Orfeas Katsoulis | Mar 6, 2024

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The Picts were a group of Celtic-speaking peoples who lived in the present-day northern and eastern parts of Scotland, north of the Forth and Clyde rivers, during the late British Iron Age and early medieval periods. Information about their culture and the places they inhabited can be gleaned from texts dating from the early middle ages and from Pictish stones. These sources report the existence of a distinct Pictish language, which is now believed to have been an insular Celtic language, closely related to the British language spoken by the Bretons living to the south. Its Latin name, Picti, appears in written records from Late Antiquity to the 10th century.

The Picts are supposed to be descendants of the Caledonians and other Iron Age tribes mentioned by Roman historians or on Ptolemy's world map. The Picts and Romans had a frequent warring relationship, something that did not change with their neighbors after the Romans withdrew from Britain. Pictia or Pictavia (Pictland in English) achieved a large degree of political unity in the late 7th and early 8th centuries through the expanding kingdom of Fortriu, the Iron Age Verturiones. By the year 900, the resulting Pictish super-kingdom had merged with the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada to form the Kingdom of Alba (Scotland). As early as the 13th century, it had expanded to include the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, the northern part of Lothian, Galloway, and the Outer Hebrides (also known as the Western Isles).

Pict society was typical of many Iron Age societies in northern Europe, having "broad connections and parallels" with neighboring groups. Archaeology gives some impression of Pictish society. Although very little in the way of Pictish writing has survived, Pictish history since the late sixth century is known from a variety of sources, including the Ecclesiastical History of the English People written by Beda, lives of saints such as that of St. Columba by Adomnano, and various Irish Annals.

The term Pict is believed to have originated as a generic exonym used by the Romans in relation to people who lived north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus. The Latin word Picti first occurs in a Panegyric written by Eumenius in 297 AD and means "painted or tattooed people" pictus, "painted", cf. Greek "πυκτίς" pyktis, "image").

Pict is Pettr in Old Norse, Peohta in Old English, Pecht in Scottish, and Peithwyr ("pict-men") in Welsh. Some historians think that these words suggest an original Pict root, rather than a Latin derivation. In Irish texts, a multitude of terms were used to refer to the Picts and to a group of people who lived near the Ulaid people in the eastern part of Úlster: Cruthin, Cruthini, Cruthni, Cruithni, or Cruithini (modern Irish: Cruithne). It is generally accepted that these terms derive from Qritani: "chiefs", "firsts", which is the Gaelic version of the Britannic term Pritani. From this came the word Britanni, the Roman name for those now called Britons. It has also been suggested that Cruthin was a name used to refer to all the Britons who were not conquered by the Romans, that is, those who lived beyond Roman Britannia, north of Hadrian's Wall.

What the Picts called themselves is unknown, it has been proposed that they called themselves Albidosi, a name found in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba during the reign of Malcolm I of Scotland, however, this idea has been disputed. A unified "Pictish" identity may have been consolidated with the Verturian hegemony established after the Battle of Dunnichen in 685 AD.

The circumstances under which, in Late Antiquity, the Picta confederation was formed are unknown. Some historians have speculated that it was partly in response to the growth of the Roman Empire. The Picta Chronicle, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and early historians such as Beda, Godofroy of Monmouth, Raphael Holinshed, and others all portray the Picts as conquerors of Alba from Scythia. However, no credence is now given to this viewpoint.

The Pictia region had already been described by Roman writers and geographers as the home of the Caledonians. It was also reported by Ptolemy and Ammianus Marcellinus that other tribes would have lived in the area, such as the Verturiones, Taexali and Venicones. With the exception of the Caledonians, the names could be second-hand information, or even derivatives, perhaps brought back to the Romans by speakers of the Britonian or Gaulish languages, who may have used different names for the same group or groups.

The first mention of the Picts is in Eumène's rhetorical work in 297, Panegyric of Constantius, where he evokes the latter's victories over the usurper Aleto and the reconquest of the island of Brittany. He again mentions the people of the Picts in the year 309 or 310, in another panegyric, this time addressed to Constantine. Ammianus Marcellinus mentions the participation of the Picts in the barbarian coalition of 368 in Brittany.

