Pictish Nation-Chapter 3


It is desirable to think of the speech which the Picts used, the speech in which Christianity was taught to them. All the scholars who have a practical acquaintance with the topographical names of Pictland are now agreed that the speech of the Picts was a dialect of Celtic, that it differed considerably from Scottish Gaelic and other Celtic dialects of the Gaidhealic group; but, on the other hand, that it agreed closely with the Celtic speech of the Britons, now represented by Welsh. Professor Watson puts it thus:* ‘ Linguistic evidence goes to show that the Pictish language was Celtic, and belonged to the Cymric branch represented now by Welsh and Breton, and until recent times by Cornish.’ As stated by Dr. Macbain f the main difference between Pictish, or other Britonnic  tongues, and the dialects of the Gaidhealic group is that Aryan q, when labialized by association with u or w, making qu, becomes in Pictish, or other Britonic speech, a simple p; but in the Gaidhealic dialects it becomes c, qu, or k. The standing illustration is the word for the number ‘five,’ which in Welsh is pump, in Cornish pymp, in Breton pemp, in Gaulish pempe; but in Scottish Gaelic it is coig in Manx queig, and in Irish cuig

Venerable Bede stated that besides Latin there were four ‘languages’ in Britain, namely, English, British, Scottish, and Pictish. Bede was quite untravelled* and his work shows that he had little personal knowledge of the Celts, and was not in a position to distinguish between a dialect and a language. Nevertheless, he has been much relied on by those who, as Dr. Macbain expressed it, with ‘wasted ingenuity’ theorized that Pictish was non-Aryan and pre-Celtic.

We have seen that the ‘Cruithin'(Pict) and the Briton were one in name; it would have been contrary to expectation if they had differed in speech otherwise than dialectically. Nevertheless, however similar the dialects of the British tribes, including the Picts, were at the time of the Roman occupation; it is well not to forget that between the days of the Roman colony and the eighth century, when Bede wrote, the speech of the conquered Britons would, owing to the influence of the Gaulish Legions and Latin culture, diverge markedly from the speech of the unconquered Britons or Picts which for a long time was preserved from foreign influences.

On the other hand, the expulsion of the Brigantes to the north of Antonine’s Wall, A.D. 139, before the legions of Lollius Urbicus, would only intensify the Britonnic nature of Pictish speech. These Brigantes were the most numerous and powerful people among the Britons. They occupied the country from the H umber and Mersey line to the Firth of Forth, that is, all the ground that became the province “Maxima Caesariensis” and the eastern half of Valentia and with their relatives the Manapian Picts they also occupied the south-eastern coasts of Ireland. Pausanias tells us that the Brigantes were deprived of their lands.* Julius Capitolinus adds to this that they were expelled from the province by Lollius, that is, driven with the Otadinoi north of the Forth and Clyde line, behind the new Wall which the Roman general had made; and, as we have already noticed, penned up in Pictland among the southern Vakomagoi and the Vernikones making a mixture of peoples that unite and emerge later as Miathi, Midlanders, out of whom, still later, emerge the Verturtones or Men of Fortrenn. The expulsion of these Brigantes, not to mention the Otadinoi from their far-stretching territories, and their withdrawal behind the Wall before the Roman drive must have turned Pictland into a ‘ Congested District’ for the first time in history. This event must also have increased the Britonic characteristics of the Picts, if that were possible, and accentuated the Brittonic features of Pictish speech to an extent that ought to have enlightened the sceptics who doubted the close original affinity of the Cruithin (Pict) and the Briton.

