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Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??

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CALEDONIA (2)


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Zorro 11 May 99 - 01:51 PM
katlaughing 11 May 99 - 02:06 PM
LEJ 11 May 99 - 02:36 PM
Roger the zimmer 11 May 99 - 02:46 PM
John OSh 11 May 99 - 03:01 PM
LEJ 11 May 99 - 03:21 PM
LEJ 11 May 99 - 03:32 PM
Uilleand 11 May 99 - 03:33 PM
Ewan McVicar 11 May 99 - 06:56 PM
Benjamin Bodhránaí 14 May 99 - 05:07 PM
Art Thieme 15 May 99 - 03:05 AM
Penny S. 15 May 99 - 04:48 AM
Bev Lawton 15 May 99 - 06:17 AM
Art Thieme 15 May 99 - 12:27 PM
Philippa 15 May 99 - 02:31 PM
Sandy Paton 15 May 99 - 06:09 PM
Penny S. 15 May 99 - 07:13 PM
Philippa 17 May 99 - 06:06 PM
Bob Bolton 18 May 99 - 02:17 AM
MudGuard 18 May 99 - 03:10 AM
Philippa 18 May 99 - 04:45 AM
MudGuard 18 May 99 - 07:31 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 18 May 99 - 07:52 AM
Penny S. 18 May 99 - 08:27 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 18 May 99 - 08:35 AM
Penny S. 18 May 99 - 12:34 PM
Penny S. 18 May 99 - 05:19 PM
northfolk/al cholger 18 May 99 - 10:58 PM
Bob Bolton 19 May 99 - 03:20 AM
Philippa 19 May 99 - 06:08 AM
Bob Bolton 20 May 99 - 03:44 AM
Penny S. 20 May 99 - 05:23 AM
Bob Bolton 24 May 99 - 03:31 AM
Penny S. 24 May 99 - 07:13 AM
Bob Bolton 25 May 99 - 03:15 AM
Penny S 21 Jun 99 - 12:11 PM
Penny S 21 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM
GUEST 31 May 10 - 06:49 PM
BobKnight 31 May 10 - 07:58 PM
Dave MacKenzie 31 May 10 - 08:12 PM
EBarnacle 31 May 10 - 10:35 PM
Jim McLean 01 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM
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Subject: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Zorro
Date: 11 May 99 - 01:51 PM

It seems like I read once that Caledonia was the name of a Roman honcho. When the Romans invaded the celtic lands the name given to Scotland was after him. Am I right or Amarillo? Z.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:06 PM

A quick search didn't turn a specific answer, but I did find what lloks to be a pretty good and intersting site on scottish history, with several sections on the Caledonii people (Picts), etc. Well worth checking out at:

Scottish history

Have fun!

Katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: LEJ
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:36 PM

Yes, I had always thought that the name Caledonia came from either a Celtic or Pict tribe in the area, as Britannia came from the Britanni. Now, about Ireland- does Hibernia stem from the latin word for winter?


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:46 PM

But what is the answer to Woody Herman's question:
Cal(e)donia, Cal(e)donia,
Why is your big head so hot?

Perhaps her tammy was too warm.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: John OSh
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:01 PM

In regards to why Scotland is Caledonia, I am not sure, but in the Roman times, Ireland was called Eire by the natives and travellers to there, perhaps leading to Hibernia (as the Romans threw 'nia on the end of everything it seems. Eire = Hiber + nia). But the Irish people themselves were called Scots by the Romans, from the name Scotia, one the the queens of the Milsians from Ibernia (that 'nia) in what is now northern Portugal and Spain) from whom many Irish claim decent.