The recorded Pictish history begins in the early Middle Ages. At that time, the Gaels of Dalriada controlled what is now Argyll as part of a kingdom that stretched across the sea between Britain and Ireland. The Anglos of Bernicia, who merged with Deira to form the Kingdom of Northumbria, dominated the adjacent British kingdoms, and for much of the 7th century Northumbria was the most powerful kingdom in Britain. The Picts were probably tributaries of this kingdom until the reign of Bridei III, when, in 685, the Angles suffered a defeat at the Battle of Dunnichen, which halted their expansion northward. The northerners continued to dominate southern Scotland during the remaining Pictish period.

Dalriada was a subject of the Pictish King Oengus I during his reign (729-761), and although it had its own kings since the 760s, it does not seem to have acquired its political independence from the Picts. Later, Causantín (793-820), during his reign as King of the Picts, placed his son Domnall on the throne of Dalriada, who ruled for 24 years (811-835). Attempts by the Picts to achieve similar rule over the Britons of Alt Clut (Dumbarton) were unsuccessful.

The Viquingue Era brought great changes not only in Britannia and Ireland, but also in Scotland, with the Viquingues conquering and colonizing the islands and several mainland areas, including Caithness, Sutherland, and Galloway. In the mid-ninth century, Ketil Flatnose is said to have founded the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, ruling over many of these territories. At the end of that century the Vikings would have destroyed the Kingdom of Northumbria, taking advantage of an ongoing civil war, greatly weakened the Kingdom of Strathclyde, subduing it by taking Dumbarton Castle, and founding the Kingdom of York. In a great battle in 839, the Vikings killed the king of Fortriu, Eógan mac Óengusa, the king of Dalriada, Áed mac Boanta, and many others. Following these events, in the 840s, Kenneth I of Scotland (Kenneth macAlpin) became king of the Picts.

During the reign of Cínaed's grandson, Constantine II of Scotland (900-943), other peoples began to refer to the region as the Kingdom of Alba, rather than the Kingdom of the Picts, but it is unclear whether this occurred due to the creation of a new kingdom or whether Alba was simply a more similar approximation to the Pictish name of the Picts. However, although the Pictish language did not suddenly disappear, a process of gaelization (which may have begun in past generations) was clearly underway during the reign of Constantine and his successors. At a certain point, probably during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of northern Alba would have become fully Gaelicized Scots, and the Pictish identity was forgotten. Later, the idea of the Picts as a tribe was revived in myths and legends.

Kings and Kingdoms

The early history of Pictia is unclear. However, in later periods, there were several kings, ruling separate kingdoms, with one king (sometimes two) more or less dominating his smaller neighbors.

As far as the organization of the Picts is concerned, it seems that "Pictish kings" never reigned, except over a confederation of chiefdoms: there were several Pictish "kingdoms" contemporaneous with each other. From Situ Albanie, a late document, the Picta Chronicle, the Duan Albanach, along with Irish legends, were used to argue for the existence of seven Pictish kingdoms. The organization of these kingdoms remains largely hypothetical, but it is possible that a "Supreme King" existed. In any case, the "kingship" of the Picts must have been clan-based and it is not known whether it was exercised over a well-defined territory.

In the 6th century, the kingdom of Fortriu may have dominated the lands around Scone and Dunkeld: its name is to be compared to that of the tribe Verturiones, mentioned in the 2nd century by Claudius Ptolemy and in the 3rd century by Ammianus Marcellinus. Beda still mentions the kingdom of Fib (Fife) at this time. The Picta Chronicle offers a list of seven kingdoms (the symbolic nature of the number may have dictated it), where those represented in bold are known to have had kings:

However, more small kingdoms may have existed. Some evidence suggests that a Pictish kingdom also existed in Orkneys. It should be noted that De Situ Albanie is not the most reliable of sources, and the number of kingdoms, one for each of the seven sons of Cruithne, the eponymous founder of the Picts, may well be reason for disbelief. Regardless of the exact number of kingdoms and their names, the Pictish nation was not a united nation.