The close affinity between the speech of Pict and Briton is further indicated in the ease and speed with which the British Christians occupied the mission-fields of Pictland. Hardly had S. Ninian, a Briton, completed the foundation of Candida Casa in Galloway as a centre of the Christian religion when he set out with a number of his community to found Churches, and to place ministers all along the east coast of Pictland. f From the then border-town of Glasgow the line of his Churches extended to S. Ninian’s Isle in Shetland. Ailred, who drew his facts about Ninian from the Old Life, states that thesaint taught the Picts ‘the truth of the Gospel and the purity of the Christian faith, God working with him and “confirming the Word with signs following. “‘J There is not the slightest hint that either S. Ninian or his helpers had the least difficulty with the language. Even Bede lays stressonS. Ninian’s preaching^ as the means by which he converted the Picts of the East coast.

In the beginning of the sixth century S. Finbar (Uinniau) of Maghbile (Movilla) and Dornoch, a pupil at Candida Casa but an Irish Pict by birth, took up and * between A. D. 400 and 432 continued S. Ninian’s work in Sutherland, Ross, and elsewhere. He, of course, would have no difficulty with the Pictish tongue.

About the same time S. Drostan, another Briton, established a missionary-base at Deer in the lowlands of Aberdeenshire, from which he worked with the members of his community and strengthened the Faith in Buchan and Caithness.

Later, in the same century, S. Kentigern, another Briton, with his base at Glasgow, led a mission to the uplands of Aberdeenshire, and sent members of his community ‘towards the Orkneys.’f Joceline, his biographer, who also drewhis facts from an old Celtic Life, emphasizes the effect of his preaching, ‘the Lord working with him, and giving power to the voice of his preaching.’ Again, there is no suggestion that preaching to the Picts was other than easy to a Briton.

About the same time that S. Kentigern was in the Pictish mission-field S. Comgall the Great, J another Irish Pict, friend of S. Finbar and neighbour to him, was teaching the Western Picts; S. Cainnech of Achadh-Bo, also a Pict, was teaching the Picts of Fife; and S. Moluag, yet another Pict, a relative of S. Comgall, was joining up his missionary community at Lismore in Argyll with his other community at Rosemarkie in Ross, and linking this in turn to the missionary-communities of the Britons in Aberdeenshire. Here, once more, we have no sign that the Britons were divided from the Picts by any difficulties of language.

The first outstanding Celtic ecclesiastic who appears in history as having difficulties with the speech of Pictland was a Gaidheal; and he, none other than S. Columba of Hy. He stands in history, written too by a Gaidheal, to confirm all that philologists and historians have discovered in the way of indicating that the speech of Pictland though closely akin to the speech of the Britons was decidedly different from the Celtic dialect spoken by the Gaidheals or Scots.

Thrice we hear of S. Columba depending on interpreters in his conversations with the Picts. When he went to Brude Mac Maelchon to seek Permission to settle in Hy, or lona, for his work among the Gaidhealic colonists, he required to attach himself to the company of two Picts, S.Comgall the Great and S. Cainnech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Beyond what has been stated, some ancient names in our present-day speech witness to the to the differences between Gaidhealic and Pictish; and show the Britonnic (Old British) character of the latter tongue. For example, the name of S. Maelrubha of Abercrossan, a Pict, means Red Cleric. In the districts of Pictland where he laboured the tradi tional pronunciation of his name, still used, is ‘Malruf,’ ‘Maruf” or ‘Marüve.’ The b in his name is clearly aspirated. Among the descendants of the Gaidhealic Colonists in the West, however, his name is spelt Maolruadha. It has the same meaning; and in colloquial Gaelic has frequently been translated Sagart Ruadh, ‘Red Priest.’ The Gaidhealic form is seen in the west country names, ‘Kil-Molruy,’ ‘Kil-Marow,’ and ‘Kil-Maree.’ The important point is that the name gives us the Pictish rubh and the Gaidhealic ruadh, both meaning red.