OSh


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: LEJ
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:21 PM

Interesting theory about the Irish Celtic tribes originating on the Spanish Peninsula as descibed in How the Irish Saved Civilization . The Irish language shares very little in common with Cornish and Welsh, making it only a very remote chance that the Irish Celtic tribes emigrated from the Island of Britain. It is far more likely that the they came from the Ibernian Peninsula. This would also explain many racial characteristics, such as black hair, among the Irish.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: LEJ
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:32 PM

I meant the Iberian peninsula, of course.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Uilleand
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:33 PM

Only the northern part of Scotland was called Caledonia by the Romans. The Caledonii (or Caledones) were one of the many Pictish tribes of the area. But apparently powerful enough to have a whole region named after them. Some of the earliest records of this tribe are in Ptolemy's writings. Caledones may mean 'the hard ones'. Somewhere else I've seen it translated as 'stern'.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 11 May 99 - 06:56 PM

The word Scot I believe originally meant something like pirate, from when they came from Ireland in the 5th C or so to invade Dal Riata in Argyll. They eventually took Scotland from the Picts and Britons, 'ground the Pictish tongue to powder and sprinkled it on their porridge', and named the country for themselves. Some say that Hero Of 100 Battles Arthur was a Scot from Manau near Falkirk. Didn't Woody Herman sing 'Caldonia, Caldonia, What makes your big head so hard?' A useful quality for a pirate, reducing the effect of being hit over the bonce with a bowsprit or sword. Ewan McVicar


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Benjamin Bodhránaí
Date: 14 May 99 - 05:07 PM

I read once that caledonia also related to the forest Celyddon which was the forest that stretched up the western side of Britain. Don't know where, or when but I think Le Tolstoy comes into it somewhere. Celyddon enters a lot of Arthurin/Merlin legends as the forest where deeds are done.

Dal Riada was the northeastern kingdom in Ireland, part of Ulster (Uladh) today. It spread to the west of Scotland, and the isles. There were sort of 4 kingdoms in Scotland, apparently, Dal Riada, who were Scots (Irish Raiders), Pictland (Caledonia) who were strangely enough Picts, The eastern bit that I can never remeber the name of which was dominated by the Norse, and the Southern bit that I also can never remember the name of but Cumbria or Northumbria or Umbria comes to mind (they are of course Latin names)and these were some of the remants of the British after the Saxons drove the wedge and extended the Pale. My MacFarlane side trace to Scots, living around Loch Sloigh, in the west, and taking a Gaelic name, My Gunn bit is from the east and relates back to Gunnar or Gunnarsson.

Whether any of this is true, or indeed provable, is entirely debatable, and it's really early here so I think I'll stop rambling now.

BB


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 May 99 - 03:05 AM

In the old days in the Scottish highlands it would get extremely cold during the night when the fires in the castles would burn out. The laird o' the castle was posing a question to his wife about how he might get his own head warm. He noticed that his wife's head was extremely warm---possibly due to hot flashes during menopause. Soooooo, he was askeing her, "Caldonia, Caldonia, why is yor big head so hot!!" He was trying to learn her secret.

Art


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 May 99 - 04:48 AM

Paraphrased from "The Dictionary of Place Names in Scotland" by Mike Darton.

The Latin for the Highlands, used by Lucan and Tacitus, first seen in Greek histories with a K and a long second syllable. May mean Celtonia (parallel with Galatia which also has a long second syllable), with a possible second element of "dun" - stronghold. The name Dunkeld has this meaning, but reversed. Celts may mean "people of the mountains". Alternatively, the first element may be from an equivalent of "celydd" - "wooded shelter", "caled" - hard (as above) or "callaidh" - "rapid" (Huh?)

The Picts held the Grampian Highlands, and the eastern coastal area. Lloyd and Jenny Laing only give Pictland as a name here, in "The Picts and the Scots".

The Norse settlement, according to "Viking Scotland" by Anna Ritchie, was in the Highlands and Islands of the west, the extreme north, Orkney and Shetland.

The "umbria" names would not have been known by the Romans.

Northumbria is a Latinisation of Northumberland, from the English land north of the Humber. It was occupied by Angles. The part which overlapped into what is now Scotland reached up to the Firth of Forth.

Cumbria is a Latinisation from the same root as Cambria, the Celtic Cymry. The British kingdom in the west of the Lowlands was Strathclyde.

