THE PICTS (a brief description of the N.Scottish people)

The writings of classical Roman authors,the likes of Eumenius and Tacitus, from the fourth century AD, refer to the predominant force in Northern Britain to be the ‘Picts’. To this day we do not fully know where this term came from, was it the Latin term for painted ‘Pictus’ or a Latin form of a native name…..

pictlandThese Picts were not, as was once believed, a new race, but rather the descendants of the indigenous Iron Age people of the area.

The term “Pict” is first encountered in a Latin poem of 297AD when the Roman writer Emenius wrote that the Britons were accustomed to “fighting their half-naked enemies the Picts and the Irish.”

History had described the Picts as shadowy, enigmatic savage warriors. There is no written records to give insight into how they lived; all we know of them has been lifted from various writers in history. By the time the vikings began compiling their sagas, the memory of the Picts had degenerated into a semi-mythical race of fairies.

The weapons and fighting techniques of the Picts is open to much conjecture, as there is very little literary or physical evidence left to go on. However, it does seem that the Pict infantry were armed with long thrusting spears and fought in a close formation that resembled a primitive sort of phalanx (known as the hedgehog formation). In addition a number of sources depict Pict light infantry armed with a weapon that resembles a crossbow. However it is unlikely that the Pict’s weapon was anywhere near as powerful as a medieval crossbow