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influence, as in the dialects of the Eolic Greeks, and in the idioms of the old Italian nations.*
On the whole it seems as yet very difficult to discern the grounds of a decided preference between the two suppositions above proposed; but I think the most probable one is that the Irish Celts were a peculiar tribe, distinguished from the British and Gaulish Celts before they left the East; and that they either arrived in the west of Europe and passed over Britain before the Welsh, or made their way into Ireland through Spain and across the Bay of Biscay, which is the favourite path of the Irish romance writers or bardic fabulists. From Ireland they passed, as we shall find, to the west of Scotland in the third century of our era, and to the Isle of Man, where their language is intermixed with that of the Northmen.
SECTION XIII. Of the Inhabitants of North Britain, viz. Caledonians, Picts, Scots, and Britons, of Strathclyde, and Cumberland.
The origin of the ancient and modern inhabitants of Scotland has been a theme of still greater doubts and controversy than the history of the South Britons. Scarcely any conjecture relating to it that could be put forth with the slightest degree of probability has wanted the support of able and zealous advocates. I shall not enter upon the subject with any hope of clearing up all the obscurities which envelope it; I shall merely endeavour to point out as briefly as possible what is really known or can be known with certainty respecting the nations of Scotland, and what still remains doubtful.
⚫ The antiquities of Ireland are extremely interesting, as belonging to one of the most ancient and in some parts unmixed races in the world. Much may yet be done to elucidate them, particularly by local researches ; and some of the present members of the Royal Irish Academy are most laudably devoting their attention to this subject. We may expect much from the zeal and energy of Dr. Wilde. It is impossible to advert to this subject without deploring the premature death of Dr. West, a man whose great attainments and rare excellence, both moral and intellectual, were a distinguished ornament to the literary societies of his country.
Paragraph 1.-Of the Caledonians.
The Roman writers do not speak of the inhabitants of Scotland as distinct in race or language from the more southern tribes. They supposed them to be Britons. Tacitus indeed notices the tall stature and red hair of those who inhabited Caledonia as giving rise to a conjecture that the country had been peopled from Germany, as the swarthy complexion prevalent in South Wales seemed to afford ground for imagining that the Silures came from Spain; but his opinion on the whole was that Britain derived its inhabitants from Gaul, and he did not except the natives of the northern part of the island. He has never even given them a particular name, nor is it clear that he meant under that of Caledonia to comprehend the whole of North Britain.
The Caledonians are, however, mentioned by Ptolemy; but they were only one of many tribes of Albion enumerated by that writer as known to have occupied the northern parts of the island. Ptolemy mentions these tribes in the following order. 1. The Novantes, who are the people of Galloway. 2. The Selgovæ, to the eastward of the former, northward of the Solway, which preserves their name. In their country were two towns with names evidently British and Celtic, viz. Carbantorigum and Uxellum. 3. Damnii, to the northward and eastward of the preceding. Their name is probably the Welsh or British Dyvni or Dymhni. Dyvyn meaning valley or glen is likewise the etymon of Devon and Dumnonia. They are placed in the parts lying to the southward of the friths or of the Forth and Clyde. 4. Gadeni were, according to Ptolemy, to the northward; and the fifth tribe, or Ottadeni, more southward in the northern parts of the kingdom of Northumbria. All the preceding tribes are supposed to have lived southward of the wall of Antoninus, which reached across the narrowest part of Scotland, from the Clyde to the frith of Forth; their country at a later period of the Roman domination formed the Roman province of Valentia. They are, however, distinguished by Ptolemy in no respect from the twelve northern tribes. He proceeds: "Next to the Damnii, to the northward from the Epidean promontory-supposed to be the Mull of Cantyre
reaching thence eastward, are the Epidii. 7. The Cerones. 8. Creones. 9. Carnonaca. 10. Careni. 11. Cornabyi. All these tribes inhabit the western coast, which Ptolemy regarded as the northern up to the extremity of Caithness, occupied by the Cornabyi,* whose name, if it is the Welsh Cernywi, would describe the inhabitants of a promontory or projecting land. 12. From the Lælamnonian gulf to the Varar,”—that is probably from Lismore or Linnha Loch to the Murray frith, which includes the interior of Inverness-shire,--" are the Caledonii, above whom is the Caledonian forest.+ 13. To the eastward are the Cantæ ; 14. after whom are the Logi, adjoining to the Cornayii. 15. Above the Logi are the Mertæ. 16. Below the Caledonians are the Vacomagi, in whose country are the cities Banatia, Tamîa, Alata Castra, and Tuesis, the last supposed to be Edinburgh and Berwick. 17. and 18. The Venicontes and the Texali are in the eastern parts of Scotland." He adds, that below the Elgovæ and the Ottadeni are the Brigantes, who reach across the island from one side to the other, viz. from the Solway firth to the mouth of the Tyne.§
Such is the enumeration of the tribes of Britons given by Ptolemy, who indicates not the slightest suspicion that any of them were of a different nation from the inhabitants of the southern parts of the same island.
