Before the Romans invaded Celtic Scotland the people were just beginning to use new tools such as swords, chisels and buckets.
Without the Romans, Scottish history would be harder to follow during this early time period but because the Romans loved to brag about their conquests, Scotland's History has been neatly chronologically kept during their reign in Scotland.
The Roman invasion of in England began in AD 43 and reached Scotland in AD 79, where the Romans had to deal with a ferocious resistance from the Caledonians. In Agricola in AD 79 the Romans sent their army to examine and conquer the area. Tacitus a Roman historian wrote that the Roman 9th legion was almost completely killed by a surprise Caledonian attack, until the Agricola cavalry stepped in and saved them.
Mons Graupius Battle of AD 84
The Roman military was forced to battle the Caledonian 30,000 man army with only 15,000 men; however the Caledonian's were disorganized and lacked the weapons and military strategy that the Romans had. The Caledonian's gave it all they had but were eventually massacred in this gruesome battle, which left 10,000 of their men dead. The Romans would remain in Scotland for the next 300 years and would have a great influence on the country socially, economically and militarily.
The Romans tried to protect their new land by building various defensive buttresses across the region, including the Hadrian wall (still stands tall today) and the Antonine Wall. Many legionary towers were also built to protect the territory. The Romans found the area extremely difficult to tax due to the mountainous terrain and hard to retain as the Caledonians rapidly learned how to improve their warfare. Before long the Romans would abandon their outposts and retreat to other areas. Prior to the Roman invasion, the inhabitants of Scotland consisted of two main groups, the Picts and Britons.
Picts or the painted people tattooed and ornamented their bodies. Archaeological findings show that the Picts were materialistic and believed in polytheism. These Celtic tribes lived in northern and eastern Scotland until the 10th century. After the Romans invaded they combined with the Gaels.
These Southern inhabitants of Scotland and their descendents spread into separate groups such as the Comish, Bretons, Hen Ogledd and Welsh after the Roman conquest.
After the invasion 2 new major groups formed, some merged and others replaced the native population that lived in Scotland.
1. The Scotti arrived to this area from Ireland around the 5th century and lived around the Dal Riatans region.
2. Anglo-Saxons came to Scotland during the 7th Century and their language is still the predominant language spoken in Scotland today.
Famous battle of Dunnichen
This battle took place on May 20th AD 685 and had the King Ecgfrith's Northumbrians battling the Picts led by King Bridei. According to the scholar Bede, the King of Ecgfrith saw the Picts retreating and sent his army in to finish them off. His army was set up. It was trap! The Picts quietly waited in their position until given a sign and ambushed the Northmbrians. The expansion the King Ecgfrith craved was halted and his army was annihilated.
The kingdom of Dal Riata stretched from the Argyll to the west of Scotland. The inhabitants of this area all spoke the Goirdelic Q-Celtic language. It is believed that the people that lived in the region originally came from Ireland. Important areas of the kingdom included Dunadd, Dunaverty and Tarbert which were economically and militarily crucial to the area. Dunadd was an extraordinary fortress where kings would go to get inaugurated and ancient ruins shows that the area was an imperative trade centre.
Known for raiding and pillaging the region, these Norsemen also traded with locals and some of them would even settle in the region. The Vikings were skilled sailors who would later set sail all over the world.
Scotland was susceptible to Viking attacks; therefore the capital was moved to Forteviot. After King Uen was murdered by the Vikings, Kenneth MacAlpin became king and allowed the Vikings to settle in the west. Kenneth's Picts and the Gaels in Scotland would form a new kingdom - the kingdom of Alba.