Disclosing their Non-Aryan Racial Nature and Affinity
with Matriarchist Van, Wan or Fian "Dwarfs," and as Aborigines of
"The Picts, a mysterious race
whose origin no man knows."-Prof. R. S. RAIT, Hist. of
"No craft they knew
With woven brick or jointed beam to pile
The sunward porch; but in the dark earth burrowed
And housed, like tiny ants in sunless
caves." Prometheus Bound 1.
The mysterious Picts, whose origin and affinities have hitherto baffled all
enquiries, nevertheless require their racial relationship to the aborigines of
The "Picts" are not mentioned under that name by Caesar, Tacitus, Ptolemy or any other early Roman or Greek writer on Ancient Britain. This is presumably because, as we shall find, that that was not their proper name, but a nickname.
The "Picts" first appear in history under that name at the latter end of the third century A.D. as the chief inhabitants of Caledonia.2 They reappear in 360 A.D. as warlike barbarian
1 AEschylus, Prometheus Bound
ll. 456-459, translated by J. S. Blackie, 195.
2 The name first appears in 296 A.D. in the oration of Eumenius to the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus, which says: "the Caledonians and other Picts"-"Non dico Caledonum aliorumque Pictorum silvas at paludes, etc." (Latin panegyrics. Inc. Constantino Augusto, c.7.).
p.112: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
marauders in association with the Irish-Scots,1 breaking through
the Antonine Wall between the
1 The Scots as
"Scoti" first appear under that name in history (apart from the Early
British Chronicles) in 360 in the contemporary Roman history of the Roman
military officer Ammianus Marcellinus (Bk. 20, i 1), and they are associated
with the Picts in raiding the Roman province (see also Gildas c.19). From the
accounts of Claudian, the Briton monk Gildas (about 546) and Bede, these Scoti
were Irish-Scots who raided and returned to
2 "Cambries" is used by the contemporary historian Gildas the Younger as the title for the Briton
3 Thus Bede, B.H.E. 3, 4.
4 So numerous were the Picts in
p.113: SUDDEN DISAPPEARANCE OF "PICTS"
Then, in the middle of the ninth century A.D., with the final conquest of the "Northern Picts" in 850 by the Scot king Kenneth, son of Alpin, from Galloway, and his establishment as "King of the Scots "and his introduction of the name "Scot-land5 for North Briton," the "Picts" completely disappeared from history as suddenly as they first appeared. No historical trace of that race is to be found thereafter, notwithstanding that there is no evidence whatever of any exodus or any wholesale massacre of these people. 6
As a result presumably of this complete disappearance of
established himself there as "King of the Picts" (ib. clxxxvii); and St. Mungo or Kentigern of Glasgow (601 A.D.), the bishop of Strath-Clyde cleansed from idolatry "the home of the Picts which is now called Galwietha [i.e. Galloway] and its adjacent parts" (Kentigern's Life by Jocelyn of Furness.)
1 D.B.G. v, 14, 4-5.
2 Ib. v. 14, 2.
3 S.C.P., 123, 160, 298 etc.
4 Ib. xcviii v. 98.
5 Ib. 200, 299.
6 In one chronicle (Scala chronica) it is stated that in 850, at a conference at
p.114: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
this people, the name "Pict" has tended to become mythical; and the Picts are described in medieval and later folklore as malicious fairy dwarf folk, pigmies, pixies, fauns and elves; and significantly they are associated with the Irish fairies, the Fians, or Bans.
We are thus confronted by the questions: "Where did the Picts come from so suddenly?" and "Whither did they disappear just as suddenly?" Their sudden mysterious appearance and disappearance under the circumstances above noted suggested to me that both events were probably owing to a mere change in their tribal name as aborigines. And so it seems to prove.