Again the Landnamabók of Iceland informs us of certain place-names “Papeya” and “Papyli” The places so designated were occupied by Clerics called ‘Pápas’ before the Scandinavians went to Iceland. Dicuil, the Irish geographer, knew of these Clerics being in Iceland about A.D. 725. But the names are in everyday use among ourselves designating Papa Stour in Shetland, Papa Westra in Orkney, Pab-Ei in the outer Hebrides; and other places. ‘Pápa’ came into the childspeech of Greece with Phrygian nurses, took the form papas and needless to state meant father,’ or later, ‘grandfather.’ The Greek-speaking Christians applied the name to ministers of the Church, regarded as ‘fathers’ of their congregations. It came into Gaul on the lips of various bodies of Christian, Greek-speaking exiles, not to mention traders and professional men.

Having been already applied to monks in Greek-speaking districts, the name was naturally transferred to S.Martin and other presidents of Celtic monastic communities who were imitating the Greek-speaking monks. The president of the monastic community generally spoke ofthe members as his ‘children’ or ‘family,’ or to use the Celtic word,  his ‘muinntir” a name which still survives at S.Martin’s establishment at Tours, in ‘Marmoutier’ or Mormuinntir, that is ‘Magnum Monasterium” or Great Monastery. Kaor, Papa of Hermopolis, is the writer of a letter preserved in Papyrus 417, British Museum, dated c. A.D.350.

“Papa” found its way to the daughter ‘Magnum Monasterium’ in Galloway with S. Martin’s disciples, Ninian the Briton and his followers. It is a word that no Gaidheal ever popularized; because no Gaidheal could easily pronounce it. In fact the Gaidheals rejected it, and adopted the Syriac “Ab” the title of the presiding monk in certain communities of the East. On the other hand, ‘Papa with its p-sounds is such a word as Britons and Picts would welcome. It occurs in early documents, in the Epistle wrongly attributed to Cumine of Hy, and is applied to S. Patrick, a Briton. The survival of the name in Iceland goes to confirm Joceline’s statement that S. Kentigern sent his missionaries ‘towards Iceland.’ The use of the word at all by the Picts and Britons reveals to any one who knows the early history of the Church in Gaul that their missionaries had been in touch with S. Martin’s monasticism and its nomenclature among the Celts of Gaul while the Roman Church was still looking askance at monasticism, and while the Bishop of Rome had little influence among the Gallic bishops.

Although monasticism and its nomenclature were brought to Gaul from Greek-speaking centres the name Papa disappeared and Ab or Abbas took its place there and elsewhere in the West as soon as the Bishop of Rome won control; because with clever humility he had chosen Papa as his own particular title, rejecting Patriarchês or other names equally grand. Papa survived only in places where it had been firmly rooted in the speech of the people before the influence of Rome overtook it, as on the coasts of Pictland; or throughout the Eastern Church where the influence of Rome was never felt, and where it still designates the humbler clergy.

Other borrowed words seen in the place-names of the Picts are:

Cill (English Kil-),dative of Ceall (Early Irish Cell), from Latin Cella, a cell. The name now means Church. Originally it was attached to the founder’s name. The cell of the Ab was the centreof the monastic settlement, and close by stood the Church of the community. The great Pictish monastery of Bangor was a town of detached cells within a guarded rampart. The missionaries from Bangor and other centres of the Irish Picts introduced the detached bee-hive cell into Pictland, just as S. Columba, the Gaidheal, introduced it into Dalriada according to the examples which all had seen at Clonard and Glasnevin. It is worth noting, in this connection, that S. Columba’s teacher at Clonard was educated among the Britons, and that his teacher at Glasnevin was an Irish Pict. ‘Cill was not applied originally to Churches founded by missionaries from the Britons; Llan was common. Among the Picts and Gaidheals the Church frequently grew out of the Cell; among the Britons the Church and Cell were contemporaneous. S. Ninian’s Cell was Casa, a hut; because it was an effort to keep true to the type of Bothy at which S. Martin introduced and began to organize monasticism in Gaul, on the farm which S. Hilary gave to him for his great experiment. Here S.Martin began in the ‘ Logo-Tigiac’  or White Hut (The place is now Liguge, Poitiers), which was the original of Candida Casa.