Herodian has given a short description of the inhabitants of Caledonia in his account of the expedition of the Emperor Severus. He uses no distinguishing epithet, but terms them simply Bpírravo, or Britons, and ascribes to them many peculiar customs which we know from other authors to have been characteristic of the Britons in general. He says that they knew not
* Their name is written both Kopvakvoi and Kopravivi.
+ Kaλndóvios opvμòç exactly expresses what would be denoted in Welsh by the word kelydhon, thicket, coverts in a forest.
Tachiali in Welsh means the inhabitants of a plain, open country, such as Mar and Buchan.
§ I am aware that this outline of the tribes of Britons inhabiting Scotland is a very imperfect sketch. All the attempts of modern geographers have been spoiled by the mixing up the spurious statements ascribed to Richard of Cirencester, with the authentic statements of Ptolemy. I have strictly followed Ptolemy's account of Albion in the third chapter of his second book of Geography.
the use of clothing, but ornamented their necks and loins with girdles of iron, which they looked upon as a token of opulence just as other barbarians esteem gold: they also tattowed their bodies with various figures of all kinds of animals. "They are very warlike and greedy of slaughter. They have for arms a narrow shield and a spear, and a sword in defence of their naked bodies, having no idea of the use of breastplate or helmet, which would burden them while swimming through their stagnant lakes, from the evaporation of which the air is thickened with perpetual fogs."* With this account we must compare the expression used by Tacitus in the speech of Agricola made to his troops before they engaged in battle with Galgacus. The Roman general is there made to assure his troops that the enemies against whom they were about to engage, viz. the Caledonians, were the same people against whom they had already waged war nearly fifty years. It appears clearly that the inhabitants of the north of Scotland were considered by the Romans as the same nation with the Britons, against whom they had carried on war since the time of Claudius or of Julius Cæsar: the traits they have described in their character and manners seem to leave no ground for setting up a different opinion. Among these northern tribes, the Caledonians, though only one, being the most warlike and valiant, acquired an ascendency, and their name has in later history eclipsed all the others, though among the Roman writers it never comprehended all the natives of Scotland. Dio, however, divided the independent Britons into two sections. He declares that the two most considerable nations of Britons, meaning the country as yet unconquered and lying to the northward of the wall of Antoninus, or of the friths of Clyde and Forth, are the Caledonians and the Mæatæ. "The Mæatæ dwell near the very wall which divides the island in two parts; the Caledonians are next to them. Both nations inhabit mountains, very rugged and wanting water, and also desert fields, full of marshes: they have neither castles nor cities; they live on milk and the produce of the chase, as well as on fruits; they never eat fish, of which there is a very great quan
• Herodian, lib. iii. Ritson's Annals of the Caledonians, vol. i.
tity. They dwell in tents-without shoes and naked; and have their wives in common, each one bringing up his own offspring. Their governments are for the most part popular: they are given to robbing on the highway: they fight in chariots: their horses are small and fleet; their infantry are as swift in running, as brave in pitched battle. Their arms are a shield and short spear; upon the top of the latter is an apple of brass, with which they terrify their enemies by the noise it makes when shaken; they have besides daggers. They bear hunger and cold and all kinds of hardships well, for they accustom themselves to it by immersing themselves in marshes, leaving only their heads above water, and by living in woods upon the bark and roots of trees. They prepare a certain food for all emergencies, a piece of which of the size of a single bean will prevent their either hungering or thirsting."*
Many circumstances in the preceding description are probably stated more strongly than the truth fully warranted. The main part, which we have no reason to discredit, is sufficient to prove the northern Britons to have been one of the most savage nations that ever existed. How different from the romantic heroes of Ossian! The account given by Dio compared with that above cited from Herodian contains so many traits which are peculiar to the Britons as to leave no room for doubt that the Caledonians were tribes of the same nation as the people who had fought against the Romans under the command of Cassivelaunus and of Boadicea. Their nakedness, their painted or tattowed bodies, their strange and truly savage associations, resembling the societies of Arreoys in the Polynesian islands, except in the circumstance that the Caledonians were not accustomed, as far as we know, like the Tahitians, to murder the children produced by such connections,— their method of fighting with armed chariots, distinguish them strongly from any other European race, and particularly from the Germans, from whom some writers have supposed them to have descended. The evidence that can be collected in regard to the language of the Caledonians will be stated in the sequel. At present I shall only remark, that if their speech had been German or a German dialect, the fact could not have remained * Dio, i. 76. c. 12.