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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]

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.[11][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. (McClure & Collins 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. ^ 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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Dougie MacLean - Caledonia

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Celtic Thunder - Caledonia

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Dougie Maclean & Guests - Caledonia

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Boogie Song "Caledonia"

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Scottish and proud ;) Definitely one of my favourite songs. My Channels! http://www.youtube.com/caitlinbellvlogs http://www.twitter.com/caitlinbell8 http://w...

Caledonia by Eileen Laverty

Caledonia is a modern Scottish folk ballad written by Dougie MacLean. It is sung here by a great female vocalist Eileen Laverty.

Dolores Keane - Caledonia (With On-Screen Lyrics)

Beautiful version of this Scottish love song by Irish singer Dolores Keane.

Caledonia - Dougie MacLean - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

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46300 news items

 
Marion Star
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

Paul E. Kitts, 59, of Caledonia, is believed to be the victim of a rollover crash north of Martel according to the Franklin County Coroner's Office. Officials suspected Kitts was the victim since the Aug. 2 crash. Neither Marion County Coroner Marc ...
 
WZZM
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:26:28 -0700

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County authorities may be close to capturing suspects responsible for up to a dozen home burglaries in Caledonia Township. The resident in a house burglars were apparently planning to break into surprised ...
 
Coon Rapids ECM Publishers
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:03:45 -0700

During the July school board meeting, it was proposed that the district should consider a “motto” that captures the spirit of what Caledonia schools represents. “You see it in a lot of organizations,” superintendent Ben Barton said. “We've done a lot ...
 
Journal Times
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:57:24 -0700

The board approved an amendment to its sewer service agreement with Mount Pleasant. The amendment specifies which municipality will be responsible for paying the costs to extend sewer lines along Highway V from Highway 20 to the Caledonia border.
 
WOODTV.com
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:07:42 -0700

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – The Kent County Sheriff's Department is alerting the public after four homes in Caledonia were broken into on Wednesday. The homes, located in the 6300 block of 76th Street SE, the 7600 and 9000 block of 84th ...
 
WXOW.com
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

The Warriors will be back in full force this season anxious to reclaim their spot among Minnesota's elite. Caledonia had their run of three straight state titles come to an end last season. They have 8 starters back from a team that went 10-1 and ...
 
Journal Times
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 20:11:15 -0700

CALEDONIA — The two church festivals were roughly 7 miles apart as the crow flies, but offered quite a contrast this weekend. But rather than competition, the festivals at St. Rita's Parish, 4339 Douglas Ave., and St. Louis Parish, 13207 Highway G ...
 
La Crosse Tribune
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:16:14 -0700

CALEDONIA, Minn. – It has been 10 years since Mary Hauser, her daughter Sara Cordes and their husbands, Jake Hauser and Eric “Buck” Cordes, bought the house at 219 N. Kingston St., just north of downtown Caledonia. They opened the gift shop part of ...
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