Gregory of Tours and Fortunatus preserve the name as ‘Loco-ciacum ‘ and ‘ Logotegiacum’ and ‘ Logotigiacum. ‘ Longnon gives ‘ ‘ Loco-diacus”  of which there is a variant ‘ Lucoteiac- The latter part of the name is clearly  the diminutive of the Celtic Tigh ( Teach) or Ty, a House. The root of the first part of the name is seen in the Greek prefix leuko- which means Brightwhite; and in the ancient Celtic prefix Leuce (Leucetios, God of Lightning). The Celtic root also survives in the personal name ‘Luag-‘ which Angus the Culdee paraphrases as ‘clear and brilliant ‘ ; or in ‘ Cat-luan, ‘ Light of Battle.
It is seen also in the current Gaelic word luachair (rush), the light-maker. The whole name means literally Bright-white Hut, and is correctly translated by ‘ Candida Casa. ‘ Compare with the last part of the name ‘Moguntiacum,’ House of the god Mogun, the ancient name of Mainz. Kentigern’s settlement, showing that in his time the ‘little houses’ were maintained. In an old Irish manuscript, ‘ Botha is the name applied to the cells at Glasnevin. Both- was also used in Pictland of Alba.

Eaglais, formerly eclais (Brit, eglwys], is the Greek ekklesia, Assembly or Church. It occurs throughout Pictland, and, when associated with the Ancient Church-foundations, is attached to the ecclesiastical founder’s name. It is seen in such names as Eccles-Machan, West Lothian; in ‘ Egglis,’ the short name recorded in the early twelfth century for the ancient Eccles-Ninian, now S. Ninian’s near Stirling; in Eccles-Grig,Kincardineshire; and in Egilshay, Church-island, Orkney.

Tempul (Brit, tempel] is a name that abounds in Pictland; and, indeed, wherever Celts were settled. It came to mean Church. In the preface to the Hymn of Mugent, who was one of S. Ninian’s successors and presided at Candida Casa at the end of the fifth century and the beginning of the sixth, the scholiast calls the Church at Candida Casa ‘templum.’ The Church-site which S. Ninian on his northern mission marked off at Glen Urquhart,and where his Church stood for centuries, is still called “Tempul” Notwithstanding the later use of ‘ Tempul ‘ and its application to the Church at Candida Casa, there is evidence that in Pictland the name was not restricted to buildings but sometimes was used in its original sense of a place marked off and enclosed for a sacred purpose. The name had been, apparently, first applied in Pictland to the sacred enclosures of the heathen Picts; and, afterwards, bestowed upon the Christian Churches erected there. When Ailred, doubtless following the Old Life, relates concerning S. Ninian’s northern mission ‘temples are cast down and Churches erected,’ he means no more than that the templum proper, the inclosed space,  was broken into by the Christian pioneer, and the ceremonial standing stones laid flat.

Seipeal (Ir. Sepel), Chapel, is an interesting name. It has been applied in Pictland, in the vernacular, to the most ancient Church-sites, foundations not dedications, where there has been nothing but dry-built stone foundations time out of mind, and  perhaps adisused Churchyard. Thus we have in the north of Scotland, where ancient names have been little displaced, such examples as Sepel- Ninian, Sepel-Finbar, Sepel-Drostan,Sepel-Donnan, and the like. Yet the philologists declare that Sepel, because of the initial S which is articulated as Sh, was imported from English after the tenth century when extra apses with an altar came to be added to the main structures and were called ‘Chapels.’ The Gaidheals, for example, had no need to borrow from English; because they took their word Caibeal, Chapel, direct from the Latin Capella and it is seen in such a name as Portincaple, Port of the Chapel, reproduced in the fourteenth century as ‘Portkebbil’ Manifestly the initial Sh- sound in Sepel was due, not to English, but to the influence of a tongue which disliked simple initial S as much as initial C.