For most of the history recorded by the Picts, the kingdom of Fortriu seems dominant, so much so that king of Fortriu and king of the Picts may have the same meaning in the Annals. Previously, the core of Fortriu was thought to be found in the area around Perth and area south of Strathearn, however, recent work has convinced historians in the field that this would be in the region of Moray (a name that referred to a much larger area in the High Middle Ages than the present county of Moray).

Based on Irish legends and a statement in Beda's history, it is considered that the Picts practiced a matrilineal style of monarch succession, which resulted in nephews succeeding their uncles. The kings of the Picts when Beda was developing his work were Bridei and Nechtan, sons of Der Ilei, who in fact claimed the throne through their mother, Der Ilei, daughter of a former king of the Picts. It was also this system that allowed foreign chieftains to rule the Picts in the Middle Ages, such as the Scottish Kenneth I of Scotland. However, "MacAlpin" belonged to the royal lineage of the kingdom of Dalriada, and his rule over a unified people was also facilitated by the disaster of 839, where Eóganan mac Óengusa, king of the Picts, his brother Bran, Áed mac Boanta, king of Dalriada, "and almost innumerable others" are killed in a battle fought by the men of Fortriu against the Viking. Alpin of Kyntire succeeds Áed.

In Ireland, kings were expected to come from among those whose great-grandfather would have been king. Royal fathers were not often succeeded by their sons, not because the Picts practiced matrilineal succession, but, because they were usually followed by their own brothers or cousins, more likely experienced men with the authority and support needed to be king. This system was similar to that of Tanistry.

The nature of kingship has changed considerably over the centuries of Pictish history. While early kings would have to be successful war leaders to maintain their authority, kingship became less personalized and more institutionalized during this period. Bureaucratic kingship was still in the rather distant future when Pictia became Alba, but the support of the church and the apparent ability of only a small number of families to control the kingdom for much of the period from the late seventh century onward provided a considerable degree of continuity. In almost the same period, the Picts' neighbors in Dalriada and Northumbria faced considerable difficulties, as the stability of succession and rule from which they had previously benefited had ended.

The later Mormaers (Gaelic name for a regional or provincial ruler) are believed to have originated in Pictish times, and copied or inspired by Nortumbrian customs. It is not clear whether the Mormaers were originally former kings, royal officials, or local nobles, or some combination of these. Similarly, the Pictish counties and Thanages (Area of land held by a Tano), traces of which are found in later times, are considered to have been adopted from their southern neighbors.

At the time of Venerable Beda, and if his accounts are to be believed, in the early 8th century, two kingdoms, a "northern Pictish kingdom" and a "southern Pictish kingdom" were established on either side of the Grampian mountains.

Still, despite their divisions, the Picts always resisted the Roman Empire, and Germanic invaders for several centuries. Eventually, the demise of the Pictish kingdoms was the result of a process of fusion that culminated in the mid-ninth century with the creation of medieval Scotland. In this respect, the rule of devolution of the throne in force among the Picts certainly played an important role.

In the 7th century, King Óengus I (r. 729-761) succeeded in temporarily unifying the Picts. Óengus II, son of the Scottish king Fergus mac Echdach and a Picta princess, reigned jointly over these two peoples in the early 9th century. When he died in 834, his son Eóganan succeeded him.

Another factor in the integration of the Picts and Scots into a single kingdom could ultimately have been treachery. A 14th century document, the Polychronicon of Ranulf Higden, actually contains a passage probably derived from the Picta Chronicle that mentions a massacre of the Pictish nobles by the Scots during an interview around 850. This was the mythical betrayal of MacAlpin.

The archaeological record provides evidence of the material culture of the Picts, showing a society not easily distinguishable from their British, Gaelic, or Anglo-Saxon neighbors. While analogy and knowledge of other so-called "Celtic" societies (a term they never used for themselves) can be a useful guide, this extended over a very large area. Relying on knowledge of pre-Roman Gaul or 13th century Ireland as a guide to 6th century Picts can be misleading if the analogy is taken too far.

