Home Forums Medieval The Picts were they Celts ?

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  • #104338
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    What is weird is this theory that the Picts actually came from Asia Minor. Anyone else come across this theory? Apparently, they are related by DNA to the Nasques, so they came from wherever the Basques did. I am betting on Late Stone Age imigrants from Asia, myself.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #104339
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Paskal:

    The unfortunate answer to your .original question is that no one really knows exactly who the Pictish peoples really were. The situation is complicated at best. It does not help that at least in Scotland itself powerful cultural and political considerations from the modern world colour or affect modern scholarship or the popular public perception of that scholarship on the problem in too many cases.

    There is very little clear evidence beyond very localised archeological findings which can be applied to all of the Pictish Confederation. The Picts seem to have not been a homogeneous population but rather a population which was heterogeneous and in flux due to regular immigration and absorption of new peoples in certain areas under Pictish “control”. Also local isolation from other Pictish peoples in some less accessible regions of what is modern-day Scotland fostered the growth of local Pictish cultures which varied a lot from the norm. Celtic penetration into Pictish culture was deep but not uniform. Thus some Picts were more Celtic than others. Likewise Roman cultural penetration was varied when the Romans were in regular contact with the Picts. Later Germanic and Asiatic penetration muddied the waters more as Roman Auxillaries left cultural footprints on the Pictish peoples.

    There is no doubt that Pictish culture became more “Celtified” (if that is even a word) with the passage of time. So by the 5th Century CE. you are looking at a predominantly Celtic culture with vestiges of Ur-Pictish culture, Roman culture, Germanic culture, Asiatic culture and even some vestiges of the Neolithic pre-Pictish culture in the mix. Pictish ratatouille is really what probably existed throughout most of the Pictish period.

    Cheers.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #104340
    Mike
    Keymaster

    As not everyone can respond to comments here, please be wary of who you talk about, as they may not be able to reply

    Ok, so Paskal can not reply.
    I hoped my subtle comment above would have been clear, but I think maybe I should have been straightforward?
    My apologies.

    The use of the N word is not acceptable.
    Suggesting that picts are sub-human / below human and then saying that members of this forum are picts, is not acceptable.

    As this is not the first time this member has caused problems on TWW he has had is posting privileges revoked, he is aware.

    I am also wary of this topic becoming too far removed from gaming to be relevant, though as with all things I try to be flexible, such as waffle about films that may inspire games etc.

    But please do try to remember the main focus of TWW and what it sets out to be.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    #104344
    OB
    Participant

    Test.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #104361
    Shahbahraz
    Participant

    The real question is whether we can identify the Picts with the neolithic broch builders of Birsay and so on.

    --An occasional wargames blog: http://aleadodyssey.blogspot.co.uk/ --

    #105443
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    I don’t think we can identify the Picts with the Neolithic population of Scotland. They might be the same people, or they might be incomers (of course incomers usually interbreed with indigenous people anyway – it’s culture that gets replaced, not genes).

    #111133
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    I can see where Pascal is going with this, in fact he has already gone too far with it already. This time you are wrong in so many ways it would take a week to explain – but you would never listen to it, you rarely do listen to those who obviously know more than you and are not burdened with nationalistic preconceptions. This is the last ‘discussion’ I’ll take part in with you and I’d ask others to show their disgust at your attitude by doing the same.

    Thought the same and you have spared me from writing a longer post.
    And I always think how the Romans would have acted in such a case: Damnatio memoriae.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111138
    Deleted User
    Member

    Severe Septim…

    I bothered to re-read the thread. I’m not sure exactly what agenda was being pushed but undoubtedly unpleasant.

     

    It seems odd that no-one mentioned the Attacotti who lived in Pictland, the Hebrides or perhaps Ireland. St Jerome said they were cannibals & had their wives in common which is probably unlikely but may indicate a desire to practice the sort of thrift the modern day Scot is famous for.

    Their name means either “people of the cat” or the “very old ones”  (old cats???). In other words, no one knows what the hell it means IMO.

