Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-08 > 1155694470

Subject: Re: [DNA] Irish/ Scots clans, Dalriada, R1b etc
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 22:14:30 EDT

While on the subject of the Picts, there are a few interesting references in
Adomnan's "Life of St. Columba," written sometime prior to 704 AD. in Latin.

"Adamnan, abbot of Iona, reposed, in the seventy-seventh year of his age, on
the nineth day before the Kalends of October."

Annals of Tigernach, 704

He seems to make a distinction between the Cruithin of Ireland and the Picts
of Scotland. When referring to Irishmen reckoned among the Cruithin, he
calls them Cruithin in some form (de rege Cruithniorum). But when referring to
Picts in Scotland he uses the term Pict (In regione Pictorum).

In translation, one example might be:

"These kings were known as Ainmore, son of Setna, and the two sons of Mac
Erca, Domnall and Forcus. And the saint, in like manner, prophesied of the king
of the Cruithne, who was called Echoid Laib, and how, after being defeated,
he escaped riding in his chariot."

This is a reference to the Ui Neill of Ireland who defeated the Cruithin
or Cruithne in battle.

"AGAIN, while the blessed man was stopping for some days in the province of
the Picts, he heard that there was a fountain famous amongst this heathen
people, which foolish men, having their senses blinded by the devil, worshipped
as a god. For those who drank of this fountain, or purposely washed their
hands or feet in it, were allowed by God to be struck by demoniacal art, and went
home either leprous or purblind, or at least suffering from weakness or
other kinds of infirmity."

But he may have been casual about his usage for in another section he
refers to a Pict in Ireland (In Leinster).

"At another time a book of hymns for the office of every day in the week,
and in the handwriting of St. Columba, having slips, with the leathern satchel
which contained it, from the shoulder of a boy who fell from a bridge, was
immersed in a certain river in the province of the Lagenians (Leinster). This
very book lay in the water from the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord till the
end of the Paschal season, and was afterwards found on the bank of the river
by some women who were walking there: it was brought by them in the same
satchel, which was not only soaked, but even rotten, to a certain priest named
Iogenan, a Pict by race, to whom it formerly belonged."

This refers to a Pict who found a book lost by St. Columba in Leinster (in

O Rahilly states that the Irish scribes when writing in Irish referred to
both the Irish Cruithne and the Scottish Picts as Cruithne; but when writing
in Latin, made a distinction between the two in calling the Scots Picts.

There are also a number of references in Adomnan to the "province of the
Picts" which in one paragraph is placed across the "dorsal mountains of


Concerning the Plague.

WHAT we are about to relate concerning the plague, which in our own time
twice visited the greater part of the world, deserves, I think, to be reckoned
among not the least of the miracles of St. Columba. For, not to mention the
other and greater countries of Europe, including Italy, the Roman States, and
the Cisalpine provinces of Gaul, with the States of Spain also, which lie
beyond the Pyrenees, these islands of the sea, Scotia (Ireland) and Britain, have
twice been ravaged by a dreadful pestilence throughout their whole extent,
except among the two tribes, the Picts and Scots of Britain, who are separated
from each other by the Dorsal mountains of Britain."

This seems to say that the plague spared the Scots and Picts of Britain
but not the Irish in Ireland or the rest of Britain (thanks to St. Columba, of

But more to the point what does the dorsal mountain of Britain imply for
the location of the territory of the Picts in Adomnan's time? Is he referring
to the lowlands of Scotland? Perhaps the areas around Aberdeenshire south
to the Scottish borders and across to Galloway? He says the two sides are
separated from each other (700 AD.).


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