. Glass, samian ware and black-burnished ware pottery and a lead weight have been excavated: all unusual for so far north of the frontier of the Roman empire. Over the centuries some parts of the fort have collapsed away with the erosion of the surrounding cliffs, particularly to the east. The discoveries suggest that the fort was a substantial, high-status building, with stone and oak timbers brought in from a distance. It was later abandoned, possibly when the inhabitants moved to Dunnottar,and possibly because of problems with the erosion of the stack.
As early as 1819 a symbol stone had been prised from the stack to be used as a hearthstone but the inscriptions had excited little interest. In 1832 some youths had climbed up and found a wall on the summit plateau of the stack. They threw some of the stones down into the sea and when they were later recovered some of them proved to be Pictish symbol stones. In 1857 these symbol stones were documented by Alexander Thomson. They were illustrated in John Stuart’s 1856 and 1867 volumes of The Sculptured Stones of Scotland published by the Spalding Club.A thorough description of the symbols was published in 1992. One stone is now in the Marischal Museum and the others are at Banchory House.The design and relatively small size of the stones is unusual and it shows them to be of an early date – they were probably set into the wall of the rampart that has been dated as third to fourth century AD.– this is a much earlier date than the conventional view that the simplest and earliest (Class I) stones are from the fifth or even seventh century AD.








The Pictish Kingdom
Additional Information / 2024
In Bede’s “Ecclesiastical History of the English People,” a mythic tale is told about the Picts originating from Scythia and inadvertently landing on Ireland’s northern shores. Once there, they were guided by local Scoti chieftains to relocate to northern Britain, where they established themselves and married Scoti women. This narrative is echoed in the “Pictish Chronicle,” which also introduces the legendary founder Cruithne, named after the Gaelic term for Pict, and his sons. These sons are associated with the names of the seven regions of Pictland: Circin, Fidach, Fortriu, Fotla (Atholl), Cat, Ce, and Fib. Bede’s portrayal, often considered a blend of fact and fiction, is believed to be a Pictish creation from around 700 A.D., mirroring other cultural origin myths. Its primary function seems to be justifying the expansion of Fortriu’s domain and the formation of a greater Pictland.
Further, a 2023 genetic study analyzed the genomes of eight individuals linked to the Pictish era, unearthed at Lundin Links in Fife and Balintore in Easter Ross. This research revealed significant genetic similarities between these ancient Picts, Iron Age Britons, and modern inhabitants of western Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Northumbria, but not with the larger English population. These findings lend support to the theory that the Picts originated locally.
The Pictish Kingdom, known for its enigmatic and unique culture, was a political entity during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. Here are some key aspects of the Pictish Kingdom:
  1. Origins and Location: The Picts are first mentioned in Roman sources in the late 3rd century CE. They inhabited the area of modern-day Scotland north of the Forth and Clyde rivers.The Pictish Kingdom, known for its enigmatic and unique culture, was a political entity during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. Here are some key aspects of the Pictish Kingdom: 
2. Language and Writing: The Pictish language is not well understood but is believed to have been a Brythonic language, related to Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. The Picts also used a unique symbol system, often found carved on standing stones. These symbols remain a subject of scholarly debate, with interpretations ranging from religious symbols to a form of written language.
3. Society and Culture: Pictish society was tribal and, like other Celtic peoples, they had a warrior elite. They are often depicted in early sources as fierce warriors. Their culture is best known for its distinctive symbol stones and metalwork, which display a high level of craftsmanship.
4. Religion: Initially, the Picts practiced a form of Celtic polytheism. They later converted to Christianity, with St. Columba playing a significant role in this conversion in the 6th century.
5. Pictish Art: Pictish art, found on stones, jewelry, and metalwork, is renowned for its intricate designs. The symbol stones, with their unique symbols and carvings, are particularly notable
6. Interactions with Other Kingdoms: The Picts had interactions, often hostile, with the Romans, who built the Antonine Wall and later Hadrian’s Wall to keep Pictish and other tribes out of Roman Britain. They also had interactions with the neighboring Gaels, Britons, and Vikings.
7. Decline and Legacy: The Pictish Kingdom gradually merged with the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada to form the Kingdom of Alba, which eventually became Scotland. By the 11th century, Pictish identity had been subsumed into this new kingdom, but their influence remains in Scottish culture and history.
The history of the Picts is shrouded in mystery, partly because they left few written records. Much of what is known about them comes from archaeological evidence and accounts from neighboring cultures, particularly the Romans and the Gaels.

The Yellow Plague between 549-552 seems to have caused a major division in Pictland, resulting in the formation of two distinct kingdoms separated by a north-south divide. Before this event, the rulers of what later became known as North Pictland were dominant and regained their dominance after this divided period. The plague impacted the Britons of the island more severely than the Saxon invaders, ultimately tipping the power balance in favor of the Saxons. This turmoil may have also enabled the Bernician Angles to establish their own kingdom on the north-eastern coast of Britain, soon becoming a formidable foe of the Picts. The Picts lost at least one king, Drust mac Munaith, in 552, which likely contributed to this division.