Like most northern European peoples in Late Antiquity, the Picts were farmers who lived in small communities. Cattle and horses were an obvious sign of wealth and prestige, sheep and pigs were kept in large numbers, and place names suggest that transhumance was common. The animals were small by later standards, although horses from Britain were imported to Ireland as cattle to increase the size of the native horses. From Irish sources, it appears that the elite engaged in competitive breeding of cattle for size, and this may have been the case in Pictia as well. Carvings show hunting with dogs and also, unlike in Ireland, falcons. Cereal crops included wheat, barley, oats and rye. Vegetables included cabbage, cabbage, onions and leeks, peas, beans and turnips, and some not so common types, such as skirret. Plants such as wild garlic, nettle, and watercress may have been harvested in the wild. The pastoral economy meant that hides and leather were readily available. Wool was the main source of fiber for clothing, and flax was also common, although it is unclear whether they grew it for fiber, oil, or as food. Fish, mollusks, seals, and whales were exploited along coasts and rivers. The importance of domesticated animals suggests that meat and dairy products were an important part of the diet of the common people, while the elite would have eaten a diet rich in meat from farming and hunting.

No Pictish counterparts are known in the areas of denser settlement around important forts in Gaul and southern Britain, or any other significant urban settlement. Larger settlements, but not yet considered large, existed around royal forts, as at Burghead Fort, or associated with religious foundations. No towns are known in Scotland until the 12th century.

The technology of daily life is not well recorded, but archaeological evidence shows that it would be similar to those of Anglo-Saxon Ireland and England. Recently, evidence of water mills was found in Pictia. The kilns (thermally insulated chambers) were used to dry wheat or barley grains, which is not easy in the changeable temperate climate.

According to some historians, the Picts may have used a Celtic language, of the British group. The 6th century Irishman St. Columba reports that he could not understand it. However, they would have been familiar with Ogham writing, which was derived from Latin script, but the inscriptions they left behind are generally indecipherable. More recent studies seem to indicate that the original language of the Picts - or at least an important linguistic substrate of their language - was not part of the Indo-European group, even if the poverty of the known vocabulary does not allow any concrete conclusion.

The early Picts are associated with piracy and raids along the shores of Roman Britannia. Even in the late Middle Ages, the line between merchant and pirate was not clear, so the Pictish pirates were probably merchants at other times. It is generally assumed that trade collapsed with the Roman Empire, but this is an exaggeration. There is only limited evidence of long distance trade with Pictia, but tableware and storage vessels have been found from Gaul, probably transported to the Irish Sea. Such trade may have been controlled from Dunadd in Dalriada, where such goods seem to have been common. Although long-distance travel was uncommon in Pictish times, it was far from unknown, as the stories of missionaries, traveling clerics, and exiles show.

Brochs (an Iron Age loose stone hollow wall structure found in Scotland) are popularly associated with the Picts. Although these were built in the early Iron Age, with construction ending around 100 AD, they remained in use during and beyond the Picts' period. Crannógs, probably originating in the Neolithic period in Scotland, may have been reconstructed, and some would still have been in use at the time of the Picts. The most common type of buildings would have been roundhouses and rectangular wooden halls. Although many churches were built of wood, from the early 8th century, if not earlier, some were built of stone. The Picts left many standing stones decorated with geometric figures (including crosses after their Christianization), or figurative ones: quadrupeds, birds, cauldrons, wagons. These "symbolic" stones undoubtedly had a sacred character, perhaps associated with funeral rites.

Picts are commonly associated with tattoos, but evidence to support this is limited. Naturalistic depictions of noble Picts, hunters and warriors, men and women, without obvious tattoos, are found on monumental stones. These stones include inscriptions in Latin and Ogam script, not all of which have been deciphered. The well-known Pictish symbols found on monolithic stones and other artifacts have defied translation attempts over the centuries. Pictish art can be classified as "Celtic" and later as insular. Irish poets portrayed their fellow Picts as much like themselves.

