2007 Bob Parrish

The Scots (Scoti or Scottias) were Irish tribes from the northeast of Ireland,
roughly the modern-day Ulster.  They had been constantly invading the western
shores of Britain since the 4th century A.D.  During the Roman occupation of
Britain their raids had been kept to a minimum.  The word Scottias actually
means "raider."

Around 500 A.D. the Scots came en masse, but this migration differed from the
earlier raids in previous centuries.  This time they came to settle.  Under Fergus
Mor mac Erc, king of the Scotti, they moved in strength from Antrim in
northeast Ireland, to the southwest area of Highland Scotland (Argyll and
Kintyre) and surrounding isles.  They were known as Dal Riata and spoke
Gaelic (a Q-Celtic form).  Their new kingdom in the territory of modern Argyll
became known as Scottish Dal Riata (or Dalriada).  (In the Gaelic language
"Argyll" or "Ar Gael" translates as the "coast of the Gaels.")

From this point forward historians make a separate distinction of Irish from
Scots, although the two peoples continued to associate, marry, trade, and even
feud for much longer.

Gradually the Scots overcame the Picts until in the mid-9th century Kenneth
MacAlpin became king of both the Scots and Picts and his new kingdom would
be called Alba.  The word "Alba" is Irish and originally applied to Britain--"Albion."
Today it is the Gaelic name for Scotland.


2008 NTDWA