Lloyd & Jenny Laing,
The Picts & the Scots
(Sutton, 2002)

The Picts & the Scots, by Lloyd and Jenny Laing, is an excellent, up-to-date work on two peoples of ancient Scotland. For many centuries the Picts have remained shrouded in myth and legend since the only written records -- their Pictish stones -- have been undecipherable.

In 1958, with the discovery of the St. Ninan's Isle Treasure, a new focus has been applied to interpreting what we know. The knowledge we have of the Picts comes mostly from records by people viewing the Pictish nation from the outside, such as the Romans, which often ended in misunderstandings, if not exaggeration and possibly slander.

In this highly readable account, the Laings present the latest archaeological discoveries and discuss how these two different races co-existed and ultimately merged into a nation of one through the slaughter of the Pict royal houses. Again, that is the only slight aggravation (as with nearly all books on this Picts), the Laings skip over the importance of this betrayal by Kenneth MacAlpin and how it was the foundation of the Scottish Highlands.

Otherwise, this is an excellent work full of photographs, with recommended readings, and is a must for anyone wanting to more about the two races that formed the spine of Scotland.

- Rambles
written by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
published 15 February 2003

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