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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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339145 videos foundNext > 

Dougie MacLean - Caledonia

Celtic Woman - Caledonia

Lisa Kelly sings "Caledonia" at the Slane Castle, Ireland.

Celtic Thunder - Caledonia

From: Celtic Thunder - "The Show". If you would like to pick up a copy today, please visit our Official Store on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Thunder/...

Dougie Maclean & Guests - Caledonia

Barbara Dickson, Rab Noakes, Martha Wainwright, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eddi Reader, Ralph McTell, Karine Polwart, Kris Drever, Dick Gaughan, Phil Cunningham,...

Caitlin Bell - Caledonia (Cover) - Dougie McLean

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

Boogie Song "Caledonia"

Caledonia - 2014 - The Libations

This stunning new version of 'Caledonia' was arranged and recorded one day in late June 2014. This video captures the magic. Watch it soar from 3 mins onward...

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.

Caledonia - Dougie MacLean - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

Dolores Keane - Caledonia (With On-Screen Lyrics)

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

339145 videos foundNext > 

54931 news items

 
Journal Times
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:18:16 -0700

Caledonia police already are being proactive with drug matters, Warren said. For example, Officer Robert Lyle completed a 144-hour course on drug recognition. And while that has helped Caledonia officers, Warren said Lyle also wants to use information ...
 
Journal Times
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:59:02 -0700

Citing current state law that stacks the odds against a community trying to break away from a larger district, activists in Caledonia are lobbying state legislators to amend the law, according to Brian Dey, a former Unified School Board member leading ...
 
La Crosse Tribune
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:22:30 -0700

HARMONY, Minn. — Senior Andy Bauer passed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Caledonia High School football team to a 40-0 SFA-Blue Division victory over Fillmore Central Saturday. Bauer threw two touchdown passes to Colton Lampert, ...
 
MLive.com
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:52:30 -0700

The challenge for Burrill and the Fighting Scots is competing in the ultra-tough OK White Conference, which features four teams – Caledonia, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Grand Rapids Christian – that have won at least one state championship (or more) ...
 
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 ...
 
Forbes
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:26:19 -0700

LONDON – Northwest Scotland is as close to wilderness as it is possible to be in the UK. A land of mountains, water, forests and rough moorland with a fractured coastline of sea lochs and remote peninsulas protected from the full might of the north ...
 
The Commercial Dispatch
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

"I thought we were fairly efficient," Caledonia coach Andy Crotwell said. "The offensive line played well and our running backs are continuing to grow. They're catching the ball out of the backfield and coming up with big plays when our team needs it ...
 
Post-Bulletin
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:37:32 -0700

HARMONY — Austin Bauer passed for two touchdowns and a stable of running backs combined for over 200 yards as Caledonia overpowered Fillmore Central in a Southern Football Alliance football game Saturday. Caledonia exploded for 27 points in the ...
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