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Conceiving a NationScotland to 900 AD$
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Gilbert Márkus

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678983

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678983.001.0001

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‘Tumult among the Nations’ (Psalm 2:1)

‘Tumult among the Nations’ (Psalm 2:1)

The Development of Sub-Roman Kingdoms

Chapter:
(p.54) 2 ‘Tumult among the Nations’ (Psalm 2:1)
Source:
Conceiving a Nation
Author(s):

Gilbert Márkus

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678983.003.0002

Following the collapse of Roman imperial rule in Britain, a considerable amount of romanitas remained in the local communities: there was some Latin writing and a degree of spoken Latin in some parts of Scotland; a sense among a now Christian society that their faith made them Romani. It is during this period that various polities begin to appear with more clarity. Bede – a hugely important source for our period – offers a picture of Gaels, Britons, Picts and Angles with their own languages and political structures, which he seeks to explain by reference to a ‘migration-and-settlement’ view of ethnogenesis. But closer examination reveals a much more complex, fragmentary and fluid pattern of ethnic and political identity. The chapter traces some of the key conflicts and alliances, defeats and conquests, and the political processes out of which early national entities emerged, and how some of these nations (particularly the Picts) identified themselves. Chief among the transformations of this period is the gradual Gaelicisation of eastern Scotland or Pictland.

Keywords:   sub-Roman Britain, continuing romanitas, early Christianity, Pictish identity, Gaelic Dál Riata, Anglo-Saxon identity, British communities, ethnicity in flux, Gaelicising Pictland

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