The capital of Fortriu, one of the stronger southern sub-kingdoms known as Verturiones to the Romans and now Forteviot, was Scone. To its east was the sub-kingdom of Fib, now remembered as Fife, sometimes still called the Kingdom of Fife. Other sub-kingdoms included Fotla, Fidach, Circind, and Ce, all named after the sons of a legendary Pictish king, Cruithne, in Gaelic folklore. Cruithne, said to have ruled for a century, had seven sons, each named after one of Pictland’s seven provinces, as mentioned in the ancient Scottish text, De Situ Albanie.

South Pictland’s independence from the north might have been brief, explaining the scant details about its kings. Yet, the Pictish center at Burghead, which flourished in the eighth century when the Picts united into a single kingdom, was part of Fortriu.

St Ninian converted the southern Picts to Christianity in the late 4th or early 5th century, predating St Patrick’s work in Ireland. This is evidenced by St Patrick referring to the South Picts as apostates, indicating a renouncement of Christianity, likely between AD 400-450, possibly after a king’s death. A similar return to paganism after a leader’s death occurred among the East Saxons and Northumbrians. Tradition suggests Ninian died in 432 in Ireland, which would be too early for him to have converted the Picts personally, suggesting his followers likely continued his mission.

(Sources include Peter Kessler and Edward Dawson; “A History of the English Church and People” by The Venerable Bede, translated by Leo Sherley-Price and revised by R E Latham; “Early Sources of Scottish History AD 500-1286, Volume 1” by Alan Orr Anderson; “Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests in Northern Britain AD 550-850” by Leslie Alcock; “Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000” by Alfred P Smyth; “Incredible” archaeological findings at a Pictish power center reported by Alison Campsie in The Scotsman; and “De Situ Albanie”, discussed in the Caithness Field Club Bulletin, Oct 1978.)

552 – 580
Galam Cennelath / Named in the Annals of Tigernach.
556 – 565
During the reign of Galam Cennelath the south is subjugated to some degree by the powerful Brudei mac Maelcon of North Pictland. It is possible, however, that the South Pict kingdom is less of an independent entity and more of a region that is loosely ruled by the north. The available evidence is too scant for any definitive answer on this question.
578/580 – ?
Galam Cennelath’s death is dated to 578 or 580. It could be possible, given the lack of a name for a king of the south, that it is more directly governed by North Pictland. Brudei mac Maelcon is still on the throne at this time, to be succeeded four years later by his son-in-law.
Aedan mac Gabrán of Dal Riada invades the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia and attacks King Æthelfrith at the Battle of Degsastan. By fighting and defeating Dal Riada, Æthelfrith secures an alliance with its enemies, the South Picts. This alliance seems to survive until Æthelfrith’s rival, Edwin, gains the throne.
Areas of the south are conquered by the Northumbrian Angles under Oswiu. Clearly the Northumbrians are now hostile to the Picts and Talorn, possible king of the southern lled by them, but it could be this hostility which enforces closer links between Picts and Dal Riada Scots in succeeding generations.
Northumbria establishes a bishopric under Bishop Trumwine amongst the southern Picts at Abercorn. The effort to convert the Picts fails just four years later and is abandoned shortly after the North Picts defeat the Northumbrians at the Battle of Dunnichen.
The North Picts have long held pre-eminence over the southern Picts and by this time – if not before – a single United Pictland is forged under the command of Brude Derelei who now deposes the weak final king of the northern Picts, Taran mac Entifidich.
追加情報 2024


  1. 起源と位置:ピクト人は3世紀後半のローマの資料で初めて言及されています。彼らは現在のスコットランドのフォース川とクライド川の北部に居住していました。

  2. 言語と文字:ピクト語はよく分かっていないが、ウェールズ語、コーンウォール語、ブルトン語に関連するブリソン語族の言語であったと考えられています。ピクト人は独自の記号システムを使用しており、これは主に立石に彫られています。これらの記号の意味は学術的な議論の対象となっており、宗教的なシンボルから書かれた言語の形態までさまざまな解釈があります。

  3. 社会と文化:ピクト社会は部族的であり、他のケルト人と同様に戦士のエリート層を持っていました。初期の資料ではしばしば猛烈な戦士として描かれています。特に象徴的な石碑や金属工芸品に見られる彼らの文化は、高度な技術力で知られています。

  4. 宗教:初期にはケルトの多神教を実践していましたが、6世紀にセント・コルンバによってキリスト教に改宗しました。

  5. ピクト美術:石碑、ジュエリー、金属工芸品に見られるピクト美術は、その複雑なデザインで有名です。特に独自の記号や彫刻が施された象徴的な石碑が注目されています。

  6. 他の王国との交流:ピクト人はローマ人としばしば敵対的な交流を持ち、ローマ人はピクト人や他の部族をブリタニアから遮断するためにアントニヌスの長城やハドリアヌスの長城を建設しました。また、隣接するゲール人、ブリトン人、ヴァイキングとも交流がありました。

