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Why was Scotland called Alba?

Why is Alba the Name for Scotland?

Alba is the Scottish – Gaelic name for Scotland. Albany or Albion was the Romans name for all of Great Britain. The Romans went on to conquer much of Great Britain, Scotland remained unconquered by the Romans and thus referred to as what remained of Albany or Albion. 

So Why Alba and not Albion?

Legend has it that Brutus the Trojan, first King of Britain, divided his realm amongst his three sons. The eldest, Locrinus, became King of Loegres or England, the youngest, Kamber, became King of Kambria, or Wales. The middle son, Albanactus, became King of Albany or Scotland, which was subsequently shortened to Alba.

The founder and first king of Britain, the Trojan exile known as Brutus of Troy, who was said to be the descendant of the Trojan hero, Aeneas. That is up for debate as many believe this story to be fantasy, you can learn more about Brutus the Trojan’s story here.

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How is the word Alba pronounced in Scotland?

Alba is the Scottish Gaelic word for Scotland, however you don’t say it the way it is written. Instead it is pronounced ‘Al-a-buh’ or ‘Al-a-puh. The word ‘Alba’ is Gaelic, and should be pronounced the same as how the authentic Gaelic language intended it to be spoken.

Who was the first king of Alba?

The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenneth I MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in 843.

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How long did the Kingdom of Alba last?

Generally the ‘Kingdom of Alba’ refers to what would become Scotland between 900 (the death of Constantin II) and 1286 (Alexander III’s death); immediately before the Scottish Wars of Independence. In that period the geographical spread of the kingdom expanded to include the Lothians, Strathclyde and Moray.

When did the Kingdom of Alba become part of Scotland?

The Picts and Scots united in the ninth century as the Kingdom of Alba, until it developed into the Kingdom of Scotland in the late middle ages following the absorption of Strathclyde and English-speaking Lothian in the 12th century.

Does Scotland still speak Gaelic?

Yes, but the majority of native speakers reside in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. In Lowland Scotland, Gaelic is not even taught at schools. You would most often get a choice between French, German or Spanish. Most of Scotland was once Gaelic speaking, however this has slowly declined. It is thought only around 1% of Scotland’s population now speak Gaelic fluently. English rule had a large impact on our Gaelic language as it was suppressed and the English was encouraged. 

Do you think all Scottish schools should encourage and teach Gaelic, or is there not much point as it is a ’Dead Language’?