IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1107: 'Foul Hordes': The Migration of Ideas and People in Pictland and Beyond

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:University of Edinburgh
Organiser:Bethan Morris, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Moderator/Chair:James E. Fraser, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Paper 1107-a'Go West, Young Urguist': Assessing the Pictish Presence in Ireland
(Language: English)
Oisín Plumb, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Celtic
Paper 1107-bFoul Iconography: Religious Figures on Stone Sculpture
(Language: English)
Tasha Gefreh, School of Art, Culture & Environment, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Art History - Sculpture, Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life
Paper 1107-cReading the Stones: Literacy, Symbols, and Monumentality in Pictland and Beyond
(Language: English)
Bethan Morris, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites, Literacy and Orality
Abstract

The most visible legacy of Gildas’s ‘foul hordes’ of Picts is their unique symbols. These have held an irresistible enticement for scholars for hundreds of years, leading to descriptions of the Picts as enigmatic, mysterious, and ‘quite the darkest people in Dark Age Scotland’. The lack of known surviving Pictish documentary sources and the eventual eclipse of the Pictish language by Gaelic have created a vacuum into which imaginative historians could pour speculation about the Picts. However, this vacuum of imagination is slowly shrinking as art-historians, archaeologists, historians, and linguists determinedly piece together the evidence from northern Britain and beyond.