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Why Scotland had different names historically?

Why has Scotland had different names historically?

Scotland has been known by several names in the past, such as Caledonia, Alba and Scoti. This was due to several different cultures and languages looking to seize overall power in Scotland. Gaels, Picts, Romans and many others warred over Scotland historically.

Scotlander, Caledones, Alba, Scoti

What was Scotland’s original name?

Due to there being little written text prior to the Roman Empire, conclusively saying what the original name for Scotland was before this time is difficult. We believe Scotland’s original name to be Scoti or Scotia named by an Egyptian pharaoh and ancestor of the Scottish Gaels.

Queen Scotia, Scotlander

Was Scotland named after an Egyptian Princess?

In mediaeval Irish and Scottish legend, Scota or Scotia is the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh and ancestor of the Gaels. She is said to be the origin of their Latin name Scoti.

Through Scottish mythology, Queen Scotia invaded Scotland and later on Ireland, and established her Kingdom along with her husband Gaythelos. Thus, Scotland got her name after Queen Scotia and Gales from Gaythelos.

However, the story of Scotia remains shrouded in fantastical legends, but many people believed it to be true.

Who was Queen Scotia?

The Irish legends mention Scotia as an Egyptian Princess who grew up in her kingdom at the time of the Prophet Moses. Over time, she met a Greek prince, Gaythelos, who was exiled by his father and went to the Egyptian court.

The Egyptian princess fell in love with him and married him. Later on, Princess Scotia and her Greek husband fled from Egypt because of political turmoils. She took her treasures of jewellery and thousands of men along with her and fled toward Europe.

After travelling through Europe, she lay eyes on the most beautiful country one could imagine. She was met with stiff resistance from the local people but after some time, they took over Scotland by defeating Picts and named it after herself Queen Scotia.

Scotlander Warrior, Caledones, picts, Gaels

Why is Scotland called Caledonia?

Caledonia is a Latin name for Scotland, there was a dominant tribe or clan in Scotland at this point in time, they called themselves the ‘Caledones’. The Romans had invaded Britain and marched North but were met with fierce opposition. Caledonia was the Latin name given to this area where the Caledones had repelled them.

Roman Empire, Scotlander, Caledones

Who were the Caledones?

The Caledonians (Latin language: Caledones or Caledonii; Greek: Καληδώνες, Kalēdōnes) were a group of indigenous peoples of what is now Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras. The Caledones were enemies of the Roman Empire, which was the occupying force then after subjugating the majority of Britain. 

The Caledonians were a fearsome tribe, they often repelled further attacks by the Roman Empire and were also defeated by the Romans on several occasions. The Romans were never able to fully occupy Scotland due to the presence of the Caledones, though several attempts were made. Nearly all of the information available about the Caledonians is based on predominantly Roman sources, which may suggest bias.

What we do know for certain is that the Roman Empire built enormous walls spanning the width of Scotland and took years to complete just to hold the Caledones back and better defend their territory.

Scotlander, Hadrians Wall, Caledonia, Scoti