  7. 衰退と遺産:ピクト王国は徐々にゲールのダルリアダ王国と合併し、アルバ王国を形成し、最終的にはスコットランドになりました。11世紀までに、ピクトのアイデンティティはこの新しい王国に吸収されましたが、彼らの影響はスコットランドの文化と歴史に残っています。





南ピクト族は4世紀後半から5世紀初頭に聖ニニアンによってキリスト教に改宗されました。彼は「使徒」として知られるようになりました。彼の活動はアイルランドの聖パトリックよりも先で、後者は南ピクト族が背教者であると述べています。これは彼らがキリスト教への改宗を放棄したことを意味し、おそらくAD 400-450年の間、おそらくは王の死後に起こったでしょう。東サクソン族やノーサンブリア人の間でも、指導者の死後に異教への逆戻りが見られます。伝統によれば、ニニアンは432年にアイルランドで亡くなりましたが、これは彼がピクト族を改宗させるには早すぎるようです。より可能性が高いのは、彼の名前で彼の信者たちによって主に行われた作業です。

(ピーター・ケスラーによる情報、エドワード・ドーソンによる追加情報、ヴェネラブル・ベーデによる「イングランド教会と民衆の歴史」(レオ・シャーリー=プライス翻訳 – R E L Lathamによる改訂)、アラン・オア・アンダーソンによる「スコットランド史初期資料 AD 500-1286 第1巻」(ポール・ワトキンス、スタンフォード1990年再印刷)、レスリー・アルコックによる「北ブリテン AD 550-850 の王と戦士、職人と司祭」(スコットランド古物研究会、エディンバラ、2003年)、アルフレッド・P・スマイスによる「戦士と聖人:スコットランド AD 80-1000」(1984年)、そして外部リンク:「ピクトのエリート権力中心地で考古学者が見つけた信じられない発見」、アリソン・キャンプシー(スコッツマン)、そして「デ・シツ・アルバニエ」(F T Wainwrightによると14世紀に書かれた可能性があり、1978年10月のカイスネス・フィールド・クラブ・ブレティンで議論されています)。)

552年 – 580年 ガラム・ケンネラス / ティゲルナク年代記に記載。

556年 – 565年 ガラム・ケンネラスの治世中、南部は北ピクトランドの強力なブルデイ・マク・マエルコンによってある程度征服されます。しかし、南ピクト王国は独立した実体というよりは、北部に緩く統治された地域である可能性があります。この問題に対する決定的な答えは、利用可能な証拠が不足しているため出せません。

578年/580年 – ? ガラム・ケンネラスの死は578年か580年とされます。南部の王の名前がないことから、それがより直接的に北ピクトランドによって統治されている可能性があります。この時点でブルデイ・マク・マエルコンが王座にいて、4年後にその娘婿が後を継ぎます。

603年 ダル・リアダのアエダン・マク・ガブランがアングル人の王国ベルニシアを侵攻し、デグサスタンの戦いで王エセルフリスに攻撃します。ダル・リアダを打ち破ることで、エセルフリスはその敵である南ピクト族と同盟を結びます。この同盟は、エセルフリスのライバルであるエドウィンが王座に就くまで続きます。

668年 南部の地域はオスウィウによるノーサンブリアのアングル人によって征服されます。明らかにノーサンブリアはピクト族と敵対しており、南部の可能な王であるタローンは彼らに殺されますが、この敵対関係が後の世代でピクト族とダル・リアダのスコット人とのより密接な関係を強制するかもしれません。 681年 ノーサンブリアはアバーコーンで南ピクト族の間にトルムウィン司教の司教座を設立します。ピクト族を改宗させる努力はわずか4年後に失敗し、ダンニケンの戦いで北ピクト族がノーサンブリアを打ち負かした直後に放棄されます。

668年 北ピクト族は長い間南ピクト族を支配しており、この時点までに – もしその前でなければ – ブルデ・デレレイの指揮の下で統一されたピクトランドが形成されています。彼は今や北ピクト族の最後の弱い王、タラン・マク・エンティフィディクを廃位します。