Although only place names remain from the pre-Christian era, it is assumed that the religion of the early Picts was similar to Celtic polytheism in general. The exact time when the Pictish elite converted to Christianity is uncertain, but traditions point to the appearance of Saint Palladius (bishop of Ireland) in Pictia after he left Ireland, and link Abernethy to Saint Brigid of Kildare. Saint Patrick refers to "infidel Picts," while the poem Y Gododdin makes no comment about Picts as pagans. Beda wrote that Saint Ninian (confused by some with Saint Finnian of Movilla who died c. 589), is said to have converted the southern Picts. Recent archaeological work at Portmahomack places the founding of the monastery there, an area thought to be one of the last to be converted, in the late 6th century, contemporary with Bridei I and St. Columba, but the process of establishing Christianity throughout Pictia will have extended over a much longer period.

Pictia was not only influenced by Iona and Ireland, but also had ties with churches in Northumbria, as seen in the reign of Nechtan mac Der Ilei. The reported expulsion of monks and clerics from Iona by Nechtan in 717 may have been related to the controversy over the date of Easter and the manner of performing the tonsure ceremony. In this case, Nechtan seems to have supported Roman customs, but he may also have intended to increase the king's power over the church. However, the evidence of place names suggests a wide area of influence coming from Iona in Pictia. Similarly, the Cáin Adomnáin (Law of Adomnano, Lex Innocentium) counts Bridei (Nechtan's brother) among its guarantors.

The importance of monastic centers in Pictia would perhaps not be as great as in Ireland. In areas studied, such as Strathspey and Perthshire, it appears that the parish structure of the Early Middle Ages existed in the early medieval period. Among the major religious sites in eastern Pictia were Portmahomack, Cennrígmonaid (later St Andrews), Dunkeld, Abernethy and Rosemarkie. It would appear that these sites are associated with Pictish kings, who hold a considerable degree of royal patronage and church control. Portmahomack in particular has been the subject of recent excavations and research, published by Martin Carver.

The cult of saints was, as in all Christian lands, of great importance at a later time in Pictia's history. While kings could sponsor great saints, such as St. Peter in the case of Nechtan, and perhaps St. Andrew in the case of Oengus II, many lesser saints, some now obscure, were important. The Saint Pict Drostan seems to have had many followers in the north in early times, although he was eventually forgotten by the 12th century. The Holy Serf of Culross was associated with Bridei, Nechtan's brother. It seems, as is well known in later times, that noble kinship groups had their own patron saints and their own churches or abbeys.

Pictish art appears on stones, metalwork, and small stone and bone objects. It uses a distinctive form of development from the general early Celtic Middle Ages La Tène style, with increasing influences from the island art of Ireland and Northumbria of the 7th and 8th centuries, and later Anglo-Saxon and Irish art as the medieval period continues. The most visible survivors are the many Pictish stones located throughout Pictia, from Inverness to Lanarkshire, but to a lesser or no degree outside it. An illustrated catalog of these stones was produced by J. Romilly Allen as part of The Early Church Monuments of Scotland ("The Early Christian Monuments in Scotland," 1903 ), with lists of their symbols and patterns, classified in a three-part system that still applies. The symbols and patterns consist of animals, including the Picta Beast, the "rectangle," the "mirror and comb," "double disk and Z-rod," and the "crescent and V-rod," among many others. There are also protrusions and lenses with pelta and spiral designs. The patterns are curvilinear with hatching. The cross slabs are carved with Pictish symbols, interlacing of insular origin, and Christian imagery. However, their interpretation is often difficult due to the use and obscurity present, and their meaning can only be speculated. Several of the Christian images carved on stones, such as David the harpist, Daniel and the lion, or scenes of St. Paul and St. Anthony meeting in the desert, were influenced by the insular manuscript tradition.