"Pict" is an epithet, presumably a contemptuous nickname, applied to these people by outsiders, and never seems to have been used by these people themselves. It thus appears to be analogous to the terms "Greek" and "German" applied by the Romans to those two nations who never called themselves by these names. The term "Pict" appears to have been consciously used by the Romans (who are found to be the first users of it) in the sense of "painted" (pictus) with reference to the custom of these people to stain their skin blue with woad dye. In Scottish these people are called Peht,l in Anglo-Saxon Pihta, Pehta or Peohta,2 and in Norse Pett;3 and the Welsh bard Taliessin calls them Peith. These Norse and other forms, it will be noticed, contain no c, and are perhaps cognate with our English "petty," Welsh pitiw, and French petit, "small," to designate these people as dwarfish. And significantly it is seen from the map on p. 19 that the numerous Pictish villages in the neighbourhood of the Newton Stone and in the Don Valley, as similarly many towns over Britain generally, bear the prefix "Pit" or "Pet," presumably in the sense of Pict or the Anglo-Saxon "Pihta" or Scottish "Peht," to distinguish these native villages from the settlements of the Aryan rulers in the neighbourhood called "Cattie," "Cot-town," "Seati-ton," "Bourtie," &c. (See map).
1 J.S.D., 389, where also
Pechty, Peaght and Pegh.
2 B.A.S., 182, "Peohta" is form used by King Alfred in his translation of Bede's "Picti."
3 See below.
p.115: ORIGIN OF NAME "PICT"
The remoter origin of the Nordic name Pett or Peht or Pihta, which was presumably latinized by the Romans into "Pict," seems to me to be probably found in the Vit or Vet or Vitr1 title in the Gothic Eddas for a chief of a clan of the primitive "Blue Leg" dwarfs of Van and Vindia, who is mentioned alongside Baomburr (who was obviously, as we have seen, the eponym of the Irish aboriginal Fomors) V, B and P, being freely interchangeable dialectically.
[This "Vit" means literally "witted" or "wise,"- and is also used in a personal sense as "witch" or "wizard," with the variant of "Vitt," "Vitki," literally "witch," and meaning "witch-craft and charms";3 and in a contemptuous general sense as Vetta and Vaett "a wight" and secondarily as "naught" or "nothing" or "nobody"4 and thus "petty"; and as Vetti and "Pit-(lor)", it is a Norse nickname.5 It thus appears probable that "Pett" or "Pihta" or "Pict" are later dialectic forms of the epithet Vit, Vet, or Vetta or Vitki applied contemptuously by the Early Goths to a section of the dwarf "Blue Leg" ancestors of the Picts, and designated them as "The petty Witch Wights," that is, the Witch-ridden devotees of the cult of the Matriarch witch or wise woman.]
This early association of the Picts with "petty" and witches would now seem to explain why in modern folklore these dwarfish people are associated and identified with Fauns, Fians, Pixies and wicked Fairies-indeed the modern word "wicked" is derived from "Witch" and thus seen to have its origin in the Gothic Vithi, "the wicked witch" title of the Van ancestors of the Picts, a people who all along appear to have been devotees of the cult of the Serpent and its Matriarchist witches and their magic cauldron.
Indeed, this "Vit" epithet for the Picts, or "Pihtas" of the Anglo-Saxons, appears to find some confirmation from Caesar's journal. While Caesar nowhere calls any of the people of Britain "Pict," he, even when referring to the natives of Britain staining their skin for war, does not use the word pictus or "painted;" but uses inficiunt (i.e., infect or
1 Vit-r (in which the final r
is merely the Gothic nominative case-ending, in Volu-spa Edda (Codex Regius,
p.1, l. 25); and "Vetr of Vind's vale" in Vaf-thrudnis Mal Edda (Cod.
reg.p.15, ll. 20 and 22).
2 V.D., 713.
3 Ib. 713, 714.
4 Ib. 720.
5 Ib. 701, 477.
p.116: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
"tattoo"?). Yet curiously he is made to call the blue dye used for this purpose "Vitro," a word which is interpreted as "Woad" by classic scholars solely in translating this passage, though elsewhere in Latin it invariably means "glass."1 This suggests that there is some corruption in the copies of Caesar's manuscript here; and that "Vitro" of the text may perhaps have been intended by Caesar for the Gothic "Vitr" title for the "Blue-legged" dwarfs or the "Picts."
Another early form of this nickname of " Pict " for the aborigines
of Alban appears to me to be found in the title of "Ictis,"2
applied by the early Ionian navigator Pytheas to the tin-port of
The proper name for the "Picts," as used presumably by themselves in early times, was, I think, from a review of all the new available evidence, the title "Khal-dis" or Khal-tis,
1 Moreover, the scientific
name of the Woad plant is "Isatis tinctoria," and not Vitrum.