    I *do* like Severe Septim which would translate to Harsh Nose, I think. Great name for a Roman emperor & I would have liked others to be called “Bad Hairstyle” or “Tricky Knee”.

     

    donald

    #111144
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    I *do* like Severe Septim which would translate to Harsh Nose, I think. Great name for a Roman emperor & I would have liked others to be called “Bad Hairstyle” or “Tricky Knee”. donald

    Malum Tonsus?  Catus Genu?
    Well, I´m just a legionaire in a certain Monty Python movie……. 😀

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111149
    Deleted User
    Member

    In case you think I’m being entirely frivolous, check out the names of Mayan rulers:

    Stormy Sky (his parents were clearly hippies….)

    Smoke Monkey

    Rabbit

    Moon Jaguar (best viewed from behind….) etc.

    I’m guessing that only the likelihood of ritual disembowelling kept the populace from roaring with laughter.

    donald

    #111161
    OB
    Participant

    The Picts were and indigenous development of the Celtic speaking people north of the Forth their language seems to have been a variant of ‘P’ Celtic.  So far as we know they seem to have had the same societal infrastructure as other Celtic speaking peoples.

    By the 6th century CE their language had diverged from Brythonic and it’s also likely that their aristos had held onto the high Celtic that Christianity had displaced elsewhere in the Celtic speaking world.

    So, as you quite rightly say, Pict identity was not carried in the blood but arose out of political events at home and among surrounding peoples.  They still belonged to the same language group, their DNA mix more or less remained the same and their cultural practices continued to evolve from a pre Pict base but they had a new political identity.

    Picts, Gaels and Brythons no doubt did exchange DNA, culture and loan words but they were all Celts in the sense that all involved spoke a Celtic language and shared a cultural package.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #111182
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    In case you think I’m being entirely frivolous, check out the names of Mayan rulers: Stormy Sky (his parents were clearly hippies….) Smoke Monkey Rabbit Moon Jaguar (best viewed from behind….) etc.

    Sounds like much BattleTech Clans….. Smoke Jaguar, Ghost Bear, Jade Falcon *duckandcover*  (and if you want to have a small laughter google for Ghost Dog Chinese Restaurant Scene). But the argument of linking their names to ritual sacrifices is, well, interesting (and I will stir up some historians with this – can´t wait for the reactions 😀 )

    No, I don´t laugh about that. Many of today´s people would be surprised if they knew the meaning of their name….
    We aren´t any better (and neither worse) than our ancestors and what our descendants will be. (And I fear that means in any case – speaking of repeating errors of the past)

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111183
    Deleted User
    Member

    Well, there’s a name to conjure with…..

    But getting back to the topic. I’m assuming most people we’d label “Celts” would recognise the name but not necessarily call themselves by it. Apart from tribal designations, some version of “Gaul” might have been widespread?

    No one really knows what the Picts called themselves….unless “Picti” wasn’t the Latin “Painted Ones” but a Latin attempt to write their tribal name. as some think.

    The Irish called them “Cruithni”, I believe. was this what they called themselves?

    And back to the Attecotti.  “Cat People”? When did cats actually get to Britain?

    Australians like to call Australia “home”.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=hugh+jackman+i+still+call+australia+home&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAABXLPQ7CMAxA4QEhMcDCCSwm1CXp0KWXqYwbJSZ_yE5yIE5KWZ70De9yul-NN7PaZditxcftr_k1lrEv9jNNkVaTuzIZcVRl5-I3Sl2bk7W24ASGE-Va9Ht-hu4DvJFixgIM2jglIDyCxyGYGCHU7H72X0rmdgAAAA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibvbjr2ZThAhUNbn0KHcWADkoQri4wBnoECAwQGg&biw=1920&bih=966

     

    Does that make Australians Home Boys?

    What, indeed, is in a name?

