Anglo-Saxons & Scots – 3c Scots Invasion

Who were the Picts and where did they come from?

The Irish are Celtic people who have always lived in Ireland. During the Dark Ages, Scotland was not called ‘Scotland’, it was called ‘Pictland’ after the Picts who lived there. Originally the Scots lived in Ireland however some of them came to live in Pictland during the Dark Ages. Other Irish tribes came to live in Wales during the Dark Ages and they spoke a language called Gaelic and they used a type of writing called Ogham for name tags and gravestones.

Pictland was eventually taken over by the Scots and was renamed ‘Scotland’ after them. It means ‘Land of the Scots’.Modern day Scots are their descendants, but they mostly speak English. Only people in the Outer Hebrides speak Scottish Gaelic today. The Irish also speak Gaelic.

Did the Scots/Picts invade?

The Romans called the tribes north of Hadrian’s wall the ‘Picti’, which means ‘painted ones’ in Latin.The Picts and Scots lived north of Hadrian’s Wall. While the Anglo-Saxons were invading from the sea, the Picts attacked from the north.

A history book called the ‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ tells of a king called Vortigern who asked for help against the Picts. He invited two Jutes called Hengist and Horsa to Britain in AD449 and he paid them and their men to fight the Picts, but instead they turned on Vortigern and seized his kingdom. No one knows if this is a true story, but it shows that the Picts were causing trouble and that some of the Jute or Anglo-Saxon newcomers were invited to Britain.

The Picts did not stay around in Britain. Historians don’t know if this was because they lost battles and had to leave or if they chose to leave. They might have just been raiders who attacked Britons to steal what they could and then return home.

Follow these hyperlinks to learn more:-

  1. BBC Bitesize
  2. Kidz Search

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