Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Picts, an ancient race that formerly inhabited great part of Scotland, and whose origin and affinities form a vexed ethnological question. It has been much disputed whether they were of Teutonic or Celtic origin, and even as to their name it is doubted whether it is from the Latin Picti, given them by the Romans and alluding to their habit of painting their bodies, or whether they called themselves thus. One authority (Pinkerton) makes them Scythians from the neighbourhood of the Danube; but it seems more probable that they were of Celtic stock, especially when we consider that at a later period they readily amalgamated with the Scots. Their language evidently differed from the other dialects of Scotland, since we find that St. Columba needed an interpreter when speaking to them. The Picti are mentioned by the Romans in 296 A.D., and again in 360 A.D., as inhabiting that part of Scotland which lies N. of the Forth and Clyde, with the exception of what is now Argyll and was then inhabited by Dalriada Scots from Ireland. The Grampians separated the Northern from the Southern Picts, the latter of whom became much mixed up in Northumbrian affairs. The Northumbrian rule was established over the southern Picts in the early part of the 7th century, but in 685 the Picts conquered Egfred and gained the upper hand. Their king, Necktan, founded the monastery of Abernethy, and was beaten by Angus Macfergus, who succeeded him and conquered the Northern Picts and the Scots of Argyll. Later, however, these Dalriada Scots obtained the ascendency, and under their supremacy an amalgamation of the peoples was brought about.