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By James E. Fraser

From Caledonia to Pictland examines the earliest stages of Scottish background at a time while ''Scotland'' hadn't but come into life. It charts the transformation of the Celtic-speaking tribes of Iron Age Caledonia into the multi-lingual Christian kingdoms of Early Medieval northern Britain, peopled by means of Picts, Britons, Angles and Gaels. significant components during this technique contain the direct and oblique impact of the Roman Empire, the profound effect of Christianisation, and the inflow of Germanic settlers to the east and of Gaelic settlers to the west. Politically, we see the emergence of dynastic kingship and the earliest origins of kingdom buildings; culturally, this was once a interval of shiny inventive success. the amount concludes with a bankruptcy on resources introducing the wide-range of, frequently intractable, proof to be had to the historian of the period.

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To the north of the Gask Ridge the Flavians had wreathed a more substantial country in forts, south and east of the Highlands. Here, too, the technique had involved outposts at the feet of Highland glens, which 12 For discussion, see Woolliscroft and Hoffmann, Rome’s First Frontier, 228–9. 20 from caledonia to pictland would have both protected and contained, keeping watch on inward and outward movement to and from the Atlantic and the Moray firthlands. The barbarians further north and west may have factored as little in the Flavian wars as they had in the occupation.

28 from caledonia to pictland barbarian conflicts. The Maiatai, moreover, had yet to enter the frame, doing so only after the breakdown of the peace talks, perhaps in the hope of tipping the scales more in favour of the barbarians at the inevitable next round of talks. Now, however, Severus pulled out all the stops and Caracalla subjected the Maiatai to a brutal campaign of retribution, characteristic of his father at his most ruthless. 35 Their initial rejection of Severus’s terms might have backfired disastrously for the Calidones and their Maiatian allies had fortune not intervened with the emperor’s death, which seriously undermined Caracalla’s bargaining position.

Some twenty-five kilometres east of Inveresk, where the road north from Trimontium probably reached the Forth, lay the great acropolis of Traprain Law in East Lothian. 24 Uotadinian attitudes towards the Calidones across the Firth of Forth, the Dumnonii (and later Maiatai) at the head of the estuary, and the Hadrianic limes may have played a key role in shaping Roman frontier policy in the second century, if Rome was keen to keep this civitas onside. 22 Campbell, ‘The Roman Siege of Burnswark’; Harding, The Iron Age in Northern Britain, 59–62; Ralston, Celtic Fortifications, 116–17; Rivet, ‘The Brittones Anavionenses’; Birley, ‘Anavionenses’; Hanson and Maxwell, Rome’s North West Frontier, 145.

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