Pictish Readings




General Introductions to the Picts

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Picts Gaels and Scots
Foster, Sally M. 1996 Historic Scotland Series, Batsford ISBN 0 7134 7486 6
An all round introduction to Dark Age Scotland.

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The Picts and the Scots
Laing, Lloyd R. and Laing, Jennifer 1993 Alan Sutton, Stroud.
An introductory overview of the Picts and the Scots from a fairly traditional perspective covering as many aspects as possible.

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Picts
Ritchie, Anna 1989 HMSO, Edinburgh
Popular guide to the Picts and their stones, using examples (mainly) from stones and other objects in State care. Well illustrated with an abundance of colour photographs.

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Scotland BC
Ritchie, Anna 1988 HMSO, Edinburgh
An introductioon to the prehistoric houses, tombs, ceremonial monuments and fortifications in the care of the Scottish Ministers.

Reference Works

The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland
Anderson, Joseph & Allen, J Romilly. 1903. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
The major reference work, then and now. A great masterpiece in its time only outdated by new discoveries in the 20th century. A massive tomb still invaluable today. Reprinted as a facsimile edition (2 volumes) by Pinkfoot Press, Balgavies, Angus.

A Pictish Panorama: The Story of the Picts and a Pictish Bibliography
Nicoll, Eric H. (Ed), 1995 Pinkfoot Press, Balgavies, Angus ISBN 1 874012105
Introductory essays on the Picts and an extensive annotated bibliography on the Picts compiled by J.R. Burt. Worth a copy for the bibliography which runs to over 800 items listed by author and subject, an invaluable reference tool.

Topical Works

Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland
Anderson, Marjorie O. 1973 Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh & London
Detailed analysis of Annals, Regnal Lists, and other sources from the sixth to ninth centuries. A major work on kingship in Early Scotland.

Surviving in symbols: a visit to the Pictish nation
Carver, M. (1999)

Dark Age Sculpture
Close-Brooks, Joanna & Stevenson, Robert B.K. 1982 HMSO (Her Majesty's Stationary Office)
National Museum of Antiquaries publication. Basic introduction with examples from the national collection and elsewhere.

The Chronology of the Early Christian Monuments of Scotland
Curle, Cecil L. (C.L. Mowbray). 1940 PSAS (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries for Scotland)
An immensely important paper regarding the classification and an attempt to establish a chronology of the Pictish stones. Well illustrated with B/W plates.

The Picts
Henderson, Isabel M. 1967 Thames & Hudson, London
Important art-historian's view of the Picts with a detailed analysis of the art on the sculptured stones. A useful reference work but out of print (still reasonably available in Scotland 2nd hand - expect to pay 20-25 for a copy)

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Pictish Symbol Stones: An Illustrated Gazetteer
Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, 1999
A revised and expanded version of Pictish Symbol Stones: a Handlist 1994. An introduction to the subject containing details of stones recorded so far and a bibliography giving additional sources for study.

The Picts - A New Look at Old Problems
Small, Alan (Ed) Dundee, 1987
Papers from a conference held in Dundee in 1985. Place-names, forts, settlements, and stones are all discussed.

Warlords and Holy Men - Scotland AD 80-1000
Smyth, Alfred P. Edinburgh University Press
A history of early Scotland. Argues for existance of an aristocratic warrior elite in the area that was to become Pictland in the 1st to 2nd century AD. Also suggests that Pictish kingship rotated between several tribal dynasties.

The animal art of the Scottish Iron Age and its origins
Thomas, A. Charles 1961 Archaeology Journal 118 (1961) 14-64

The interpretation of Pictish Symbols
Thomas, A. Charles 1963 Archaeology Journal 120 (1963) 31-97

The Problem of the Picts
Wainwright, Frederick T. (ed) Edinburgh 1955
Interesting collection of detailed and scholarly papers about the Picts, ranging from settlement, language and place-names to Art.

The History of the Celtic Place-names of Scotland
Watson, W.J. Edinburgh & London (Reprinted as a facsimile edition - paperback - 1993 Birlinn, Edinburgh)
A history of early Scotland. Argues for existance of an aristocratic warrior elite in the area that was to become Pictland in the 1st to 2nd century AD. Also suggests that Pictish kingship rotated between several tribal dynasties.

Studies in Anthropology

Reconnaissance excavations'3 Dundurn
Alcock, L, Alcock, E. A., and Driscoll, S., 1989 PSAS (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries for Scotland), 119, 189-226.

Language in Pictland
Forsyth, K. 1997

Pictish Studies BAR, 125
Friell, J.G.P. & Watson, W.G. eds.

Foul Hordes
Ralston, I.B.M. & Inglis, J.C., 1984

The Worm, the Germ and the Thorn - Pictish homes
Ralston, I in ed. Henry, D.,1997 pp 18-34

Field Guides

The Pictish Trail - A Travellers Guide to the Old Pictish Kingdoms
Jackson, Anthony 1989 The Orkney Press
Guide with selected routes to follow to visit the Pictish stones in museums and in the field. Contains some controversial theories that symbols depict marriage alliances.

Field Guide to the Pictish Symbol Stones
Mack, Alastair 1997 Pinkfoot Press, Balgavies, Angus.
Probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date field guide to the Pictish stones. A must for anyone wishing to visit the symbol stones, also includes some of the stones in 'Private' ownership.

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