Umbria is one of the places the English literati go in summer.

Umbra is where I'm going to be in August, in Cornwall.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 15 May 99 - 06:17 AM

Ok then why do we have the (modern) gaelic name for Scotland of ALBA? Bev Lawton


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 May 99 - 12:27 PM

See my previous post to learn where the term "hothead" came from.

Art


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Philippa
Date: 15 May 99 - 02:31 PM

Benjamin Bodhránaí - could your Norse area be the North of Scotland, "Sutherland" (because it was south of Scandinavia, Sheltland and Orkneys)?
Bev, Alba like Albian was a name for Britain, the fair land (because of the white cliffs of Dover??) I've asked quite a few people how the name came to mean only Scotland, but none of them had an answer.
Scotland is the land of the Scotti, the Irish, Normandy, France the land of the Northmen (Vikings), Russia a settlement of Scandinavians, and so-on; our nations are very mixed up


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 15 May 99 - 06:09 PM

In 1958, Caroline and I were camping with "Blind Sandy Stewart" (Ailidh Dall) and his family in Sutherland, near the Kyle of Tongue. This was a group of Gaelic-speaking "travellers" who winter in Lairg, but travel for about six months of the year in horse-drawn wagons, living in tents. We were recording "Ossian" tales from "Blind Sandy," and songs from anyone who sang. The point of this is just that I asked "How far east do your travels take you? Do you go over into Caithness?" "No," I was immediately told, "They're no' Scots; they're Norwegians!"

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 May 99 - 07:13 PM

I did think about Alba/Albion when I posted before, but couldn't find anything. I still can't - the nearest I've found is the suggestion that because the area north of the Antonine Wall was never occupied by Rome, the name simply shrank back there. It is roughly the same area as Pictland. The relationship of Albion to whiteness (as in chalk) is echoed in Pretanni (the British) which has the same root as Creta (as in Cretaceous) Pretanni is suggested as one possible source of the name of the Picts - Cruithni (or something similar). As far as I know, the only chalk north of Hadrian's Wall is a small patch inside the relict caldera on Arran, so it seems odd for the name to have migrated so far. I have a memory the source of which I have not yet been able to locate of an alternative source for Alba as in Scotland, with a relationship to the similar sound in Albania. The various maps I have of the Norse occupied area includes Caithness and Sutherland, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides, with some of the adjacent mainland.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Philippa
Date: 17 May 99 - 06:06 PM

Well, Penny, the Britons did come to Scotland, and Welsh was spoken over a fair range of Scotland, hence "Aber" in Scottish place-names. Cumbria in north Eng, near Scottish border gets its name from the Welsh (Cymru/Coimridh in Gaelic). As I said, no-one has been able to tell me how a name for Britain came to be reserved as a name only for Scotland [of course, I'll be interested in the alternative theory for the derivation of "Alba") but I'm wondering if its just the place where the Saxons didn't settle . The name of the south of Britain henceforth became an Sasainn (Sasana in Irish Gaelic) and maybe from then Alba was only used for the north of the island, even though the name derived from a description of the south coast of England. Just speculating.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 May 99 - 02:17 AM

G'day Zorro and all,

The meaning of Caledonia as mountainous (suggested by Penny S) is possibly reflected in the term "Caledonian" for a period of mountain-forming in Europe ... but it may also be the reverse.

The other names: Scotia for Scotland and Hibernia for Ireland probably reflect the views of the Mediterranean Romans - used to much brighter, warmer climes. Scotia is from the Greek (spoken by all cultivated, literate Romans of the day) and basically means (place of) darkness while Hibernia is directly from the Latin and means (place of) Winter.

I'm sure the locals didn't share the Roman view, but the Romans got to draw the maps of the day.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: MudGuard
Date: 18 May 99 - 03:10 AM

Isn't it named Caledonia after the name of the owner of most of the Scottish ferries, Mr. McBrae (first name Caledonian) ;-) ?


