The Pictes were people established in the lowlands of Scotland.
The migrations pictes settle between the various waves of goidelic migrations (gaelic) and gallo-britonnic.
The Gallic Peuple of the Pictons does not have a priori not report/ratio, if not by the name that the Romains gave him.
Etymology of the name
The name Pictes, perhaps formed starting from an epithet Latin E, would literally mean “painted men” (inter alia, according to Bède Worthy the). It was allotted by the Britto-Romans, then by the Anglo-Saxon with the inhabitants of the lowlands of the going current Scotland for one period of the 3rd century until the middle of the 9th century approximately. Pictes thus probably to the Caledonii mentioned by the Roman conqueror Agricola in 80 corresponded .
It evokes also the concept - probably foreign with those which it indicates - of a membership of the many people and tribes of Calédonie to a common ethnoculturel group. In the absence of sources historical reliable and precise, contours of such a group remain nevertheless hypothetical, which gave rise to a more or less whimsical literature on the question of the origin of Pictes.
In addition to this often discussed question, the interrogations about the definition of Pictes also relate to the following points:
- the nature of their language - and in particular the “degree” of celticity of this one;
- circumstances of their disappearance.
One is unaware of about all the origin of Pictes: their ancestors would have come from the continent at the end of the Préhistoire, perhaps during the thousand-year-old 1st before J. - C. Their first mention is due to the Breton speaker Eumenius, in 297: this last quotes them at the sides of the Hibernii (Irishmen) like enemies of the Bretons. In 310, a mention of “wood and marshes of Calédoniens and other Pictes” are known: its exact translation poses problem and or not authorizes to count Calédoniens among Pictes. A little later Ammien Marcellin mentions that Pictes are divided into two groups: the Dicalydones and the Verturiones .
In addition, of the Celtic names of tribes which populated the north of the island of Brittany during the Roman period are known through the geography of Claude Ptolémée (in the middle of the 2nd century): the Cæreni (people of the sheep), the Lugi (of the corbel), the Smertæ (coated , or painted ), and the Decantae (noble). Near the Caledonii (strong?) the Vacomagi and the Venicones were. It is necessary to add to them, finally, the Epidii on the west coast and the Damnonii , the Novantæ and the Selgovæ , established more in the south. Pictes result probably from regroupings and divisions which agitated these tribes at the end of the third century of the Christian era, although certain historians proposed the date of the campaigns flaviennes to distinguish them (at the latest the year 97).
According to a late tradition (of the 9th century?), known thanks to a copy on parchment of 14th century (ms. Colbertin or ms. Latin 4126 of the French National library), the foundation of the people picte goes back to mythical a Cruithne , wire of Cinge which reigned one century and had seven wire: Fib , Fidach , Fotlaig , Fortrenn , Cait , This and Circinn . The latter then divided the white island ( Alban , Calédonie) into seven clans taking again their name: Fortriu , Cat , Circind , etc This information appears in the Liste of the kings pictes and in a text named Of Situ Albania , attached to this list: both belong to the Chronique picte .
The name of this founder was brought closer to the Pritenii or Pretenii , name of the inhabitants of the island of Brittany allegedly reported by Pythéas, in 325 av. J. - C., and quoted by Diodore of Sicily, with; The Latin name britanni , the Irish name criuthni and the Welsh Prydyn , posterior name, could have the same origin.
In 600, it is under the feather of Isidore of Seville that the first reference to the fact appeared that Pictes drew their name from tattooings which decorated their body. This idea was brought closer by the modern historians to information which Jules César in connection with the Breton ones reports:
- “ Omnes vero Britanni vitro inficiunt, quod cæruleum efficit colorem, atque hoc horridiores sunt in pugna aspectu ”,
With regard to the organization of Pictes, it seems that the “kings pictes” never reigned but on one confederation of chefferies: there were several contemporary “kingdoms” pictes from/to each other and their number could vary from two to seven, if one believes of them the posterior sources or the short mentions made by the foreign sources. The organization of these kingdoms remains largely hypothetical, but it is possible that a “on-king” existed. In any case, the “royalty” of Pictes was to be clannish and one is unaware of if she were exerted on a well delimited territory.
At the 6th century, the kingdom of Fortriu dominated the grounds located around Scone and of Dunkeld: its name is to be brought closer to that of the tribe of Verturiones, cities at the 2nd century by Claude Ptolémée; Bède still quotes the kingdom of Fib (Fife) at that time. The Chronique picte delivers as for it a list of seven kingdoms (the character symbolic system of the figure can have dictated the number of it):
- Cait (Caithness and Sutherland modern);
- This (modern Mar and Buchan);
- Circinn (Angus and Mearns modern);
- Fib (Fife and Kinross modern; Fife is still known under the name of kingdom off Fife );
- Fidach (Moray and Ross modern);
- Fotla (Atholl and Gowrie modern);
- Fortriu (Strathearn and Menteith modern).
