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This article is about Caledonia as the Latin name for Scotland. For other uses, see Caledonia (disambiguation).
Personification of Caledonia by the Victorian artist William Hole

Caledonia is the Latin name given by the Romans to the land in today's Scotland north of their province of Britannia, beyond the frontier of their empire. The etymology of the name is probably from a P-Celtic source. Its modern usage is as a romantic or poetic name for Scotland as a whole, comparable with Hibernia for Ireland and Britannia for the whole of Britain.

Original usage[edit]

The original use of the name, by Tacitus, Ptolemy, Lucan and Pliny the Elder, referred to the area (or parts of the area) later known as Pictavia or Pictland north of Hadrian's Wall in today's Scotland.[1] The name may be related to that of a large central Pictish tribe, the Caledonii, one amongst several in the area and perhaps the dominant tribe, which would explain the binomial Caledonia/Caledonii.

The name of the Caledonians may be found in toponymy, such as Dùn Chailleann, the Scottish Gaelic word for the town of Dunkeld meaning "fort of the Caledonii", and possibly in that of the mountain Sìdh Chailleann, the "fairy hill of the Caledonians".[2][3]

The north-west ridge of Schiehallion - the "fairy hill of the Caledonians"

According to Historia Brittonum the site of the seventh battle of the mythical Arthur was a forest in what is now Scotland, called Coit Celidon in early Welsh.[4][5] Traces of such mythology have endured until today in Midlothian: near the town centre of Edinburgh stands an old volcanic mountain called Arthur's Seat.

Etymology[edit]

According to Zimmer (2006), Caledonia is derived from the tribal name Caledones (or Calīdones), which he etymologizes as "'possessing hard feet', alluding to standfastness or endurance", from the Proto-Celtic roots *kal- "hard" and *φēdo- "foot".[6] Similarly, Moffat (2005) suggests the name is related to the Welsh word caled, "hard", which could refer to the rocky land or the hardiness of the people.[7] Keay and Keay (1994) state that the word is "apparently pre-Celtic".[8]

Location[edit]

The exact location of what the Romans called Caledonia in the early stages of Britannia is uncertain, and the boundaries are unlikely to have been fixed until the building of Hadrian's Wall. From then onwards, Caledonia stood to the north of the wall, and to the south was the Roman province of Britannia (consisting of most of what is now England and Wales).[note 1] During the brief Roman military incursions into central and northern Scotland,[note 2] the Scottish Lowlands were indeed absorbed into the province of Britannia, and the name was also used by the Romans, prior to their conquest of the southern and central parts of the island, to refer to the whole island of Great Britain. Once the Romans had built a second wall further to the north (the Antonine Wall) and their garrisons advanced north likewise, the developing Roman-Britons south of the wall had trade relations with the Picts north of the wall, as testified by archaeological evidence, much of it available at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Modern usage[edit]

The modern use of "Caledonia" in English and Scots is either as a historical description of northern Britain during the Roman era or as a romantic or poetic name for Scotland as a whole.[5][8]

The name has been widely used by organisations and commercial entities. Notable examples include Glasgow Caledonian University, ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, and the now-defunct British Caledonian airline. The Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight train service from London to Scottish destinations operated by First ScotRail. In music, "Caledonia" is a popular folk ballad written by Dougie MacLean in 1977 and published in 1979 on an album of the same name; it has since been covered by various other artists, including Amy Macdonald.[9][10] The web series Caledonia and associated novel is a supernatural police drama that takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.[11][12]

Ptolemy's account also referred to the Caledonia Silva, an idea still recalled in the modern expression "Caledonian Forest", although the woods are much reduced in size since Roman times.[13][note 3]