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Philippa
Date: 18 May 99 - 04:45 AM

Andreas, You ARE joking about the CAlMac ferries?
(Caledonian-MacBrayne)

Bob Bolton, Scotia is much reported to be the land where the Scots, who were the Irish explorers, settled - quite possibly they were called Scottii because they were dark-ish. I expect there IS a connection between "Hibernia" and "Iberia". I await further elucidation or obsfucation, as the case may be.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: MudGuard
Date: 18 May 99 - 07:31 AM

Philippa, did you see the ;-) smiley face?
Of course it was a joke, and I see my memory has failed me (as I wrote McBrae instead of McBrayne - or do I have a severe illness called McBrain?).
And this happens to me just 11 months after my Scotland holiday...
I think I have to buy me a new memory...


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 18 May 99 - 07:52 AM

Philippa: Aber is indeed a Welsh word, meaning the mouth of a river. However, my gaelic-speaking project manager here informs me that it's a bona-fide Scots word for the confluence of two rivers.
Incidentally, the Welsh word for the English is 'Saeson' (quite a lot like the Northern equivalents), but the word for England is 'Lloegr', which is what we called it when we ran it.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 May 99 - 08:27 AM

I've seen Lloegr explained as the bit the legions had. Can that be true, Dai?

Philippa, I just quoted above, and the best those books could come up with was Alba was the bit of Albion the English didn't have. And, if we call the Celts by the names they chose, can't we call us by the name we chose, ie English, not variants of Saxon? (And I am as much Saxon as anything else, myself}

Penny


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 18 May 99 - 08:35 AM

hmmm... The area of 'Britannia Prima' (ie. the British mainland) under direct Roman military occupation, as evidenced by the distribution of fortresses, waycamps, staging posts, villas and roads (not to say public sanitation, wine, law and order oh shut up, Dai) covers the whole of Wales as well as England and southern Scotland. Remember that the Romans were actually quite open-handed in their governance of Britain, and consequently relatively popular (with one or two famous exceptions).
I've never heard Lloegr explained that way. You could be right, it doesn't quite ring true to me... but then, I'm only operating on hwyl.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 May 99 - 12:34 PM

Only saw it once, and I'm beginning to suspect it, and the Alba reference were in sources which wouldn't past muster in an OU assignment.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 May 99 - 05:19 PM

Dai, I've been scouring Waterstone's (bookshop) as the library is shut. Alba is consistently derived from a shrunken form of Albion ie, the part free of the English (or the Romans before them?). (I was joking about the chalk.) I have seen one reference to a tripartite division into Cambria (I'm chickening out, sorry), Lloegr and Alba based on a Welsh Triad, which pushed it back pre-Roman, and linked Lloegr with the people of the Loire region in France. However, this book was definitely one of those discovering ancient secrets things, so not respectable as an academic reference.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 18 May 99 - 10:58 PM

What an irony, it was just friday night at the Gaelic Beer Works, the band was introducing the song "Caledonia"and let it slip that Caledonia is a word derived from the Ancient Roman word for a Scots Airline....it's true, that's what they said, and who was I, neither Scot nor Roman, and by that time barely conversant in the mother tongue....


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 May 99 - 03:20 AM

G'day Philippa et al,

Whether the Scotia the Romans named the region for was the darkness of the people, the latitudes - or some other aspect is lost in the mists of time ... and Scotia. As I understand it, the Scotii were the people of the north when the Romans invaded, but many of them crossed over to Hibernia for the duration and recolonised their own country after the Roman withdrawal.

