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Friday, 17 August 2007

Medieval Scotland

Medieval Scotland. Of all the Celtic peoples once dominant across the whole of Europe north of the Alps, the Scots were the only ones who established a kingdom that lasted. Wales and Brittany, subject to the same sort of pressure from a powerful neighbour, retained linguistic distinctiveness but lost political nationhood; Ireland became a patchwork of petty kingdoms, unable to throw off the domination of the English. What made Scotland's history so different from theirs?

A powerful account of medieval Scotland explores the reasons for Scotland's distinctiveness and its unceasing search for freedom and a national identity. The picture of medieval Scotland that emerges is a surprisingly modern one, with its rich racial mix, the Scots were not a pure Celtic people but a mixture of Celtic races, Gaels, Picts and Britons, with strong non-Celtic elements such as Norse and English, and its strong regional identities making it almost egalitarian. From the situation in Scotland at the end of Roman Britain until the political and religious revolutions of the sixteenth century, including Scotland's achievements in the creative sphere, the social life of the people and the nation's relations with the rest of the then known world, Alan Macquarrie reveals the richness of Scotland's archaeological, linguistic, artistic, religious, literary and architectural heritage. Medieval Scotland.

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