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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 Moffat (2005), the name is related to the Welsh word caled, "hard", which could refer to the rocky land or the hardiness of the people.[6] Keay and Keay (1994) state that the word is "apparently pre-Celtic".[7]

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][7]

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.[8][9]

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.[10][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. ^ Moffat 2005, p. 22.
  7. ^ a b Keay & Keay 1994, p. 123.
  8. ^ "Rock and roll years: the 1970s". The Scotsman. 16 October 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Biography". Dougiemaclean.com. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  10. ^ 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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341015 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,...

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.

Boogie Song "Caledonia"

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...

Caledonia Best presents Caledonia

Since Caledonia Best's first TV advert aired across Scotland in December 2012, we've had an overwhelming response to its soundtrack featuring Anderson, McGin...

Dolores Keane - Caledonia (With On-Screen Lyrics)

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

Caledonia- Dougie MacLean

Sticking to the Scottish theme, this a truly beautiful song by Dougie MacLean about memories. This brings back memories of my High School, as I used this dur...

341015 videos foundNext > 

47016 news items

Coon Rapids ECM Publishers

Coon Rapids ECM Publishers
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:01:43 -0700

Peter Gengler visits with Senator Amy Klobuchar about his business, Sno Pac Foods on the Senator's recent visit to Caledonia. Gengler gave the Senator and her staff an update about what Sno Pac does as well as a tour of the facilities. (Photo by Daniel ...

CNN

CNN
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:50:13 -0700

For a few short weeks, the French semi-autonomous territory of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific held the top spot, having established the world's largest marine managed area in May. Covering 1.3 million square kilometers (502,000 square miles) ...
 
Cape Breton Post
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:48:45 -0700

In its glory years, the Caledonia club was mostly comprised of coal miners known to play a rough and tumble game. The club, which in the early days played at South Street Park, won 12 consecutive Maritime championships, starting in 1929. Past records ...
 
Journal Times
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:07:30 -0700

CALEDONIA -- Caledonia is now nearly ready to fling open the door to future commercial and industrial development possibilities in a 765-acre area along its west end. Monday evening the village board unanimously approved creating a 1.2-square-mile tax ...
 
La Crosse Tribune
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:08:46 -0700

Department entomologist Mark Abrahamson said in a statement July 17 announcing the infestation that it was discovered by a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forester one mile northwest of Caledonia in a grove of trees in a cattle pasture on ...

The Caledonia Argus (subscription)

The Caledonia Argus (subscription)
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:26:15 -0700

The Caledonia Legion baseball team, on the strength of a no-hit pitching performance by Tanner Langen against St. Charles in the final round of the Minnesota American Legion Sub-District Tournament, secured a spot in the District Tournament in ...

CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

CityNews
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:53:08 -0700

A construction worker has died after becoming trapped on a residential site in Toronto's west end. Toronto EMS got a call around 2:30 p.m. Thursday about a man stuck in an unstable trench on Venn Crescent, near Eglinton Avenue West and Caledonia Road.

Boxscore

Boxscore
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:15:00 -0700

OFC: July 24, 2014 - For 15 exhilarating days New Caledonia football fanatic Alain Vartane lived his dream, getting amongst the excitement for the semi-finals and finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil. "It's was a childhood dream turned reality!
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