Both the Britons and Picts had these dislikes,hence in Pictland there still survives in the native pronunciation of place-names sepel for capellashantor for cantor, a choirmaster; ‘shant ‘ for sanct, and even ‘Skanonry’ for Canonry, the place where Canons resided. There is a further indication that “sepel” a chapel, was used by the Celts long before its application in the tenth century to extra apses The name goes back to the period of the true capella, that is, little capa or covering. The true ‘chaplain’ was the minister who dispensed the sacraments under the capella, which was an extemporized canopy of thatch-work raised over the held Communion-table of a minister accompany-
ing the Christian legions of the Emperor, or of a pioneer missionary sealing his converts.

As Ailred, with the Old Life before him, states that S.Ninian in his northern mission through Pictland joined his converts ‘to the body of Believers, by faith, by confession, and by the Sacraments, ‘ the Capella would be a feature of his field-services ; and it is only natural that the dry-stone building with heather-thatched roof which succeeded it as a permanent shelter for the Holy Table, should continue to possess the name Sepel, Capella, or Chapel. In the early Celtic Church ‘Capella’ ‘and ‘Casula’ became interchangeable names, apparently because of the thatch-work covering common to both;  for, of course, while the Casula had walls, the early Capella was supported on poles.

Disert is from the Latin deserta, waste-places; but the meaning was enlarged. There is a recorded Church of S. Ninian at ‘Disert’ in Moray, believed  to be at Dyke. The place is no longer known by its first name. Disert, originally, meant any solitary place where the cleric might retire for a short time from the community for meditation and devotion. S. Martin had his Casa some miles away from Poictiers; and his cave on the Cher, well outside Tours; S. Ninian had his cave on the seashore some distance from the “Magnum Monasterium” at Candida Casa.  This usage was even applied to the Cuculla or Hooded Garment which covered the Cleric. Sometimes it was called Capa, sometimes Casula. The hood of the Capa was the only head-covering of the Celtic Clerics; and it was used only in cold or storm. Those who seek an explanation of the unexplained word Cap should note this. Those, also, who wish a further example of how initial C was avoided in Pictland, should note the word ‘ Hap’ still applied there to any garment like the ancient Capa or Cuculla which was a wrap for the day and a blanket for the night.

S. Servanus had his cave at Dysart in Fife; S. Kentigern retired ‘ad deserta loca” where his dwelling was a cave; S. Finbar and S. Comgall had retreats in the ‘Holy Wood’; S. Cainnech had a solitude on an island in a loch. In these solitary places these leaders of men meditated on God and rejoiced in Nature. They made friends with the wild creatures around them; the wild swans came to S. Comgall at his call; S. Kentigern had a wolf and a stag for companions; and S.Cainnech was followed by a hind.  n their monastic organizations the Picts and Britons left room for the anchoret as well as the cenobite. The Irish Christians at a later period recognized Diserts especially intended for men who had no external interests, religious or otherwise,who had imprisoned themselves ar Dia, ‘ for God,’ that is, for continued devotional exercises. The Irish also, in the late period, used Dithreabh, Wilderness, for Disert. Disert is still in use in Pictland, but only in secular place-names.

Bachall (Brit. bagl) from Latin baculum, was the pastoral staff of an Ab or bishop. When sent by a messenger who was the bearer of a verbal order from the Ab; the staff was a sign that the order had been authorized. The pastoral staves of SS. Moluag and Fillan are still preserved. The staff of S. Donnan the Great vanished at Auchterless Church at the Reformation. Certain lands at Kilmun went with the custody of S. Mund’s staff; and the property called ‘ Bachul’ in Lismore is still held by the hereditary keepers of S.Moluag’s staff. After the period of the Celtic Church the Bachalls of the saints were venerated as relics, used in healing the sick, and, to bring victory, were carried in front of the fighting-men as they marched into battle, which explains why the ‘Bachul’ of S. Moluag was in the custody of the standard-bearer of the lords of Lorn.