the seven kingdoms IN PICTISH KINGDOM
The early history of Pictland is somewhat obscure. In later periods, multiple kings governed various separate kingdoms. Typically, one king, and occasionally two, exerted dominance over smaller neighboring territories. Sources like the 13th-century document “De Situ Albanie,” the Pictish Chronicle, the 11th-century “Duan Albanach,” and Irish legends have been used to support the existence of seven Pictish kingdoms. These include Cait or Cat, located in what is now Caithness and Sutherland; Ce, in present-day Mar and Buchan; Circin, possibly in current Angus and the Mearns; Fib, now known as Fife; Fidach, with an uncertain location but possibly near Inverness; Fotla, the modern Atholl (Ath-Fotla); and Fortriu, identified with the Roman Verturiones and recently centered around Moray.
There might have been even more small kingdoms. Evidence suggests the possibility of a Pictish kingdom in Orkney. However, “De Situ Albanie” isn’t the most reliable source, and the notion of one kingdom for each of the seven sons of Cruithne, the legendary founder of the Picts, might be speculative. Regardless of the precise number and names of these kingdoms, the Pictish nation was fragmented.
Throughout most of Pictish recorded history, the kingdom of Fortriu seems to have been dominant. The title “king of Fortriu” was often synonymous with “king of the Picts.” Previously, Fortriu was thought to be located around Perth and southern Strathearn. However, recent research indicates that its core was in Moray, a region significantly larger in the High Middle Ages than the current county of Moray.
The Picts are believed to have practiced matrilineal succession, based on Irish legends and statements in Bede’s historical works. During Bede’s time, the Pictish kings Bridei and Nechtan, sons of Der Ilei, claimed the throne through their mother, the daughter of a former Pictish king.
In Ireland, it was expected that kings would descend from individuals who had a great-grandfather who was king. Pictish kings were not typically succeeded by their sons, not due to matrilineal succession, but because they were usually followed by their brothers or cousins (agnatic seniority), who were more likely to be experienced and have the necessary authority and support to be king. This practice was akin to tanistry.
The nature of kingship evolved significantly over the centuries of Pictish history. While earlier kings needed to be successful military leaders, kingship later became less personal and more institutionalized. Bureaucratic kingship was still in the future when Pictland transformed into Alba, but the church’s support and the dominance of a few families over the kingship from the late 7th century provided considerable continuity. During this same period, Pictish neighbors in Dál Riata and Northumbria faced significant challenges as their previously stable succession and governance systems collapsed.
The later Mormaers, thought to have originated in Pictish times, were possibly inspired by Northumbrian practices. It’s unclear if the Mormaers were originally kings, royal officials, local nobles, or a combination of these. Additionally, Pictish shires and thanages, elements of which persisted into later periods, are believed to have been adopted from their southern neighbors.
ピクトランドの初期の歴史は不明確です。後の時代には、複数の王がそれぞれ異なる王国を治め、しばしば一人または二人の王が他の小さな隣国を支配していました。13世紀の文書「De Situ Albanie」、ピクトの年代記、11世紀の「Duan Albanach」、そしてアイルランドの伝説は、7つのピクトの王国の存在を示唆しています。これらは以下の通りです:キャット(Cait)、現在のカイスネスとサザーランドに位置;ケー(Ce)、現在のマーとブキャンに位置;サーキン(Circin)、恐らく現在のアンガスとメアンズに位置;フィブ(Fib)、現代のファイフ;フィダック(Fidach)、場所は不明だがおそらくインヴァネス近辺;フォトラ(Fotla)、現代のアソル(Ath-Fotla);フォートリウ(Fortriu)、ローマ人のヴェルトゥリオネス(Verturiones)に相当し、最近モレイを中心とすることが明らかにされました。
さらに小規模な王国が存在したかもしれません。証拠によれば、オークニーにもピクトの王国が存在した可能性があります。「De Situ Albanie」は最も信頼できる情報源ではありませんが、ピクト人の祖先であるクルーサンの7人の息子たちにちなんで一つずつの王国があるという考えは疑問が残ります。王国の正確な数や名前に関わらず、ピクトの国家は統一されていなかったことが分かります。

1 Cait (or Cat):
Location: Corresponds to modern Caithness and Sutherland.
Characteristics: Cait was situated at the northern tip of Scotland, known for its coastline and vast highlands. The region likely had strong community ties, with fishing and agriculture being significant activities.

2 Ce:
Located in what is now Mar and
Characteristics: Ce was in the eastern part of Scotland, an area rich in farmland, where agriculture and livestock were probably key economic activities. It may also have been a central point for trade routes.

3 Circin:
Location: Possibly in modern Angus and the Mearns.
Characteristics: Circin was known for its fertile lands and quality farmland, likely focusing on grain production. Its proximity to the coast also suggests that fishing and trade were important.

4 Fib:
Location: Corresponds to modern Fife.
Characteristics: Fib, a peninsula in eastern Scotland, had rich agricultural lands and a strategic location, making it a significant economic and political hub. It also had a developed coastline, serving as a trade center.

Location: Its exact location is unknown but speculated to be near Inverness.
Characteristics: Information about Fidach is limited, but it may have been situated in a highland area, with livestock herding and hunting as primary livelihoods.

Location: Now known as Atholl (Ath-Fotla).
Characteristics: Fotla was in the central highlands, characterized by mountainous terrain and extensive forests. Being a remote area, it likely maintained unique cultural and traditional practices.

7 Fortriu:
Location: Associated with the Roman Verturiones and recently centered around Moray.
Characteristics: Fortriu was a particularly significant region in Pictland, serving as a center for politics and military. Its fertile land and strategic position gave it considerable influence over surrounding areas.