The "winter" meaning of Hibernia is straightforward and familiar to a Roman of those days. Cæsar's Gallic Wars, book (2?) starts: Cum esset Cæsar in citiore Gallia, in Hibernis, that is "When Cæsar was in farther Gaul (the other side of the alps), in winter camp". The superficial resemblance to Iberia is just a Furphy (to used an Australianism) ... a bit of "Folk Etymology". Iberia is a Latinate form for the (land of) the Iberes - the Greek name for Spaniards.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Whence the Scotti?
From: Philippa
Date: 19 May 99 - 06:08 AM

Bob, MANY sources, written and oral (including university lecturers in Scotland), have told me that Scotti was originally a name applied to the inhabitants of Ireland and that Scotia (now Scotland) got its name after people from Ireland settled in parts of Scotland. I find it hard to believe that they've all got the information back to front.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 May 99 - 03:44 AM

G'day Philippa,

You may be right ... my Latin master was merely a history and Roman literature buff and had no political axe to grind.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 May 99 - 05:23 AM

Bob, that is the first time I have come across that idea as well. i'd like to know his sources.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 May 99 - 03:31 AM

G'day Penny,

Darn it! I had almost written a long and detailed reply, last Friday, when a colleague stopped at my desk and wanted help on choosing graphics programs for his son. I dealt with a range of such, demaonstrated the differences and the pros & cons ... then crashed! I see that my masterwork has vanished without trace. Ah well, to remember, recap and retype:

Some 19th c. sources suggest the name Scotia goes back to the Greeks themselves - even though they can't have had much contact with northern Britons. I suspect they used the name for Brythonic Britons they encountered in trading for tin but the name carried over to Greek-speaking Romans and they applied it wholesale to all the Britons, in the same way Columbus called Native Americans "Indians".

To the Greeks, Scotii (or whatever its Greek form was) probably had pejorative overtones - almost precisely those of "darky" and similarly to the later derivation, from the Portugese, of "picaninny". These senses may have been dulled by the time Romans inherited the term. The Scots certainly called themselves something else - usually a "tribe" name. I think Scot(ii/ia) just wormed its way onto the official maps and these have an great persistence.

By the time the "Scots" came back to reclaim their homelands - up to 400 years after their ancestors left - the tribes had blended, but the Roman label was firmly stuck on the maps and history books. Thos who report the depradations of "Scots" pirates are not asking the "pirates" what they call themselves - they are using the common name of their society.

Anyway, I must fly - I have a magazine (Mulga Wire)to finish editing - and writing all the bits that are my own responsibility- then music workshop at the Bush Music Club ... and somewhere in the midst of that, I grab a bite of dinner.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 May 99 - 07:13 AM

Thanks for that Bob. Looking at maps of tribal areas recently, I've seen that different branches of tribes seemed to be all over the place: off-hand I remember the Cornovii in Caithness as well as in the south-west. There's been a book recently about the origin of the Celts, making a similar point that the people we call Celts wouldn't know the term, using tribal terms themselves, and the term Celt has a Greek provenance.

One odd point I've noticed, both myself, and picked up from others, is that Scotland on the one hand, and England and Wales together on the other, with the dividing line being the Whin Sill/Hadrian's Wall, each have a marker at the geographical centre, predating the Roman invasion. Scotland has the Fortingall yew, south Britain Arbor Low. If this means anything at all, it might imply a two-fold division of the island of some antiquity.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 May 99 - 03:15 AM

G'day Penny S,

Ah, there's another interesting quest for someone closer to the physical presence of these things. The language is murky enough, once you get back before the Roman invasion, but the stones, markers, older wooden artifacts &c offer enough controversy to lead to bloodier battles than the Romans knew!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S
Date: 21 Jun 99 - 12:11 PM

Just come across this site, and thought it might interest some of you.

Pictish history

Penny


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Penny S
Date: 21 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM

Here's something else

More Pictish history

Penny


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 10 - 06:49 PM

CALEDONIA.SCOTLAND COMES FROM CALYDONIA,GREECE FROM WHERE THE PECTS CAME FROM B.C.THEY WERE ALBANS[BEAN,BAIN].