Traces of Pictish metalwork were found throughout Pictia, but also further south. The Picts seemed to have a considerable amount of silver available, probably from attacks further south, or from paying subsidies to prevent them from doing so. The large treasure trove of Roman hacksilver found at Traprain Law could have originated either way. The objects found to the south consist of heavy silver chains more than half a meter long. The largest treasure trove of early Pictish metalwork was found in 1819 in Norrie's treasure found in Fife, but unfortunately much of it was scattered and melted down. Two famous silver and enamel plates from the 7th century treasure trove have a "Z-rod", one of the Pictish symbols, in a particularly well-preserved and elegant form. Unfortunately, however, few comparable pieces have survived. More than ten heavy silver chains, were found in this period. Whitecleuch's double link chain is one of only two that have a penanular link piece at the ends, with symbol decoration including enamel, showing that they were probably worn as "choker" necklaces.

Skilled craftsmen seem to have been associated primarily with places of high status, such as royalty or nobility. From Dunadd there is evidence of gold and silver crucibles, and molds for making the famous Tara Brooch. The corresponding Hunterston sternum needle, dating from the early 9th century, was found in Ayrshire. These Broochs were status symbols, and stone images show that women wore them on their chests and men on their shoulders, possibly a loan from the Romans. In the 8th and 9th centuries, after Christianization, the Pictish elite adopted a particular form of the Celtic Brooch from Ireland, preferring true Penanular Broochs with lobed terminals. Some older Irish pseudo-Penanular Broochs were adapted to the Pictish style, for example, the Breadalbane Brooch (British Museum). The Treasury of the Isle of St Ninian contains the best collection of Pictish forms. Other features of Pictish metalwork are dotted backgrounds or designs and animal forms influenced by island art. The 8th century Monymusk reliquary has elements of both Pictish and Irish style.

The Pictish language is an extinct language. The evidence is limited to place names, people's names found on monuments, and contemporary records in other languages. The first two argue strongly that the Picts spoke insular Celtic languages related to British languages further south. A number of Ogam inscriptions have been found to be unidentifiable as Celtic, and on that basis it has been suggested that languages other than Celtic were also used.

The absence of surviving written material in Pictish - if the ambiguous "Pictish inscriptions" in Ogam script are not accounted for - does not indicate a pre-literate society. The church certainly needed to be literate in Latin and would not function without copyists to produce liturgical documents. Pictish iconography shows books being read and carried, with its naturalistic style assuming that such images represented real life moments. Although literacy was not widespread, it would be quite common among senior clergy and in monasteries.

Toponymic evidence shows the existence of a British language in the region of the Picts. Those names with parallel elements in Welsh, such as pant (Methven) are claimed to indicate regions inhabited by the Picts in the past. Some naming elements, such as pit ("portion, part"), may have been borrowed from Gaelic, and may refer to earlier "counties" or "thanages." Evidence of place names may also reveal the advance of the Gaelic language in the Pictish region. As noted, Atholl, meaning New Ireland, is attested in the early 8th century. Fortriu also contains place names that suggest a Gaelic settlement or Gaelic influences. A pre-Gaelic interpretation of the name as Athfocla, meaning 'northern passage' or 'northern way', as in the Moray gateway, suggests that the Gaelic Athfotla may be a misinterpretation of the lowercase Gaelic c for t.

Picts and Fairies

At the end of the 19th century, the antiquity expert and folklorist David MacRitchie developed the Picts-Pygmies theory, taking very seriously that the fairies were nothing more than the memory of the native Picts, which he said were very small. As proof he points to their small doors (90 to 120 cm high), the small rooms of the dwellings, the size of the tombs which he said were the Picts' habitats, etc.

MacRitchie was referring to ancient writings such as that of Adam of Bremen, who in the Historia Norwegiæ describes the Picts of the Orkney Islands as "little taller than pygmies."

The folklorist John Francis Campbell, quoted by MacRitchie, also wrote in his work Popular Tales of the West Highlands (1860-1862), "I believe there was a time when there was a small population on your islands who are now remembered as fairies the fairy was probably a picta." This theory creates several others in the 19th century like the dwarf-lapon or eskimo siren or Finnish siren (because of its place in the seal and kayak skin).


