Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scotland, Part I

This one web page I read says that the recorded history of Scotland began in the 1st century AD when the Romans invaded Britain. I don't know. Surely some few could write earlier than that, but why argue if you can't prove it?

Well, the Romans added the south to their far-flung dominions and called it the provence of Britannia, though they may have spelled it "province" who knows, but they were unable to subdue the fierce tribes of the north. So the Roman head guy built a wall (much like George Bush would do later) all the way across the island to protect the civilized south from the fierce golf-playing tribes of the north.

The emperor's name was Hadrian. I forget what he called his wall.

The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia. He was going to call it Gaul II but that didn't quite have the proper ring to it. He called the people who lived up there Picts. You probably don't know why, and I could tell you if I wanted, but there is no use leaking all the secrets of Scotland all in one post.

In my little web article I am getting this from, it says, "parts of Hadrian's wall still stand on the Scottish border." Is it just me, or do you also think the author could have simply put a period after the word "stand?" Yeah. The Scottish Border. Ok.

Unfortunately, the author of the biography of Scotland tends to ramble on too much, and the result is total confusion. For example, he talks about Celts called Scots coming from Ireland in the 5th century. Let's be frank: is that REALLY important?

Then he babbles on about a Kenneth MacAlpine and absorbing the Picts and the River Clyde and right on up to William the Conqueror. Trust me, you wouldn't be reading this if I had put all that in.

In 1290, Margaret died, leaving 13 claiments to the Scottish throne. Jesus, but it was a mess. Later, one of Margaret's descendents became PM over all of the United Kingdom. Amen. (It doesn't actually say that, I'm only making the obvious inferrence.)

One of these 13 people who wanted to succeed Margaret was Eddie Plantagenet from down south of the wall. Eventually he prevailed. There was a sidebar about one William Wallace that wasn't all that clear. It may have been Mel Gibson.

The spirit of the Scots remained unbroken (though their collective arsi remained fully kicked for some time afterward.)

Not much really happened between 1300 and 2010, so I will pick the narrative up again next time starting with that latter date.

Who among you are knowledgeable enough about these parts to say with resolute certainty whether or not the photographer who took the above picture is standing on Scottish soil? I thought not.


  1. Certainly Scotland was there before the arrival of the Romans. You'd think someone, somewhere, would have noticed, wouldn't you?

    I learn so much from you. There I was thinking Kenneth McAlpine was some sort of civil engineer. But I think your source may be wrong about the Scottish border. I've a feeling the wall doesn't follow the border, at least not the modern border. Since I'm not allowed Google, I can't say for sure.

  2. And so I don't think that photographer was in Scotland. I didn't notice that question earlier.

  3. The wall, or what remains of it after the Scots used the stones for throwing at Englishmen, stands in NOrthumberland, which is in Engerlandshire.
    It worked well for the most part, it keeps the English out.
    The first game show was started in Caledonia, have you never heard of 'Take Your Picts?'

  4. @A - Well, see, that’s what happens when I use a stray source instead of sticking to the strict infallable information font of Wikipedia.

    Kenneth MacAlpin, to be sure. Or, as you probably say it, Cináed mac Ailpín. He was, as you know, a great early photographer who eventually became known as “King of Pics.”

    As to the location of “THE WALL” I find it ridiculous for you to assert the Romans were rotten surveyors. Of course it follows the true border, although the Scots may have nudged is south year by year as a practical joke.

    @Adullamite - Well, I have been advised by infallable authority that the wall no longer sits on the “real” border. So sad. And even sadder still that, if that information is true, then my little joke is meaningless, the one about where the photographer was standing. I was going to say he was standing in neither Scotland or England because (with my Sherlock Homes cunning) I noted the photographer was obviously standing ON the wall when the picture was taken.

    Never mind.

  5. Nudged "it" south.

    Sherlock "Holmps"

  6. Well, I can clear up one little mystery for you - Hadrian called his wall "murus" ;)



Related Posts with Thumbnails