  1. キャット(Cait):
    位置: 現代のカイスネスとサザーランドに相当します。
    特徴: キャットはスコットランドの北端に位置し、海岸線と広大な高地が特徴的です。この地域は古代から漁業や農業が盛んで、強固な地域社会を築いていたと考えられます。

  2. ケー(Ce):
    位置: 現代のマーとブキャンに位置しています。
    特徴: ケーはスコットランド東部の豊かな農地帯に位置し、農業や牧畜が重要な経済活動であったと推測されます。また、交易路の中心地としても機能していた可能性があります。

  3. サーキン(Circin):
    位置: 恐らく現在のアンガスとメアンズに位置していました。
    特徴: サーキンは肥沃な土地と良質な農地で知られ、穀物生産が盛んであったとされます。また、海岸線に近いことから、漁業や貿易も重要であった可能性があります。

  4. フィブ(Fib):
    位置: 現代のファイフにあたります。
    特徴: フィブは、スコットランドの東部に位置する半島地域で、豊かな農地と戦略的な位置から、重要な経済・政治の中心地であったと考えられます。海岸線が発達しており、交易の拠点でもありました。

  5. フィダック(Fidach):
    位置: 正確な場所は不明ですが、インヴァネス近辺と推測されています。
    特徴: フィダックに関する情報は限られていますが、高地地域に位置していた可能性があり、牧畜や狩猟が主な生活手段であったと考えられます。

  6. フォトラ(Fotla):
    位置: 現代のアソル(Ath-Fotla)に相当します。
    特徴: フォトラは中央高地地域に位置し、山がちな地形と広大な森林が特徴です。この地域は遠隔地であり、独自の文化や伝統を保持していた可能性があります。

  7. フォートリウ(Fortriu)
    位置: ローマ人のヴェルトゥリオネスに相当し、最近ではモレイを中心とする地域とされています。
    特徴: フォートリウはピクトランドの中でも特に重要な地域で、政治・軍事の中心地であったとされます。

The art of the Picts is best known through their stone carvings and handicrafts. Particularly famous are the carved stones known as Pictish Stones, found throughout Scotland, especially in the northeast. These stones are engraved with complex geometric patterns, symbolic figures of animals and people, scenes of warriors and hunting, and Christian symbols, reflecting the society, religion, and worldview of the Picts. They also excelled in metalworking, creating decorative jewelry, weapons, and everyday items. Often, these items were intricately decorated, believed to represent social status and personal identity. The art of the Picts represents a significant aspect of their cultural identity, shedding light on their social structure, religious beliefs, history, and mythology. These artistic works provide valuable insights into their culture, where linguistic records are scarce, and form an important part of Scotland’s historical and cultural heritage today. They demonstrate the unique aesthetic sense and creativity of this enigmatic ancient Scottish people.
Symbols and Their Meanings
Exploring Pictish Stone Carvings in Scotland

Scotland is home to over two hundred stones adorned with unique Pictish symbols, predominantly found in the Highlands. These enigmatic symbols have long contributed to the intrigue surrounding the Pictish civilization. Contemporary archaeologists and historians have proposed theories regarding their meanings and the reasons behind the erection of these stones. The symbols are distinct, typically depicting realistic animals, geometric patterns, and common objects. Often, these symbols are found in pairs on stones such as The Eagle Stone, The Gairloch Stone, and The Skinnet Stone at the North Coast Visitor Centre. The recurrent nature of these symbols has led to the widely accepted theory that they constitute a codified system of ‘writing,’ possibly denoting personal names.

It’s hypothesized that these symbols might represent various Pictish clans and lineages, with the stones indicating alliances among these groups. Alternatively, they could have marked marriages among prominent families, served as gravestones, or functioned as territorial markers.

Among these Pictish stones, certain ones feature specific animals, like the boar on The Knocknagael Boar Stone or the wolf displayed in the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from Ardross. The cross-slabs, dating to around the 700s AD, often depict animals in royal hunting scenes, as seen in Hilton of Cadboll. These animals range from realistic depictions to mythical creatures, like those beneath the cross arms of the Shandwick Stone.

One particularly enigmatic symbol is the ‘Pictish beast.’ Frequently appearing on carved stones across both northern and southern Pictish regions, this symbol has puzzled experts due to its unusual design. While some suggest it may represent a marine mammal, possibly a dolphin or whale, its distinctiveness, especially compared to the other more lifelike animal carvings, continues to intrigue scholars and enthusiasts alike.





© Museums and Heritage Highland
Symbols and significance

Across Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, there exist over two hundred stones featuring Pictish symbols, contributing to the enigmatic aura surrounding the Pictish civilization. Modern archaeologists and historians have made strides in interpreting these symbols and their purpose. The symbols are distinctive, often depicting animals, geometric patterns, and common objects. Many stones, such as The Eagle Stone, The Gairloch Stone, and The Skinnet Stone at the North Coast Visitor Centre, display these symbols in pairs. This repetitive nature has led to the belief that they may have been part of a coded ‘writing system’ for naming individuals. It’s theorized that these symbols could represent various Pictish clans and lineages, with the stones indicating alliances among these groups. They might also have marked marriages between significant families, served as gravestones, or acted as territorial markers.

Specific animals are featured on some Pictish stones, like The Knocknagael Boar Stone or the wolf at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from Ardross. Cross-slabs dating back to around the 700s AD depict animals in royal hunting scenes, such as at Hilton of Cadboll, and sometimes mythical creatures beneath the cross arms of the Shandwick Stone.