2 "Iktis" is the form of the name preserved by Diodorus Siculus (Bibl. Hist. v., 22); and it has been identified with the "Vectis" of Pliny, who, however, places it between South Britain and Ireland, whilst he confounds "Ictis" as "Mictis" apparently with Thule. For discussion on Ictis v. Vectis and "Mictis," see H.A.B., 499, etc. The initial V often tends to be lost or become merged with its following vowel in Greek, see later, so that "Ictis" may represent an earlier Vectis.
3 S.C.D. 57.
4 See Edda V.P., 2, 682.
5 Ammianus Marcellinus, 27, viii., 5.
p.117: PICTS AS CHALDEES OR CALED-ONS
i.e., "The Children of the River (Khal or Gully)."1
This title of "Khaldis" is applied to the aborigines of Van in
Now, this riverine title "Khal-dis" appears to be not only the
source of the ethnic name "Caled-on" but also the source of the
numerous ancient river-names in Britain called variously Clyde or Clotia,
Clwyd, Cald, Caldy, Calder and Chelt; and such names as the Chilt-ern Hills and
Chelten-ham near the old prehistoric dwellings at Gloster, as well as the title
of Columba's mission to the Pictish aborigines - "Culdee." This
application of the name "Caled-on" to the Picts is confirmed, as we
have seen, by the Roman reference to the Picts as "Caledons"; and it
is emphasized by the further Roman record that " he Picts are divided into
two nations, the Di-Caled-ones and the Vect-uriones,"2 in which
"Vect" appears to be cognate with "Pict." "Caled"
(or Caled-on ) thus seems to have been the early title used by the Picts for themselves;3
and, as we shall see in the next chapter, it is cognate through its original
"Khal-dis" or "Khal-tis" with "Chaldee," "
Identified in this way with the cave-dwelling, dwarfish, dark Vans or Wans and gipsy "Chals" of Van and Galatia in Asia Minor, whose prehistoric line of migration westwards overland to Western Europe and Britain has already been traced, the Picts also, who were also cave-dwellers, appear to have left traces of their "Pict" or "Pit" title in some places en route, as well as in Britain and Ireland, in addition to their Van name.
1 On this name, see before,
also next chapter.
2 A.M.H., 27, viii, 5.
3 Tacitus speaks of "the red hair and large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia" (Agricola II); but he is speaking not of aboriginal Caledons, but of the ruling race in Caledonia who were opposing Agricola, and who, we have seen, were Britons and Scots properly so-called.
p.118: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
[In Iberia (and the Picts, we shall see, were of the Iberian physical type) the Vett-ones inhabited in the Roman period the valley of the great Guadalquivir.1 Pictavia was the ancient name for Piccardy2, a division of Gaul stretching from Iberia northwards to Britanny, and it was inhabited by the Pictones; and its chief capital still bears the Pictish name of Poitiers which significantly is in the province of "Vienne", obviously a variant of Van or "Bian".
1 The ancient Baetis
2 "Piccard-ach" was an ancient name for the
3 A. W. Brown Archaeolog. Jour. 3-13, cited W.P.A., 180.
4 Petti-dale and Pett-water on border of Tingwall parish, and Petti-garth Fell, and at Fetlar is "The Finn's Dyke" (Finni-girt Dyke).
p.119: PICTS AS ABORIGINES OF ALBION
In Ireland, in an Irish epic tale of the first century A.D., Picts arc
located in Western Ulster.1 But in the earlier period of the Irish
legends the Picts are clearly, I think, the same primitive people who are
called "The tribe of Fidga,"2 of the plain of
"Fidga," a locality not yet located. These "Fidga" are
repeatedly mentioned as opposing the Sun-worshippers (i.e. the Aryan overlords),
and derived their origin from
This racial position for the Picts as the primitive pre-Aryan aborigines of
In physical type, the Picts, according to general tradition, were dark "Iberian," small-statured and even pygmy,7 more or less naked, with their skins "tinged with Caledonian or Pictish woad."8 They have been allied to the semi-Iberian Basques,9 whose language was radically non-Aryan, on
1 Tain bo Cualnge, J. Dunn,
1914, xvii, 375.