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: BobKnight
Date: 31 May 10 - 07:58 PM

For about the last fifteen or so years The University of Stratchclyde has been doing archaeological excavations in the areas where the Scots supposely settled from Ireland. The last I heard they have found no evidence at all that this actually happened.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 31 May 10 - 08:12 PM

I suspect that it would be very difficult to differentiate between the P-Celts (British and Pictish} and Q-Celts (Gaels) in the South West Highlands for most of historical and late pre-historical periods because of the constant two-way traffic up till modern times.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 May 10 - 10:35 PM

Well, the Greeks and Celtic peoples used bagpipes. So did the Hebrews and various central European peoples. Does this mean that they are all of common stock or just shepherds?


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM

My understand is that the name derives from the Gaelic for wood as Scotland was a largely wooded area then 'the Great Caledonian forests'. A similar derived word is capercailzie, 'horse of the wood'.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 04:05 PM

For what it's worth, 11 years after the thread started and with most of the posters long departed, according to Rivet and Smith, "The Place Names of Roman Britain"*, the name derives from the tribal name Caledonii, Calydonii, Kaledonioi, or half-a-dozen variants, possibly meaning "hard men, tough men", rooted in a word which became "calath" in Middle Irish and "calad" in Welsh, meaning "hard; severe; austere; firm; tough; hardy".

The same source also says that the Picts are first mentioned a little before 300AD.

As for bagpipes, you'll have to add at least the Bulgars, Italians, Germans, Poles and Serbs to the common stock (Spaniards are partly Celts of course), they all have bagpipes, indeed the Bulgarian word for them is practically the same as the Spanish. But there may well be evidence that the Hebrews are a lost clan of Scotsmen, see the Book of McAbees.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Reiver 2
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 04:30 PM

Alistair Moffat, in his book "Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History," has the following to say about the derivation of the name Caledonia,in his opening chapter:

"...Roman historians had a very specific name for northern Britannia. Lucan, Pliny the Elder, Tacitus and Ptolemy all wrote of 'Caledonia' and the name has shown considerable staying power.... 'Caledonia' was a very common early synonym for what became 'Pictavia' or Pictland, or parts of it. In some of the military contexts described by the Romans the Caledonians were the southern Picts centered on Strathmore and the Angus glens, with occasional shifts [mainly by a stroke of Ptolemy's pen] into the Highland massif to the east of the Great Glen. Supplying a little confusion, Tacitus asserts in his account of Agricola's northern campaign of AD 79 to 83 that Caledonia is the whole of the area beyond the Forth and Clyde isthmus...."

"'Caled' appears to be the basis of the name 'Caledonia' and it's meaning is clear, even if its application is not. It meant 'hard' in P-Celtic or early Welsh, and since the first recorded use was in 'Caledonii,' the tribe, it may be that it referred to them, 'the hard men.'"

"Alternatively, the name of Caledonia might have derived from the land inhabited by the Hard Men. The Highland mountains, corries and high glens are often bare, rocky and bleak, and 'caled' might have been the root word of something like 'Rock-Land,' rather in the same way that part of Knoydart is known as 'the Rough Bounds.'"

Moffat also discusses the use of other names for peoples and areas of what are now known as "The British Isles." For example he notes that, "Wales is an English word. It means 'Land of the Foreigners,' or more precisely, the 'Land of the Romanized Foreigners.'" He devotes several pages to the terms 'British' and the 'Cymru' [the Welsh] and the 'Pyrdyn' the Welsh name for the Picts. Also the name 'Alba' or 'Albion' for the island of Britain. Chapter 7, entitled 'Caledonia' covers 59 pages, so I won't try to quote it all here. ;-).

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 06:34 PM

"In some of the military contexts described by the Romans the Caledonians were the southern Picts centered on Strathmore and the Angus glens, with occasional shifts [mainly by a stroke of Ptolemy's pen] into the Highland massif to the east of the Great Glen"

Surely the confederation of tribes which merged into the northern Picts were centred on the Caledonians or Caledones of Roman times. The southern Picts were further south in the Perthshire and Fife area and were thought to be centred on the Venicones of Roman times. The southern Pictish confederation for a while seem to carry the name Maetea (spelling)


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 06:48 PM

Actually, there is equal evidence that they are all dispersed [diasporic] Jewish tribes.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 06:48 PM