The ‘Pictish beast’ stands out as one of the most peculiar and commonly seen creatures on Pictish stones, found across both northern and southern Pictish regions. While some experts believe it might represent a marine mammal, possibly a dolphin or whale, its unique design, contrasting with the realistic depictions of other animals, adds to its fascination.




© Museums and Heritage Highland

Across Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, there exist over two hundred stones featuring Pictish symbols, contributing to the enigmatic aura surrounding the Pictish civilization. Modern archaeologists and historians have made strides in interpreting these symbols and their purpose. The symbols are distinctive, often depicting animals, geometric patterns, and common objects. Many stones, such as The Eagle Stone, The Gairloch Stone, and The Skinnet Stone at the North Coast Visitor Centre, display these symbols in pairs. This repetitive nature has led to the belief that they may have been part of a coded ‘writing system’ for naming individuals. It’s theorized that these symbols could represent various Pictish clans and lineages, with the stones indicating alliances among these groups. They might also have marked marriages between significant families, served as gravestones, or acted as territorial markers.

Specific animals are featured on some Pictish stones, like The Knocknagael Boar Stone or the wolf at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from Ardross. Cross-slabs dating back to around the 700s AD depict animals in royal hunting scenes, such as at Hilton of Cadboll, and sometimes mythical creatures beneath the cross arms of the Shandwick Stone.

The ‘Pictish beast’ stands out as one of the most peculiar and commonly seen creatures on Pictish stones, found across both northern and southern Pictish regions. While some experts believe it might represent a marine mammal, possibly a dolphin or whale, its unique design, contrasting with the realistic depictions of other animals, adds to its fascination.

The artistic talents of the Picts extended beyond stone sculpture. Renowned for their metalworking skills, they also demonstrated creativity with bone and antler materials. The Inverness Museum & Art Gallery showcases this craftsmanship, featuring the exquisite Breakachy/Erchless pendant, a piece carved from shale and discovered near Beauly. This pendant is displayed alongside other remarkable examples of Pictish metalwork. Additionally, various pieces of Pictish artistry have been unearthed throughout the Highlands, including locations like Croy near Nairn, Rogart in Sutherland, and Dunbeath in Caithness. These artifacts now form part of the esteemed collection at the National Museums Scotland.




From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum
From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum
Christianity’s influence

With the advent of Christianity around 600 AD, Pictish art witnessed a transformation, introducing new imagery and motifs influenced by Christian themes. The remarkable artistry linked with the Picts, largely attributed to Christian inspiration, continued to thrive. The practice of erecting stone monuments persisted as a significant cultural and identity marker. The carvings on these stones grew more intricate, featuring detailed work on both sides of the stones, predominantly in relief, with Christian crosses being a prominent feature. Notable examples include the Rosemarkie Stone at Groam House Museum and the Ballachly Stone at Dunbeath Heritage Centre. Moreover, some stones display elaborate scenes with human and animal figures, like The Shandwick Stone, or depict biblical narratives, such as the Nigg Stone illustrating the tale of St Paul and St Anthony receiving holy bread from a raven in the desert.

Pictish cross-slabs are often likened to the pages of illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels, particularly in their stylistic animal depictions and interlacing patterns, also common in Class II stones. These cross-slabs resemble contemporary luxurious jewelry in their imagery. One can easily envision the Rosemarkie stones at Groam House Museum adorned with gold filigree or vibrant enamel. The Rosemarkie cross slab resembles a narrow book, its intricate decorations akin to the lavish treasure bindings seen in some Early Medieval Gospel Books. It’s conceivable that all these cross-slabs were once coated with a thin layer of plaster and painted, which would have added vivid colors to their surfaces, making them a spectacular sight.



From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum

For over a century, Pictish art has been a source of inspiration for artists and craftspeople, playing a pivotal role in the Celtic art revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A notable figure in this movement was George Bain (1881-1968), an artist and educator whose Celtic art instruction manuals, first published in 1945, have influenced a multitude of artists and craftspeople.

Bain was deeply fascinated by the complex designs of Pictish stones, early medieval illuminated manuscripts, and the ornate metalwork from Britain and Ireland. He meticulously documented these designs and developed a methodology for replicating them in a series of straightforward steps. Bain’s intention was for others to use his techniques to forge new Celtic-style designs, thereby fostering a unique Scottish national art form and invigorating the rural economy. His instructional methods were disseminated through a series of popular manuals from 1945 onwards, continuing to inspire artists and craftspeople to this day. These manuals are still available under the title “Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction.”

The George Bain Collection, housed and meticulously maintained by the Groam House Museum, is recognized as a Collection of National Significance to Scotland. This collection encompasses Bain’s original sketches, the hand-drawn plates for his books, various craft designs, and the crafts themselves, including carpets, leatherwork, woodwork, embroideries, and ceramics. It offers a unique glimpse into Bain’s creative process, his pedagogy and advocacy for Celtic art, the impact of his publications, and how his personal life mirrored his dedication to and philosophy of Celtic art.