On the album Ummagumma (1969), Pink Floyd feature a track called "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict", which consists, as the name suggests, of several species of small furry animals gathered in a cave having fun with a Pict. The track consists of several minutes of noises reminiscent of rodents and birds simulated by Roger Waters' voice and other techniques, such as hitting the microphone played at different speeds, followed by Waters providing a few stanzas of spoken words in an exaggerated Scottish sound.


Picts appear in several RPG game franchises with a theme in late antiquity, for example in Greg Stafford's Pendragon game, published in 1985, which inspired both the actual historical period and Arthurian legend. Picts also appear in role-playing games inspired by Robert E. Howard's fantasy tales, including several adaptations of the Conan the Barbarian universe.

Historical or historical fantasy video games regularly feature pictos. This is the case with Civilization V: Gods & Kings, an expansion released in 2012 for Firaxis Games' strategy game Civilization V, or the tactical game

Senua, the protagonist of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a young Pictish woman, who displays visual characteristics typical of Picts, such as facial paintings. As the game progresses, the player can collect information about her past that tells about her Pict origin, her maternal village located on an island in the Orkneys, the tribal way of life, and the invasion they suffered by the "Men of the North," who we know profess the Germanic religion and can assume are of Scandinavian origin.

In the game Stronghold Legends, during King Arthur's campaign in the first quest, the Picts are one of the main enemies.

In Assassin's Creed Valhalla, released in November 2020, the Picts are the main enemies in the northern regions of the map.

Medieval Welsh tradition credits the founding of the Kingdom of Venedocia to the Picts and traces its principal royal families - the houses of Aberffraw and Dinefwr - to Cunedda Wledig, who is said to have invaded North Wales from Lothian.


  1. Picts
  2. Pictos
  3. Foster 1996, p. 17
  4. Foster 1996, p. 11
  5. Heinz Cüppers: Caledonii. In: Der Kleine Pauly. dtv, München 1979, Bd. Sp. 1013.
  6. Claudian: De consulatu Stilichonis, 2, 250-5
  7. Gordon Noble, Nicholas Evans: Picts: Scourge of Rome, Rulers of the Northn. Edinburgh 2022, S. 18.
  8. Simon Taylor: Pictish Place-Names Revisited, in: Stephen T. Driscoll, Jane Geddes, Mark A. Hall: Pictish Progress: New Studies on Northern Britain in the Early Middle Ages. Brill, Leiden 2010, S. 67–118.
  9. Dun da Lamh fort. In: Forestry and Land Scotland. Forestry and Land Scotland National Office, abgerufen am 16. Februar 2024 (britisches Englisch).
  10. ^ Fonti della storia dei Pitti includono gli annali irlandesi - gli Annali dell'Ulster, Tigernach, Innisfallen, Irlanda (i Quattro Maestri), e Clonmacnoise tutti riportano eventi accaduti nella Scozia, alcuni frequentemente; il Lebor Bretnach, recensione scozzese dell'Historia Brittonum di Nennio; la continuazione di Beda; la Historia Regum Anglorum di Symeon of Durham; gli Annales Cambriae; le 'vite dei santi'; e altri.
  11. ^ (EN) Francis J. Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, Batsford Ltd, pp. 106–109, ISBN 978-0-7134-5882-4.
  12. ^ (EN) Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Ireland, London e New York, Longman, 1995, pp. 48–50.
  13. Les sources de l'histoire pictes incluent les annales irlandaises d'Ulster, de Tigernach, d'Inisfallen, des quatre maîtres et de Clonmacnoise, qui documentent les événements en Écosse. L'histoire est aussi consignée dans les annales Cambriæ, l’Historia Brittonum et sa traduction irlandaise du Lebor Bretnach faisant partie du Lebor na hUidre, ainsi que dans la continuité de l'histoire de Bède, écrite par Siméon de Durham dans l’Historia Regum.
  14. La Chronique anglo-saxonne contient pihtas et pehtas.
  15. Voir la discussion sur la création de la confédération des Francs par Geary, « Before France », chapitre 2.
  16. Par exemple par Tacite et Ptolémée qui désigne la mer à l'ouest de l'Écosse par Oceanus Duecaledonius. De façon similaire, Ammien Marcellin utilise le nom de Dicalydonii.

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