Cathair is a name associated with the sites of many cities and muinntirs in the territories of the Britons and Picts. Etymologists insist that it represents two words (i) Cathair (Brit. Caer, Latin Castrum), a fort; seen in ‘Caerleon,’ Fortified camp of the Legions; and in “CaerPheris”the thirteenth -century Dun-Fres (Dumfries), Fort of the Frisians. (2) Cathair ( Welsh Cadair, Latin Cathedra), a chair, particularly a bishop’s Cathedra or Chair. If the etymologists are right; mediaeval Latin translators of Celtic documents would be wrong ; because they call early monastic settlements ‘cities,’ not seats, and indicate, what is correct, that as a rule they were fortified. ‘Car-Budde’ near Forfar, for example, is known to be ‘Castrum Boethii,’ *Fort of S. Buidhe; not Chair of S. Buidhe. It was a gift from Nectan, the Sovereign of Pictland. Joceline writes ‘ad Cathures ‘ in the sense of ‘ad castra,’ that is, to the place that became known as the camp of S. Kentigern’s community, the first name of the city of Glasgow.

On the other hand, there are places in Pictland connected with the early Celtic missionaries called ‘Suidhe,’ a seat, and an alternative name among the people is ‘Cathair’ The Suidhe- Donnan in Sutherland, for example, is a deeply concave rock, associated with the fieldpreaching of S. Donnan the Great. Apart from the fact that it was one of S. Donnan’s preaching-places ; the tradition is that at the Suidhe Donnan he ‘judged ‘ the people. In Ireland the Suidhe is frequently associated with some Brehon or Lawgiver. It is also called “Cathair” and it is in a protected position. These stones called Cathair or Suidhe are not all associated with saints, the best known is the Lia Fail now in Westminster. ‘Cathair,’ if equivalent to Suidhe, appears in Pictland to have the simple sense of the original Greek kathédra, a seat. There seems, however, to have been but one word ‘ Cathair’ which in course of time took a secondary meaning, designating not the fort but the seat protected by the fort. In neither sense was ‘Cathair’ an episcopal word. It was used in Pictland centuries before the introduction of the monarchic or diocesan bishop with his official ‘cathedra’ It was not the Chair of the bishop, but the Chair of the Ab which was the seat of authority in Pictland for many long centuries. The writers who interpreted Cathair, when linked to a saint’s name, as referring to his ‘city’ rather than to an episcopal chair were conforming to historical truth.

Bangor. In Pictland this name takes the forms Bangor, Banchory, Banagher. Among the Britons are ‘Bangor Padarn”* ‘Bangor y Ty Gwyn ar Dav’ and many others. Among the Irish are The ‘Bangor  of S. Comgall, ‘Lis-Banagher” and Church of ‘Ross Bennchuir,’ besides many others. One Irish writer refers to ‘Benncair Britonum,’that is, Bangor of the Britons. Also, among the Britons were the famous ‘Cor Tewdws” destroyed in the fifth century during a raid from the Irish coast and restored by S.Illtyd (died A. D. 512.) and, besides others, ‘Cor Tathan which originated in the beginning of the sixth century, and sometimes called Bangor Tathan.^ Associated with many of the Bangors among the Britons were the houses bearing the name ‘Ty Gwyn,’ that is, White House, a name already noticed at S. Ninian’s Candida Casa, Whithorn.

Legends have been invented, and etymological analyses applied to explain ‘Bangor ‘as a topographical name. The results have been amazing. The name has been discussedat length in this work in Connection with S. Comgall’s labours. It is sufficient to state here that ‘ Bangor ‘ was the name of an organization or institution. All the features  of a ‘Bangor’ were present in S. Martin’s Magnum Monasterium, and in the daughter-house at * Padarn ap Pedredin. This place is now Llanpadarn Var in Cardiganshire.