ピクト族の芸術は、1世紀以上にわたり芸術家や職人たちに影響を与えてきましたが、19世紀後半から20世紀初頭にかけてのケルト芸術復興の中心となりました。ジョージ・ベイン(1881-1968年)は、1945年に初版が出版されて以来、数え切れないほどの芸術家や職人たちに影響を与えたケルト芸術の指導マニュアルの作者であり、芸術家で教育者でもありました。 ベインは、複雑なピクト族の石碑、初期中世の装飾写本、そしてイギリスとアイルランドの華麗な金属工芸に魅了されました。彼はこれらのデザインの詳細な図を描き、シンプルな手順の連続で描くことができる方法を作り出しました。ベインは、他の人々が彼の方法を使ってケルト様式の新しいデザインを作り、独自のスコットランドの国民芸術を促進し、地方経済を刺激することを望んでいました。1945年以降、彼は彼の方法を人気のある指導マニュアルのシリーズで出版し、今日でも芸術家や職人たちに影響を与え続けています。現在、彼の指導マニュアルは「ケルトアート:構築方法」として引き続き印刷されています。


Dyce, Chapel of St Fergus. Granite cross-slab with ogham inscription.
From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum
Pictish Warrior with Drinking Horn ©Bearded Pictish warrior from the Bullion Stone, Angus, now in the National Museum of Scotland.
Pictish stone slab showing three warriors with coiffed hair and shaped beards, from Birsay, Orkney, 7th or 8th century, National Museums Scotland

PICTISH SYMBOL From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum

PICTISH ANIMALS From the George Bain Collection ©Groam House Museum
The Vikings’ first recorded arrival in the British Isles occurred in 793 A.D. This historical event was marked by their raid on the Lindisfarne Monastery. The raid is notably documented in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a pivotal historical source for early medieval British history. This raid on Lindisfarne is significant as it represents the first documented Viking incursion in Western Europe. Lindisfarne, located off the northeast coast of England, was an important center of Christian learning and culture at that time. The attack by the Vikings was not only a brutal raid for plunder but also a shocking assault on a holy site, marking a turning point in how the Vikings were perceived in the history of the British Isles.
Regarding Scotland, the first Viking arrival is believed to have taken place around 875 A.D. During this period, King Harald I of Norway, also known as Harald Fairhair, led a fleet to Scotland. His objective was not merely exploration or raiding; it was part of a broader campaign of conquest and control. King Harald’s actions included subduing local rebellions and extending his influence over the region. This Norse influence and settlement were not limited to coastal raids but led to significant political and cultural impacts on Scotland, particularly in the eastern region of Aberdeenshire. The Norse influence is evident in various archaeological finds, place names, and aspects of local culture in Scotland, signifying their prolonged presence and integration into Scottish history.




My research is taking a step back to the basics. I have recently been studying the relatively modern period of the 1800s and 1900s, but I believe that a solid foundation in the history of the shirt begins with the tunic , chiton and toga etc. However, as underwear is not as common in warmer regions, I would like to focus my research on clothing from northern regions this time.This research will surely lead to shirts as underwear.
Who are the Insular Celts?
The term “Insular Celtic” is primarily used to refer to people in the British Isles who speak languages of the Celtic branch. This term is based on a linguistic classification and can be distinct from cultural or ethnic divisions.
The majority of Irish men’s Y chromosomes are said to belong to one lineage, named after “Oisín,” a legendary 3rd-century hero and poet. Sykes has calculated the proportion of this “Oisín” lineage in the Y chromosomes across various regions in Ireland. The highest is in Connacht in the northwest at 98%, followed by Munster in the southwest at 95%, Ulster in the northeast at 81%, and the lowest in Leinster in the southeast at 73%. Interestingly, Sykes points out that this Y chromosome of the overwhelming majority of Irish men, attributed to “Oisín,” is also found in the Basque and Galicia regions of Spain, suggesting a genetic link between Ireland and Spain. …Cináed son of Alpín son of Eochaid son of Áed Find son of Domangart son of Domnall Brecc son of Eochaid Buide son of Áedán son of Gabrán son of Domangart son of Fergus Mór … There is very limited information about Alpín, the father of Kenneth. Some of Dál Riada’s royal lists, which contain many scribal errors, say he ruled from 841 to 843. The Chronicle of Huntingdon, which was written in the late 13th century, states Alpín defeated the Picts at Galloway but the Picts then defeated him in a battle that took place in the same year, during which Alpín was killed. According to the chronicle, Alpín died on 20 July 834. This date is given in other sources but several researchers claim the date was probably copied from another source and the year of his death was obtained by recalculating the dates in the erroneous royal lists so they attribute Alpín’s date of death to 840, or 841. Alpín’s mother is likely to have been a Pictish princess, the sister of Constantine I and Óengus II. According to the Pictish tradition, a female representative of the royal dynasty could inherit the crown.[10] This origin gave Kenneth a legitimate claim to the Pictish throne. Kenneth I had at least one brother, Donald I, who succeeded him as king.
This Y chromosome is also prevalent in Scotland and Wales, excluding the Orkney and Shetland Islands (72.9% in Scotland overall, 83.2% in Wales, and even 64% in England), with its distribution concentrated in Ireland and the southwestern parts of Britain (Wales and Cornwall).
The majority of “Celtic Irish” are believed to be people who migrated from the Iberian Peninsula around the start of agriculture, mixing with people from the Mesolithic period (around 11,500 to 6,000 years ago) who had arrived from the European continent before the British Isles were separated.
According to Oppenheimer’s view on the origins of the Irish, recent research makes it increasingly difficult to find archaeologists and historians who still accept the idea of a Celtic migration to Ireland in the Iron Age. He asserts that there is no genetic evidence of migration during the Iron Age, based on his analysis. Like Sykes, Oppenheimer, from a genetic standpoint, dismisses the traditional theory of “Celtic” migration and points out a strong connection with Spain. According to his analysis, 75-95% of the people in the British Isles genetically match those originating from the Iberian Peninsula. Almost all in Ireland, coastal Wales, and the central and western parts of Scotland are of Iberian origin. Oppenheimer suggests that three-quarters of the ancestors of the British Isles arrived long before the first farmers appeared, with the percentages being 72.6% overall, 87.9% in Ireland, 81.1% in Wales, 78.8% in Cornwall, 70.1% in Scotland (including associated islands), and 67.7% in England.