2 Tuath Fidga.
3 Book of
4 Rhind Lects, 1889; P.S.A.S. 1892, 305, etc.; Welsh People,1902, 13, etc.
5 H.A.B., 409g., etc.
6 This was inferred by him on the theory that the "Cruthni" designated Picts (Welsh People 1902, 13). But on the other hand he holds the opposite view that "Cruthni" was a Celtic spelling of "Priten" or "Briton," which name, he thinks, means "Cloth clad," to distinguish the Aryan Britons or "Pritens" from the non-Aryan aborigines or Picts, which mutually destroys his argument.
7 MacRitchie M.F.P., etc. He cites a fifteenth-century account of early pygmy Picts in Orkney, Monthly Rev. Jan. 1901, 141.
8 Wharton, on
9 R.R.E., 375.
p.120: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
account of the latter occupying the old Pictavia region on the border of
The early prehistoric Picts thus appear to have been the primitive aborigines of Albion in the late Old Stone Age and early Neolithic Age whose long-headed, narrow and low-browed skulls (see Fig. 22, p. 135) are mostly found in the lower strata of the ancient river-beds, and hence termed by Huxley "The River-bed" type. The peculiar, though unsuspected, literal appropriateness of this title will be obvious when we recall that these people seem to have actually called themselves "The Children of the River" (Khal-dis or "Caleds") presumably through their finding their primitive livelihood along the river-banks and river-beds.
This river-bed race of primitive dwarfish men was shown by Huxley to have been widely distributed in remote prehistoric times over the British Isles, from Cornwall to Caithness, and over Ireland, and also over the European continent from Basque and Iberia eastwards.
[He especially records it from the Trent Valley of Derbyshire, in the
Ledbury and Muskham skulls,2 in Anglesea, the
1 We have seen that the old
and existing cave-dwellings and subterranean burrows of the Vindia region west
of Van are of the same general characteristic prehistoric subterranean Picts'
Houses and "Weems" or cave-dwellers in Early Albion. Thus the name
"Pitten-weem" for a seaport on the
2 L.H.C., 120, etc.; 123, etc.
3 Ib. 123, 125, etc,
p.121: PICTS PREHISTORIC RIVER-BED TYPE
the Dravids or Doms-just as he had already found it in the dark
This widespread prevalence of the river-bed type of men in the Stone Age is confirmed and considerably extended backwards by Sir Arthur Keith in his classic "Antiquity of Man," recording mostly fresh discoveries and observations of his own. He establishes the fact that this type of river-bed skull existed over Britain as far back in the Old Stone Age as about 25,000 years ago, in the Langwith Cave in Derbyshire;2 and at a somewhat later period in the Oban Cave in Scotland with Azilian (or Mentone) culture of the Old Stone Age, and at Aberavon, east of Swansea, and in Kent's Cavern at Torquay. In the Neolithic age of about eight thousand years ago it is found in the Tilbury man of the Thames Valley, who resembled the race of equal age found at Vend-rest (a name suggestive of the "Vend" title of the Picts), about sixty miles east of Paris. It is also found in the same Neolithic Period in the great megalithic tomb at Coldrum in the Medway Valley of the Kent Downs, near the famous Kit's Coty cromlech, where these long-headed people were still of relatively small stature-the men averaging 5 feet 4 inches and the women 5 feet, that is about 3 inches below the modern British average, though the brain had now reached practically the modern standard with a skull width of 77.9 per cent. of the length.3 And significantly the large Neolithic village of pit-dwellings, with rude pottery and finely worked flint implements in the neighbourhood at "Ight-ham," seems to preserve in the latter name "Ight-ham" or "Hamlet of the Ight," the later shortened title of the Picts, in series with the southern dialectic form of Pliny's "Vectis" for the Isle of "Wight," and "Ictis," the old Irish name for the English Channel, and the Eddic Veig, Vige, Vit and Vikti forms of the eponym for "Pict."4 This modern name thus appears to preserve the old designation of that
1 L.H.C., 130.
2 K.A.M., 89, etc.
3 K.A.M., 22.
4 See before.
p.122: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
ancient Neolithic village of pit-dwellers as "Hamlet of the Picts."1
At Pitchley also, in Northamptonshire, an ancient village with a church building of the twelfth century, which is called in Domesday Book "Pihtes-lea" and "Picts-lei"-names clearly designating it as "The Lea of the Picts"-the skulls unearthed from the numerous old stone-cists of a prehistoric cemetery under the church, and under the early Saxon graves, with no trace of metals and presumably of late Neolithic Age, appear to be of this river-bed type. One of the typical skulls is described as "having the peculiar lengthy form, the prominent cheek-bones and the remarkable narrowness of the forehead which characterize the 'Celtic' races"2 (see Fig. 22, p. 135).