Some scholars point out that the name "Scotland" is ultimately derived from Scotia, a Latin term first used for Ireland (also called Hibernia by the Romans) and later for Scotland, the Scoti peoples having originated in Ireland and resettled in Scotland.[note 4] Another, post-conquest, Roman name for the island of Great Britain was Albion, which is cognate with the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland: Alba.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Haverfield (1911, p. 987) in Encyclopædia Britannica, though, states that "a tribe of Caledones" are "named by the geographer Ptolemy as living within boundaries which are now unascertainable".
  2. ^ Hanson (2003, p. 198) states that the military presence of Rome lasted for little more than 40 years for most of Scotland and only as much as 80 years in total anywhere. At no time was even half of Scotland's land mass under Roman control.
  3. ^ The extent of the reduction is a matter of debate. This association with a Silva (literally the flora) reinforces the idea that Caledonia was a forest or forested area named after the Caledonii, or that the people were named after the woods in which they dwelt.
  4. ^ Bede used a Latin form of the word Scots as the name of the Gaels of Dál Riata. (Bede, the Venerable Saint 1999, p. 386)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moffat 2005, pp. 21-22.
  2. ^ Bennet 1985, p. 26.
  3. ^ Watson 2004, p. 21.
  4. ^ Lacy, Ashe & Mancoff 1997, p. 298.
  5. ^ a b Koch 2006, p. 332.
  6. ^ Zimmer 2006, pp. 163-167.
  7. ^ Moffat 2005, p. 22.
  8. ^ a b Keay & Keay 1994, p. 123.
  9. ^ "Rock and roll years: the 1970s". The Scotsman. 16 October 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Biography". Dougiemaclean.com. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  11. ^ Beacom, Brian (14 January 2014). "New detective drama set to hit our screens". Evening Times. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Marshall, Andrew (26 August 2014). "Caledonia". Starburst. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Smout, MacDonald & Watson 2007, pp. 20-25.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonia — Please support Wikipedia.
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1099104 news items

Washington Times

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 22:03:45 -0700

Jennifer Blau and Rick Struzynski of the town of Caledonia harvested their first major crop of garlic this month — all of it organic, all of it GMO (genetically modified organism) free. If you require proof they're serious about garlic, just know they ...

Marion Star

Marion Star
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:30:00 -0700

MARION – Troopers from the Marion post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating an injury crash that occurred about 7:25 a.m. Tuesday on Ohio 309 at Main Street in Caledonia, a news release states. Maureen E. Welch, 71, of Caledonia, was ...
 
Post-Bulletin
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:03:45 -0700

The July 14 referendum passed 261-242, approving a plan to allocate up to $1 million to entirely rebuild the 60-year-old Caledonia pool, according to City Clerk Ted Schoonover. That vote was held six months after a $1.9 million pool referendum suffered ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:33:28 -0700

A new electoral law in New Caledonia mandating that only indigenous Kanaks and persons enrolled in 1998 will be automatically eligible to vote in the 2018 independence referendum is threatening to destabilize the nation's fragile political process.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Sat, 11 Jul 2015 13:12:39 -0700

A motorcyclist took a bear of a fall after being thrown from his ride by a black bear crossing the road in Caledonia, Livingston County, Saturday. "The motorcyclist was just minding his business, going down the road, and (the bear) ran right into the ...

fox6now.com

fox6now.com
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:10:37 -0700

CALEDONIACaledonia police are seeking the suspect responsible for a carjacking that occurred on Tuesday evening, July 21st. It happened shortly before 7:00 p.m. — just north of Caddy Lane at the Root River Bridge in Caledonia. Police say a ...

fox6now.com

fox6now.com
Sun, 12 Jul 2015 20:11:28 -0700

CALEDONIA — In April, voters in Caledonia passed a referendum indicating they want to separate from the Racine Unified School District and create their own school district. The process could take years. For example, in the Green Bay area, it took a ...

Journal Times

Journal Times
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:56:15 -0700

CALEDONIA - Two women reportedly used stolen credit card information to purchase gift cards at Walgreens and Speedway. One woman is described as between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing150 to 180 pounds, with a large chest tattoo.
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