大多数のアイルランド人のY染色体は,一つの家系に属するものだとされるが,その一族は「オシーン」(3世紀の伝説上の英雄・詩人)と名付けられる.サイクスは,この「オシーン」の一族がアイルランド各地域のY染色体に占める割合を出している.最も高いのが北西部のコナハトで98%,次に高いのが南西部のマンスターで95%,北東部のアルスターは81%,最も低いのが南東部のレンスターで73%となっているさらに興味深いことにサイクスは,アイルランド人男性の圧倒的多数がもっている「オシーン」のY染色体が,スペインのバスク地方やガリシア地方の調査でも見られることを指摘し,「アイルランドとスペインの間には遺伝学的結びつきがある」と主張する Y染色体は,オークニー諸島とシェトランド諸島を除くスコットランドやウェールズでも多く見られ(スコットランド全体で72.9%,ウェールズ全体で83.2%,イングランド全体でさえ64%を占める),その分布はアイルランドとブリテン島南西部(ウェールズとコーンウォール)に集中している 「アイルランドのケルト人」の大部分は,農耕が始まった頃にイベリア半島から移住した人たちで,ブリテン諸島が切り離される前にヨーロッパ大陸から来ていた中石器時代(約1万1500年前~約6000年前)の人たちと一緒になった アイルランド人の起源に関するオッペンハイマーの見解であるが,最近の研究状況について,「アイルランドへの(鉄器時代の)ケルト人移住の考えを今も受け入れている考古学者と歴史家を探すことは難しくなってきている」と述べ,「私の分析から鉄器時代に移住したという遺伝学的証拠はない」と言い切っている サイクスと同じく,彼も遺伝学的見地から,従来の「ケルト」移住説を否定する.そして,やはりスペインとの強い関係を指摘するのである.彼の分析によると,ブリテン諸島の人々の75~95%が遺伝学的にイベリア半島出身者と一致し,アイルランド,ウェールズの海岸側,スコットランドの中部と西岸はほとんどすべてイベリア半島出身者で構成される12).オッペンハイマーは,ブリテン諸島の先祖の4分の3は,最初の農民が現れるはるか昔にこの地に到着していたとし,比率としては,全体で72.6%,アイルランドでは87.9%,ウェールズでは81.1%,コーンウォールでは78.8%,(付随する島々を含む)スコットランドでは70.1%,イングランドでは67.7%という数字を出している


The island of Britain during the Roman Empire represents a significant part of the ancient world in terms of its extensive history and cultural complexity. From the Roman conquest in AD 43, through nearly four centuries of dominion, Britain underwent profound geopolitical and cultural transformations. This paper delves into the societal, economic, and cultural aspects of Britain under Roman rule, revealing how the influence of ancient Rome intricately wove the threads of Britain’s historical tapestry. Understanding the entire formation of the Kingdom of Scotland is essential before discussing “tartan,” a symbol deeply intertwined with Scottish identity and heritage.


When I lived in Ireland, I often heard the words ‘Celtic’ and ‘Gaelic.’ At that time, I didn’t have much interest in ethnicity or culture, so I simply thought that they had beautiful patterns and a history. As I delved into the history of fabrics and patterns, I realized the significance of ethnic classification. This time, I conducted research on another ethnic group, the ‘Gaelic,’ which played a role in the origins of the Scottish people. Considering its connection to conflicts with the Picts and its contribution to the formation of the Kingdom of Alba, which ultimately leads to the clans of the Scottish people, this becomes a highly important field, differentiating the noble clans, in other words, the tartan patterns


I initially thought that Scotland, including its connections to Ireland, was a Gaelic nation. Of course, that’s not entirely wrong, but it’s not entirely correct either. This is because I thought that the Kingdom of Dál Riata eroded and integrated the Pictish Kingdom, but it seems it was the Picts who eroded Dál Riata. The Scottish king ‘Kenneth MacAlpin’ (in Gaelic, Coinneach mac Ailpein) is an important figure in this respect. And this unification leads to the formation of Scotland.