     

    donald

     

     

    #111184
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    I think it´s actually more like a generic term. In a blog post I read a few weeks ago the writer made an excellent comparison.
    He linked the terms Scythian and Saka (which is likely the how the Scythians called themselves) to a kind of living like modern day biker culture.
    It´s a very elegant way to get out of all those genetic/ethnic/nation type of dilemma. And I personally think the writer of this blogpost is correct on this one.
    Another example of this type would be the term “viking” which didn´t apply to some type of nation or tribe but specifically means “pirate” (more or less).
    And we can easily apply this to most pre-modern types of organisations.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111185
    Etranger
    Participant

    Wiki ((FWIW https://www.omlet.co.uk/guide/cats/the_history_of_the_cat) reckons domestic cats were in Europe c1000BC & definitely in Britain by the Roman era. Another case of ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’ The wildcat however has been there for much longer  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_wildcat

    Personally I think the murderous little buggers were there since forever, watching and waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims. Yes, I am owned by a cat. Why do you ask? 

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Etranger.
    #111195
    OB
    Participant

    The Irish did indeed call the Picts Cruithni it simply means British in ‘Q’ Celtic which is one of the reasons we can be quite sure the Picts were an indigenous group.

    The current view on the Attecotti is that the name derives from the Irish for subject tribe and that they originated in Waterford in Ireland.  Philip Rance has a good paper on this called Irish Federates in Wales it might be available on line if you google it.

    Cat in Celtic means battle which would make the Attecotti the Battle People which would be entirely appropriate given what we are told about them sadly the linguistics don’t work.

    As Donald says we don’t know what the Picts called themselves but we can note there were in Gaul a Celtic people called the Pictiones, if I have the spelling right, so it’s possible Pict derives from what the Picts called themselves.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #111230
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    The origin of ‘viking’ is much discussed but my preference is that it derives from ‘vik – ingas’ (or some similarly sounded words) ‘vik’ referring to bays (possibly the fjords ?) and ‘ingas’ a Germanic ending roughly meaning ‘people/folk of …’. I think the links to piracy refers more to the behaviour of the so named folk and is not the source of their name.

     

     

     

    #111255
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    The origin of ‘viking’ is much discussed but my preference is that it derives from ‘vik – ingas’ (or some similarly sounded words) ‘vik’ referring to bays (possibly the fjords ?) and ‘ingas’ a Germanic ending roughly meaning ‘people/folk of …’. I think the links to piracy refers more to the behaviour of the so named folk and is not the source of their name.

    Quote Wikipedia:”Vikings (Old English: wicing—”pirate”,[1] Danish and Bokmål: vikinger; Swedish and Nynorsk: vikingar; Icelandic: víkingar, from Old Norse)”

    Yes, it´s disputed. But I have talked to a linguist, who is good friend of me, which said it´s mostly settled if common sense is applied.  If the term is used as a verb (and scandinavian languages actual do that) it comes down to “go on viking” which means “to go on expedition”.
    It´s like the modern German word “Reise” (verb: reisen) which means travel/ travelling in modern sense but meant in medieval times “to go to war”. See Reisiger as an medieval German term for mercenary.
    The people thought of themselves more in terms of Danes, people of Kattegat (ooops) etc. And as far as I understand the current state of  research the various warbands were not entirely composed of Scandinavians but at least from Frisians (the Rorik of Dorestad´s ledung for example) and Saxons fleeing from Charlemagne´s war against them.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111262
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Yes, it´s disputed. But I have talked to a linguist, who is good friend of me, which said it´s mostly settled if common sense is applied. If the term is used as a verb (and scandinavian languages actual do that) it comes down to “go on viking” which means “to go on expedition”.