"My understand is that the name derives from the Gaelic for wood as Scotland was a largely wooded area then 'the Great Caledonian forests'"

As well as Roman references the name exists in early P-Celtic literature and has an alternative and more probable P-Celtic derivation and others claim that it is actually pre-Celtic. Certainly though most Scottish historians are settled on the idea that (apart from some possible non-Celtic minority language too) the Picts as a whole were P-Celtic speakers who spoke a related language to the Cymric spoken in southern Scotland and they only became Gaelicised at a much later date. Just because something could be derived from Gaelic doesn't mean to say it is necessarily so.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,Bandit16
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:46 PM

^.^
Caldonia! Caldonia! What makes your big head so hard??


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: kendall
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:06 PM

Brave Caledonia dear are thy mountains, I sigh for the valley of dark Loch Nivah.(sp)
That song makes me homesick for a country I have never lived in.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: sheila
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:40 PM

Lochnagar, not Loch Nivah.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 06:29 AM

Right you are, I must have been half asleep 'cause I knew that.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: kendall
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 09:37 PM

Many years ago a friend of mine ,moved to Scotland and she sent me a post card of the highlands. It was a very moving feeling that came over me; home sickness was as close as I could come to describing it.
How is it possible to feel like that for a place that, until lately I had never seen?


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: maeve
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 09:56 PM

I've felt the same each time I've traveled in Scotland, Kendall.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: kendall
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM

Past life?


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,alex
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 05:18 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalydon


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 09:04 PM

Lord Byron wrote the poem about Lochnagar: only later became a song. Find it also on Wikipedia!


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bert
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 01:36 PM

Caled is just the way that The Scots pronounce the word COLD. :-)


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 02:57 PM

My father was from Caithness originally, and his surname is one of the towns up there. He always maintained he was of Viking stock, being blonde with very pale blue eyes. But I watched an interesting programme a few years ago which did genetic DNA tests on Orkney and Shetland folk who had lived there for generations, and not a drop of Scandinavian blood did they find. They concluded that, in spite of many raids on the northern shores, the Vikings always went home again, and didn't settle in Scotland!


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 06:43 AM

Eliza, that's not what this website says

Blood of the Vikings

That shows a significant proportion of both male and female Scandinavian DNA in Orkney and Shetland, compared with the Western Isles where mainly male DNA was found.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 07:31 AM

The gene for Dupuytren's contracture was introduced to Britain by the Vikings.

Margaret Thatcher had that.

I guess the genes for murder and thieving are close by on the same chromosome.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:31 AM

Goodness Howard, that's the exact opposite of what I thought! What a terrible shame my poor old dad passed away many many years ago. He'd have been so pleased to hear that he probably was, in fact, of Viking blood! Thank you so much for putting me right. He certainly looked very Scandinavian, not at all like the Scots I encountered in Glasgow and Edinburgh, who were quite dark-featured in general. He also loved the sea, and our family tree on that side has no end of sea captains. Perhaps they manned the longships centuries ago! Do you suppose sea-faring is in the blood of descendants of the Vikings? If so, I haven't inherited it - I loathe the sea and get seasick just looking at a ship!


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Bert
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 11:27 AM

Nice one Jack.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:27 PM

Weren't the Pictses the little people who lived in the woods, and lived in holes in the ground?
Not being silly, this plural form was used by a Scottish lady I met once.

And "scot" also means a tax. Or, off the coast of High Barbary, the jolly pirates "fee".

Aren't words great? And we can argue forever about them.


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Subject: RE: Whence the name Caledonia for Scotland??
From: Noreen
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 05:28 PM

Bit more thread drift after the last post:


scot-free

O.E. scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from O.N. skot "contribution, reckoning, shot" + freo (see free). Related to O.E. sceotan "to pay, contribute," Du. schot, Ger. Schoß "tax, contribution" (see shot). O.Fr. escot (Fr. écot) "share" is a Gmc. loan-word.


dictionary.reference.com/browse/scot-free


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