At the time of Bède, and if one still believes this last of it, at the beginning of the 8th century, a “kingdom of Pictes of north” and a “kingdom of Pictes of the south” were established on both sides Firth off Forth .
Always is it that, in spite of their divisions, Pictes always resisted the Roman Empire, then with the Germanic invaders during several centuries. Finally, the disappearance of the kingdoms of Pictes was the result of a process of fusion which succeeds, in the middle of the 9th century, with the creation of medieval Scotland. In this respect, the rule of devolution of the throne in force at Pictes played certainly a big role.
One knows thanks to Bède, indeed, that the system of royal succession of Pictes was matrilinéaire (filiation by the women), which had as a result that the nephews succeeded their uncles. The murders between cousins that could involve are easy to imagine. It is also this system which made it possible foreign chiefs to reign on Pictes with the Middle Ages, like the Écossais Kenneth MacAlpin). However MacAlpin belonged to the royal chalk-lining of the kingdom of Dalriada, and its reign on unified people was also facilitated by the disaster of 839.
At the 8th century, Angus ( Œngus ) king from 731 to 761 succeeds in unifying Pictes temporarily. Oengus II of Pictes, wire of the king scot Fergus and a princess picte, reigned jointly on these two people at the beginning of the 9th century. His death, in 834, his/her Eoganan son succeeded to him.
Another factor of the integration of Pictes and Scots within a single kingdom could, finally, being a treason. A document of the 14th century, the Polichronicon of Ranulph Higden, contains, indeed, a passage probably derived from the Chronique picte which mentions a massacre of noble the pictes by Scots, at the time of an interview organized by the latter, towards 850.
The historical source most abundant on Pictes is about the only one to inform us about their culture: it is about the ecclesiastical History of the English people of Bède Worthy the.
Perhaps according to certain historians, Pictes used a Celtic language, group Brittonique. The Irishman Holy Colomba, at the 6th century, did not include/understand it. They knew the oghamic writing, derived from the Latin writing, but the inscriptions which they left are generally inintelligibles.
More recent studies seem to indicate than the original language of Pictes - or at least an important linguistic substrate of their language - did not form part of the Indo-European group, even if the poverty of the known vocabulary does not allow any unquestionable conclusion.
Pictes left many decorated drawn up stones of geometrical figures (including cross after their christianization), or figurative: quadrupeds, birds, cauldrons, carriages with wheels. These stones, known as “symbolic systems”, were undoubtedly crowned, perhaps associated with funerary rites.
One still allots to Pictes some Broch S , these towers round prehistoric which constellate Scotland.
- 84: Calgacus unifies the Celtic tribes but it is beaten and killed by the Romains at the time of the Bataille of Ardoch
- 122: the emperor Hadrian makes build the Hadrian's Wall to protect the Roman Province from Brittany (current England) against the incursions of Pictes
- 142: construction of the Wall of Antonin more in north, of the Forth to the Clyde
- 207: construction of the Severe wall of Septime more in north
- 343: Constant Ier makes countryside against Scots and Pictes
- 364 - 368: the Hadrian's Wall is crossed by bands of Pictes
- 368: Théodose Old the, father of the Roman Emperor Théodose Ier, pushes back Pictes in the north of the Hadrian's Wall
- 410: abandonment of the province of Brittany by the Roman troops
- 418: Pictes and Scots are spread in the old Roman province; the Breton ones call upon Germanic mercenaries.
Early middle ages
- 449: the Jutes Hengist and Horsa, called by Vortigern to fight against Pictes and the Scots, found the kingdom of Kent
- 503: foundation of the kingdom of Dalriada with Argyll, testimony of the establishment of the Scots come from Ireland
- 563: Saint Colomba settles in the island of Iona where it founds a monastery
- Années 650: pushed Angles towards north, where cohabit already Scots, the Breton ones of Strathclyde and Pictes
- 685: Pictes push back the Anglo-Saxons with the Bataille of Nechtansmere. The king of the Angles Ecgfrith is killed at the time of this one; the border is fixed at the Firth off Forth
- Années 750: beginning of the incursions of the Vikings in England
- 839: died of Eoganan to the head of Pictes and Scots vis-a-vis the Vikings
- 843: the king scot Kenneth MacAlpin reaches the throne picte: it is the first union with political character of the two people; it becomes final at the 11th century (following line)
- 1034: the king Duncan is the only king d' Écosse
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