    I’m really not sure it is as settled as your friend suggests. It certainly raises much debate in Viking studies communities still. See, e.g. Matt Driscoll in the forthcoming Reimagining the Vikings: Reception, recovery, engagement, ed. Tom Birkett & Roderick Dale (Kalamazoo: MIP, 2019 [in press]) or Judith Jesch The Viking Diaspora (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015) pp. 4-8. Jesch summarises the arguments made in The Viking Diaspora on her blog and in The Conversation. These arguments highlight how little we know about Viking Age use of Old Norse víkingr/víking whereas we have a much better grasp of medieval usage of the word. The two are not necessarily the same. The other issue is that etymology is not meaning. Even if we could be sure how víkingr was originally constructed, that does not mean that we know what it meant or how contemporary populations understood it. It may even be a loan word from Old English (OE wicing from Latin vicus is attested much earlier than Old Norse víkingr) or Frisian which would preclude all Old Norse etymologies.

    In which Scandinavian languages is viking used as a verb? It’s not in Old Norse or Icelandic, and it’s a noun in the Norwegian expression gå i viking. Swedish att fara i viking is the same type of construction as Norwegian and we see much the same in English, a point I made on my blog in a rantette a bit back. You’re correct that it could be translated as ‘to go on expedition’ and that is probably one of the better ways of expressing the Viking Age concept but it would still be a noun in that usage. Sorry for this digression. People saying that Viking is a verb is a real bugbear of mine and is very much the petty hill on which I shall die.

    And as far as I understand the current state of research the various warbands were not entirely composed of Scandinavians

    Yes, work like that done by Cat Jarman at Repton is highlighting the heterogeneous nature of ‘Viking’ armies, while place-names analysis clearly shows the presence of, for example, Frisians settling in areas of the Danelaw where Old Norse is the dominant language (Frisby on the Wreake in Leicestershire is one example. It’s the Frisian’s farm on the River Wreake). Isotope analysis is an amazing tool for breaking down old paradigms and it’s fascinating to see it proved that these armies were not monocultural. This should have been obvious to anyone thinking about it, but it’s good to have solid evidence.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    https://roderickdale.co.uk/

    #111278
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    @Ruarigh, that was an very interesting answer and I spent three quarters of the evening on checking the info you posted here. That was really enlightning for me. And there were many things I didn´t know yet. Thank you.
    EDIT: And the entry below yours on the “verb” matter, the one which links to Dr. Eleanor Janega about “there´s no such thing as Dark Ages” is an excellent entry too.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111297
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    @ThorstenFrank: I’m glad it was useful and interesting. I get carried away writing about these things and then worry that I have gone too far!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Ruarigh.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    https://roderickdale.co.uk/

    #111322
    Deleted User
    Member

    @thorstenfrank: I’m glad it was useful and interesting. I get carried away writing about these things and then worry that I have gone too far!

     

    I would strongly doubt that anyone here would think this. For my part, this thread has been wonderful & your contribution far from the least.

     

    donald

    #111325
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    @thorstenfrank: I’m glad it was useful and interesting. I get carried away writing about these things and then worry that I have gone too far!

    I would strongly doubt that anyone here would think this. For my part, this thread has been wonderful & your contribution far from the least. donald

    Same here. I can´t overstate what I´ve learned since I play wargames and through the whole community. I don´t want to be reassured in my opinions – I want to come close in my knowledge to what happened back then.
    And I very well know that in the history sciences everything is in a flow and things change constantly. Many of the things I learned back in school is outdated by now.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #111326
    Etranger
    Participant

    @thorstenfrank: I’m glad it was useful and interesting. I get carried away writing about these things and then worry that I have gone too far!

    I would strongly doubt that anyone here would think this. For my part, this thread has been wonderful & your contribution far from the least. donald

    I’d second that. It’s fascinating to receive information from people who really know their stuff.

    #111336
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Ruarigh – never seen you go too far – always interesting, always useful and always thought provoking. Keep going!

    (Interesting to hear that this is the ‘petty hill on which I shall die’. There was a lot of not being prepared ‘to die in a ditch over this’ in analysis circles, a far less elevated position in so many ways!)

    #111368
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Thanks, chaps. I appreciate that you are interested.


    @Guy
    : There are some things I’m not willing to die in a ditch over (e.g. the actual etymology of Old Norse berserkr) but really one does need to know when to take a stand, even if it is on a petty hill. 

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    https://roderickdale.co.uk/

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