A New History of the Picts

A New History of the Picts


A New History of the Picts

Stuart McHardy

ISBN: 9781906817701

Binding: paperback

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Back cover text:

The Picts hold a special place in the Scottish mindset - a mysterious race of painted warriors, leaving behind imposing standing stones and not much more. 

Stuart McHardy challenges these long-held historical assumptions. He aims to get to the truth of who the Picts really were, and what their influence has been on Scotland's past and present. 

Far from being wild barbarians, the Picts had a complex society. They fought off continuous threats of invasion from imposing adversaries: Romans, Vikings, Angles. Although Roman texts claim a major victory against the Picts, McHardy reveals that the Roman retreat from Scotland shows that the opposite may well be true. 

The Picts were not wiped out in battle, but gradually integrated with the Scots to form Alba. McHardy demonstrates that rather than being some historical group of outsiders, or mysterious invaders, the Picts were in fact the indigenous people of Scotland and the most significant of our tribal ancestors. Their descendants walk our streets today.


Written and arranged in a way that is both accessible and scholarly, this is an excellent addition to the growing body of work on the Picts.  The Courier

A New History is a very valuable contribution to historical debate and cultural understanding. It also serves to bring issues often reserved to specialists to a general readership.  Donald Smith, Scottish Storytelling Centre

Table of contents:

The Dull Stone



Scotland at the dawn of history


Chapter One: Tribal Scotland

Chapter Two: The Romans march north

Chapter Three: Standoff and survival

Chapter Four: Kinship not kingship

Chapter Five: The coming of the monks

Chapter Six: Religious and political change

Chapter Seven: From chief to king

Chapter Eight: Conflict and consolidation

Chapter Nine: Into Alba

Chapter Ten: The end of the Picts?

Chapter Eleven: Then and now


Time Line