Originally Posted by Texasmujer
I was just reading some info about Fife; there is information concerning a battle between the Picts and the Scots...can anyone tell me which peoples predates the other? Where can I find information about this? (In some books here, the Picts are mentioned, yet, there is not a word about the Scots, so I wonder...) Thanks!
The Picts predated the Scots in the North of Britain and are generally viewed as the aboriginal peoples of the north. As for books one which immediately pops to mind is 'Picts,Gaels and Scots'
which is part of the historic scotland range.
The generally accepted view of the Picts is that they were a Celtic people related to the Britons from whom the modern day Welsh/Cornish/Breton are descended although until fairly recently they were thought to be non-Celtic and some persist with this view.
As Andy has pointed out the Scots migrated from Ireland in the fifth century (though ive seen some put forward the view that the Celts of the west coast may have already been goidelic rather than brittonic as a result of having closer ties with Ireland but ive only encountered this rarely so wouldnt give it any serious thought) and while there was, inevitably, some strife between them and the Picts generally the relationship was (by the standards of the time) very harmonious and saw much intermarriage at all levels of society. Indeed while Coinneach macAlpin ascended to the Pictish throne(through the claim of his pictish,female ancestors) to found Scotland decades prior to this Pictish kings had gained the Scottish throne of Dal Riada which emphasises the very close ties between the peoples.
One of the most surprising questions in Scottish history is why did the Picts so quickly become Scots? Why was there language so quickly replaced? Despite being far more numerous than their goidelic cousins (ive seen some historians hypothesise that the Scots made up only 10% of Scotlands population during its early years) within a century, two at most, their language had disappeared almost without trace (we have the occasional place name to remind us of them today). Their customs survived the death of their language however such as the matrilineal mode of succession, tanistry and the dual royal houses although these traditions(if i remember rightly) ended with MacBeth.