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Picts, ancient inhabitants of central and N Scotland, of uncertain origin. First mentioned (A.D. 297) by the Roman writer Eumenius as northern invaders of Roman Britain, they were probably descendants of late Bronze Age and early Iron Age invaders of Britain. Their language is thought to have been a superimposition of Celtic on a pre-Celtic and non-Indo-European language, but there is no undisputed interpretation of it or their culture. By the early 7th cent. there was a unified Pictish kingdom north of a line from the Clyde to the Forth rivers. It apparently had a matrilinear system of succession and had probably adopted Celtic Christianity. To the south of the Picts, Scottish invaders from Ireland had established the kingdom of Dalriada in the 5th cent. Between 843 and 850 Kenneth I, king of Dalriada, established himself also as king of the Picts, although how and why is not clear. The kingdom of Alba thus formed became the kingdom of Scotland.


See W. C. Dickinson, Scotland from the Earliest Times to 1603 (rev. ed. 1965); I. Henderson, Picts (1967); A. B. Scott, The Pictish Nation (1977).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Latin Picti), a group of tribes that constituted the ancient population of Scotland. The Picts continually made raids on Roman Britain, reaching London in the 360’s. In the sixth century they were converted to Christianity by the Irish missionary Columban. In the mid-ninth century they were conquered by the Scots and were assimilated by them.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Placed in the Oaks last year, when trained by Jim Bolger, Pictavia (3.45) has won two out of three for Godolphin, her only defeat coming over a mile and a half.
Godolphin, who also struck with Pictavia in in Wednesday's Upavon Stakes, had scored seven winners from their last eight runners and Belenus was sent off the 11-10 favourite to extend the run.
Pictavia could be set for a trip to America after running away with the Listed EBF Upavon Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury yesterday.
ROYAL PRINCE - caught the eye staying on from off the pace to finish fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup at York after the winner, New Seeker, had cut out a blistering gallop from the start, leaving the field strung outIN THE FASHION - an aptly-named runner on Royal Ascot at York's opening day and a name to remember, judged by her encouraging fourth place, making steady headway from the rear, in the Chesham Stakes RIVER LENA - a half-sister to Oaks third Pictavia, put up a pleasing debut performance in the seven furlong juvenile maiden at Thirsk, finishing third to the more experienced Grandad Bill, beaten less than a length.
The book is illustrated with a series of stunning images which explain why archaeologists believe this is an exciting time to be working on the history of Pictland or Pictavia.
Bred on the same Sinndar-Sadler's Wells cross as his owner's Youmzain, Very Good Day is out of a half-sister to Oaks third Pictavia.
The Italian, who paid a flying visit to ride in Rome for two fruitless rides on Saturday evening, made the journey back worthwhile as Pictavia took the Group Three Select Racing UK On Sky 432 Stakes with one of the rides of the season.
Pictavia could be on course for the Filly And Mare Turf at the Breeders' Cup after returning to form with a comfortable win in Salisbury's Listed EBF Upavon Fillies' Stakes yesterday
PICTAVIA is strongly fancied to win the European Breeders Fund Upavon Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury.
Her main danger will probably be Godolphin's Pictavia, but Sheikh Mohammed's operation could regret their decision to let Princess Nada slip through their fingers.
Godolphin have got their operation back on track in recent days but they suffered a surprise reverse at Newmarket when evens favourite Pictavia could finish only third in the VC Bet Aphrodite Stakes.
Godolphin seem to be back on form now after a slow start to the season and further Listed glory could await Pictavia in the VC Bet Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket.