Although people had already been living in Scotland for thousands of years, the recorded history of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century. At this time, the province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall. North of this was Caledonia, inhabited by the Picti, whose uprisings forced Rome’s legions back to Hadrian’s Wall. As Rome finally withdrew from Britain, Gaelic raiders called the Scoti began colonising Western Scotland and Wales.
The Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded on the west coast of Scotland in the 6th century. In the following century, Irish missionaries introduced the previously pagan Picts to Celtic Christianity. Following England’s Gregorian mission, the Pictish king Nechtan chose to abolish most Celtic practices in favour of the Roman rite, restricting Gaelic influence on his kingdom and avoiding war with Anglian Northumbria.
Mons Graupius (84)
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