Project Description

The Meeting of People

There is no written evidence to tell us what the people living in Caledonia made of the Roman arrival. How these cultures interacted with each other, other than in reported invasions and warfare, are still a mystery. Roman objects have been found across Scotland, likely traded and passed on from person to person. It is intriguing to think what the people of the Selgovae thought about the Romans at Trimontium.

Cassius Dio, the Roman historian who lived through the invasion by Septimius Severus records an exchange between the wife of a Caledonian Chief and the wife of the Emperor in his histories, which maybe are the first recorded words attributed to someone from Caledonia (Scotland) as follows:

We fulfil the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest

Scotland as a unified nation with a common identity would not emerge until long after the Romans had left Britain. The Picts emerged as a confederation of tribes north of the Clyde during the Roman period (the name for the Picts is first referenced by the Romans in 297AD) and in the beginning, they are thought to have had largely peaceful relationship with their Roman neighbours. We do not know what name the Picts used for themselves as the word Pict was a Roman one from the word Picti meaning painted and likely referring the tattoos that the Picts were known for.

Discover Roman Scotland

The Antonine Wall

The Meeting of People

Septimius Severus

Roman Road Network

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