ADVANTAGES

Whether or not all the Pictish invaders of Britain were called "Pictavi," this word or Picti, perhaps from (Irish , engraver"), became a general name for this people. had been changed into on the Continent; hence "Pictavi" or "Pictones," "the tattooed men," those who "engraved" figures on their bodies, as the Picts certainly did. Dispossessed and driven north by incoming Brythons and Belgae, they later became the virulent enemies of Rome. In 306 Eumenius describes all the northern tribes as "Caledonii and other Picts," while some of the tribes mentioned by Ptolemy have Brythonic names or names with Gaulish cognates. Place-names in the Pictish area, personal names in the Pictish chronicle, and Pictish names like "Peanfahel", have Brythonic affinities. If the Picts spoke a Brythonic dialect, S. Columba's need of an interpreter when preaching to them would be explained. Later the Picts were conquered by Irish Goidels, the Scotti. The Picts, however, must already have mingled with aboriginal peoples and with Goidels, if these were already in Britain, and they may have adopted their supposed non-Aryan customs from the aborigines. On the other hand, the matriarchate seems at one time to have been Celtic, and it may have been no more than a conservative survival in the Pictish royal house, as it was elsewhere. Britons, as well as Caledonii, had wives in common. As to tattooing, it was practised by the Scotti ("the scarred and painted men"?), and the Britons dyed themselves with woad, while what seem to be tattoo marks appear on faces on Gaulish coins. Tattooing, painting, and scarifying the body are varieties of one general custom, and little stress can be laid on Pictish tattooing as indicating a racial difference. Its purpose may have been ornamental, or possibly to impart an aspect of fierceness, or the figures may have been totem marks, as they are elsewhere. Finally, the description of the Caledonii, a Pictish people, possessing flaming hair and mighty limbs, shows that they differed from the short, dark pre-Celtic folk.

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