Candida Casa, namely, the monastic community with means for training and discipline; a Church; Schools for the training of outsiders not intending the Church. Only in two features did the Bangors improve on S. Martin’s or S. Ninian’s establishments; the communities were more numerous, and the Laus perennis, the continuous course of Divine praise, was more perfectly celebrated by huge choirs, which were divided into large groups  who took regular turns of the duty and sang with a refinement not possible when S. Martin was organizing his choir out of the raw converts in Gaul. So far as dates can be compared, they are in favour of the view that the name ‘Bangor’ was carried from the Britons to Ireland along with the perfected organization of the Laus ferennis,which was a feature of S. Comgall’s Rangor,  by men educated among the Britons like S. Finian of Clonard and others who were Britons by birth as well as education. Columbanus also made it a feature of the daughter-house at Luxeuil.At Bangor Illtyd each group numbered one hundred, according to the Triads. Just as the monasticism of S. Martin in Gaul was for a long time regarded with disfavour by certain authorities in the Western Church, so in the Eastern Church the cenobiteswhogave themselves to the celebration of Lausperennis were regarded as a sect and were called ‘Acoimetae’ Their great centre in the East was at Constantinople, in the famous Studion founded c. A.D. 460.

The following names are Celtic, most of them are Pictish or Brito-Pictish.

Andat or Annat meant a Church whose staff ministered to outlying congregations,or a Church which provided ministerial supply to other smaller Churches when required. The word has been happily translated, Mother-Church. ‘Andat’ is still the name of the site of a Church at Methlick in Aberdeenshire founded by S. Ninian on his northern mission. The name alone indicates the antiquity of this place. ‘Andat’ and ‘Annat’ are found throughout Pictland, and mostly at sites dating from before the Roman Catholic period. In Ireland one oftheChurches*founded there by the earliest British missionaries was called ‘Ando6it.” Afters. 727, when veneration of ‘Relics’ began among the Irish Celts under Roman influence, the relics were enshrined at the Andat or Mother-Church. Relics were not venerated in the Church of Pictland until it had been overtaken by Roman influence in the eighth century. The original meaning of ‘Relig’ in Ireland was Cemetery.

Nemhidh is a name that came to be applied to a place rendered sacred by the existence of a Church or other sacred institution. It is, however, The Church of a certain Earnan regarded (c. 800) as one of S. Patrick’s disciples, a pre-Christian name, and is one of the oldest names in Pictland. It was originally applied to a sanctuary in a grove. The people pronounce it ‘Nevie and Navie. Professor Watson equates it with the Gaulish Nemeton, and quotes Zeuss, l de sacris silvarum quae nimidias vacant’* The Indo-European root of the word is seen in the name of the famous Nemivt the Alban mount in Italy, the ‘sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis or Diana of the wood.’ The wood where S. Comgall and S. Finbar had their ‘ retreats,’ now Holywood, was called ‘Nemus sacrum’ There is a parish Nevay in Forfarshire, and the name is frequent in Pictland.

Dair, genitive darach, means Oak. It is the original of the place-names Deer, Darra, and ‘Tear,’ the Caithness pronunciation of a Church founded from and named after Deer. Z^zV came to mean Oak-grove, as we know from the place where the Celtic fort of Derry originally stood. ‘Derteack 1 and ‘Deartaighe’ meant Oak-house, and also an oak-built prayer-house. Drostan, the anchoret of the heights of Brechin, was known as ‘Drostan Dairthaighe?\ that is, Drostan of the Oak-house cell.