The Mother-Right, or Matri-linear form of succession through the mother and not through the father, which was prevalent amongst the later historical Picts down to the ninth century, when they suddenly disappear from history, is now explicable
1 Another skeleton, found in
a "circumscribed" cist of Neolithic age at Maidstone, is described by
B. Poste as having the skull "very narrow in the front part and also in
the forehead," but stature about five feet seven. - Jour. Archaeol.
Assoc., iv, 65, cited W.P.A., 182.
2 A.W. Brown in Archaeol. Jour. iii, 113, cited W.P.A., 180-1.
3 This chronicle states that a Scot from
p.123: PICTS AS ABORIGINES OF IRELAND
by the Matriarchist Van origin of this race. The Pictish Chronicles, both of
the Irish-Scots and the Picts of Scotland, make repeated and pointed reference
to this custom and it is borne out by the lists of the Pictish kings. These
show that the Pictish king was not succeeded by his own son, but by his
brother, the next son of his mother, or by his sister's son; and many of the kings
appear to be named after their mother, or specified as the son of their mother.
The Picts in Scotland, probably to excuse themselves in the eyes of the Scots
and Britons who were of the Aryan patrilinear society, state in their
Chronicles that this custom was imposed on them by "the women of
Ireland," with whom they appear to have kept up some kindred
intermarriage. But it is significant that these aboriginal women of
"They imposed oaths on them
By the stars, by the earth,
That from the nobility of the Mother
Should always be the right of reigning."2
It was probably Part-olon's attempts to abolish this Matriarchist
promiscuity and mother-right by the introduction of the Aryan custom of
marriage with patrilinear succession, which is referred to in the Pictish
Chronicles as one of the great offences of "Cruithne" (i.e. Pruthne
or Part-olon), that he "took their women from them."3
Another vestige of this ancient matriarchy in
It was this Pictish promiscuity presumably, regarding which
1 Books of Ballymote and
Lecan, S.C.P., 39.
2 Ib. S.C.P. 40.
3 Book of Lecan, S.C.P., 47.
4 Cf. Dunn Tain bo Cual. (xviii).
p.124: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS
Caesar makes his remarkable statement that "the inland non-agricultural people" who were clad in skins and stained their skins blue (i.e., obviously the Picts): "by tens or twelves together have wives in common, and the offspring is credited to him who first had the mother as a virgin."1 This is believed by some writers to be a misunderstanding by Caesar. And in view of the briefness of his visit, confined to only a few months' strenuous campaigning in the south-east corner of England, in a foreign country, and dependent on interpreters, it seems probable that it is one of his several mistaken statements,2 and that the Pictish custom in question was not polyandry, but matriarchy.
The Serpent-worship of the Picts also, which was so universal, as seen
everywhere on the prehistoric monuments in Pictlands, and figuring freely also
on the early Christian monuments and "Celtic" crosses of the Picts,
is now explained by the matriarchist Van or Fen origin of this race. We have
seen the prominence of the Serpent-cult Witch's Bowl or Cauldron amongst the
Feins of prehistoric Ireland, and the Serpent guardians there of the Tribe of
the "Fidga," i.e., the Picts, the Serpent-cult enmity against the
Sun-worshipping heroes Diarmait and Conn of the Irish-Scots, and the widespread
carving of the Serpent and its coiled symbols on the prehistoric stone
monuments in Ireland, and how St Patrick the Scot in the fifth century A. D.
traditionally banished the Serpent-cult from Ireland and demolished the chief
Matriarchist idol. In
1 D.B.G., v, 5. Cf. H.A.B.,
2 E.g., His statement that the Pine and Beech do not grow in
p.125: PICTS ARRIVE
It thus transpires by the new evidence that the "Picts" were the
primitive small-statured prehistoric aborigines of
Having thus elicited the apparent solution to the long outstanding problem
of "Who are the Picts"- the primitive non-Aryan race over which the
Aryan Part-olon and his successors, the "Brude," "Bret," or
Briton kings ruled in
1 Cf. L.H.C., 49.
2 Ib. 30.
p.126: PHOENICIAN ORIGIN OF BRITONS & SCOTS