Gomrie, Comrie, and in Ireland ‘Innis-Coimrighi! S. Maelrubha’s, Abercrossan (Applecross), is ‘Combrick* Maelrubha. Irish has also ‘Comairche! Modern Gaelic is Comraich. The Comraich was the defined area around the Church where the shedder-of-blood could claim the protection of the Church and fair trial. It was the Pictish ‘City of Refuge,’ and restricted the range of the blood-feud. If a refugee reached the comraich of a daughter-Church; he could claim the intervention of the Ab of the Mother-Church however distant he might be; and this ensured trial away from local prejudices. An Irish ruler’s son slew a man who had claimed sanctuary at the Church of one of S. Columba’s monks, for which act S. Columba organized armed hostility*against him. This was the battle of Cutl-Feadha, organized by S. Columba against Colman mac Diarmid because Cuimin, son of the latter, slew Baedan mac Ninnidh

Garth, seen in ‘Girth-Cross,’ Kingarth, and other names, is the Scandinavian rendering of Comraich. Garth originally meant an inclosure. ‘ Girth-cross ‘f is one of the Cross-marked stones that marked the boundaries of the Comraich.

Llan is a Britonic word. It originally meant a place marked off and inclosed, then it came to mean the fortified inclosure of the Church, and  as finally applied to the Church itself. Llan is seen in Lamlash, the Church of S. Mo-Lias; in Lumphanan (Llan-Fhinan) the Church of Finan;in Lhanbride, Church of Brite. This name has nothing to do with S. Brigit. The two latter names, referring to a certain Finan and a certain Brite”, are in the area of Pictland worked by the British missionaries. The first name, Lamlash, is in the old territory of the Britons.

Lis (Brittonic llys, Breton Us) also originally meant an inclosure with a rampart. It afterwards came to be applied to the Church- inclosure, and in modern times to a garden. In Ireland/^ means a fortification. The name is seen in S. Moluag’s ‘Lismore’ and in many minor places throughout Pictland. The ramparts of S. Donnan’s Us at the Church of Auchterless used to be visible. The fortifying ditch and wall can still be seen at some of the early Church-sites in Pictland where they have not been disturbed. The sites of the Churches founded by S. Ninian on his northern mission at Dunottar, Navidale, and Wick Head were on sea-washed cliffs protected on the land side by ditches or natural ravines and approachable only by narrow footways. S. Ninian’s ‘ Tempul’ in the Great Glen at Glenurquhart was inclosed in the ‘Lis-ant-Rinianl S. Ninian’s inclosure.

Dabhach seen in ‘Doch-Fin,’ S. Finbar’s Davach at Dornoch, and in ‘Doch-Moluag,’ S. Moluag’s Davach, was a measure of land in Pictland.Wherever it is used with a Celtic saint’s name it indicates the old benefices and endowments of the Pictish Church.

Examples of secular names drawn from Pictish speech are

Pit as a prefix. Originally it meant Portion or share. From ‘share of land,’ it came to mean homestead and town. Pen, Head. Seen in Caer-pen-tiilach now ‘ Kirkintilloch.’ Tulach is Gaelic duplicate oipen.Dol, in Pictland as in Britanny, is Flat-ground on a higher plane than the mackairor plain-land.Oykel and Ochil, High. The Pictish pronunciation of the original word is indicated in the xella’ of the early Greek geographers. Rhos is Moor. Pefr is Clear (applied to water) Preas (-fhreas) is Bush. Cardenn is a Thicket. Gwydd is a Wood, seen in ‘ Keith.’ Gwaneg is a Wave of sea or loch, seen in ‘ Fannich.’ Pawr (-fhawr) is Pasture, seen in Bal-four;. Dr. Macbain stated that Stokes, Zimmer, and Giiterbock regarded this word as an early borrowing from Latin. The early nomenclature of monasticism, with which the Celts of Gaul were familiar, was mostly fromGreek and slightly from Chaldaic and Coptic. The Latin Church was at first opposed to monasticism.

It is not clear how inital Latin C was articulated; but the Gaidhealic scribes reproduced as ‘ Circ ‘ and ‘ Ciric ‘ the names which in Pictland were pronounced ‘Grig,’ for example, ‘ ” Ecdes-Grig 1 in Kincardine; and ‘Me Giric ‘ and ‘ Mai- Girc ‘ in the Book of Deer.

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