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The Invention of Scotland


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#1 Melisende

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:40 AM

"In Scotland, it seems to me, myth has played a far more important part in history than it has in England. Indeed, I believe that the whole history of Scotland has been coloured by myth; and that myth, in Scotland, is never driven out by reality, or by reason, but lingers on until another myth has been discovered, or elaborated, to replace it."


According to Times Online:
"The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History, is the last book, and one of the most controversial, written by the late Hugh Trevor-Roper. Now, five years after his death, the book is to be published at one of the most pivotal periods in Scottish political history. It will provide an inflammatory contribution to the constitutional debate as it debunks many claims upon which the argument for independence is founded. "

According to Trevor-Roper, the Scots don't seem to have a history that is "real" - only one that is imagined:
"Trevor-Roper claims that Scotland’s literary and political traditions, which claim to date back to the Roman invasion of Scotland in the first century AD, are in fact based on myth and were largely invented in the 18th century."

" .... The Works of Ossian ...... have long been suspected of being a figment of the imagination of James Macpherson, the 18th-century Scottish poet who claimed to have translated them ...... The Declaration of Arbroath ... is dismissed as being loaded with inaccuracies .... Even the kilt, the ultimate sartorial symbol of Scottishness, was invented by an Englishman."


Anyone wishing to read an extract of the book can do so:
"The Fantasy of Scotland's History"


I look forward to some interesting comments .......
~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#2 Chookie

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:45 PM

According to Trevor-Roper, the Scots don't seem to have a history that is "real" - only one that is imagined:



Hugh Trevor-Roper is not a credible source for any reference. He lost all credibility when he authenticated the Hitler diaries. He also claimed that sub-Saharan Africa had no history prior to European exploration and colonisation. I quote “..there is only the history of Europeans in Africa. The rest is darkness...”

OK, I've stopped laughing but my ribs still hurt. Here's one response for you which unavoidably contains a little character assassination. To deal with the point that Scottish history is "imagined", i only need say that no nation, country, state or tribe on the face of this planet has a history which does not include a significant amount of mythology is idiotic. Trevor-Roper was a bigot, but whether his bigotry was based on jealousy, fear or some unreal perception of superiority, I don't know.


"Trevor-Roper claims that Scotland's literary and political traditions, which claim to date back to the Roman invasion of Scotland in the first century AD, are in fact based on myth and were largely invented in the 18th century."


Romans in the 18th century?? The records from the Roman invasions of Scotland were written by Romans - when did Tacitus die?

" .... The Works of Ossian ...... have long been suspected of being a figment of the imagination of James Macpherson, the 18th-century Scottish poet who claimed to have translated them ......


So what? The writing of poetry requires the exercise of imagination.

The Declaration of Arbroath ... is dismissed as being loaded with inaccuracies ....



Oh yeah, the Brutus myth of the origins of the English is absolutely accurate. And the Historia Regium Britannae has the power of Holy Writ.

Even the kilt, the ultimate sartorial symbol of Scottishness, was invented by an Englishman."

There is a second century Greek frieze showing Macedonian warriors wearing a form of pleated kilt, it is a very old garment which even the Egyptians and Assyrians would have been familiar with. It is probably impossible to say where or when it originated.
They make a desert and call it peace.........

#3 Melisende

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:26 AM

Here's a theory to another "history" of the founding of Scotland (pub: The Times, 16th May 2008):

Walter Bower, a medieval Scottish historian explains that Scotland gained its name not from an Irish tribe, as most modern historians agree, but from an Egyptian princess:

"The Bower history presents as fact the tale of an Egyptian princess, called Scota, a sister of Tutankhamen, who fell out with her pharaoh father and fled his wrath sailing north with her sons to a group of windswept islands off the northwest coast of Europe. Princess Scota brought with her the Stone of Destiny to this new country and, on her death, Scotland was named in her honour."

Bower's theory was published in his nine volume Latin treatise "Scotichronicon" - written from the seclusion of the island of Inchcolm, in the Firth of Forth, 550 years ago.


"In his book From the Holy Mountain, the travel writer William Dalrymple explores some intriguing connections between the Middle East and Scotland dating back to the Dark Ages. He points out that the English scholar Alcuin, writing to the Emperor Charlemagne in the 8th century refers to the Celts of Scotland as "pueri egyptiaci" - the children of Egypt.

He says that there are many striking similarities between the Celtic churches of western Europe and the Coptic Churches of the Middle East, dating back to medieval times. Handbells, T-shaped crosses and crowned bishops, familiar after the Picts were converted to Christianity and widely used by the Copts, were unknown in other churches. The "wheel" cross was a Coptic invention, appearing as a symbol there 300 years before it first appeared in Scotland and Ireland."

~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#4 Chookie

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 01:10 PM

"The Bower history presents as fact the tale of an Egyptian princess, called Scota, a sister of Tutankhamen, who fell out with her pharaoh father and fled his wrath sailing north with her sons to a group of windswept islands off the northwest coast of Europe. Princess Scota brought with her the Stone of Destiny to this new country and, on her death, Scotland was named in her honour."



This a pretty well-known story. It is also alleged that the founder of the Scotti was an egyptian princess named Meritaten. Whether this was the same girl or not we don't know....

He says that there are many striking similarities between the Celtic churches of western Europe and the Coptic Churches of the Middle East, dating back to medieval times. Handbells, T-shaped crosses and crowned bishops, familiar after the Picts were converted to Christianity and widely used by the Copts, were unknown in other churches. The "wheel" cross was a Coptic invention, appearing as a symbol there 300 years before it first appeared in Scotland and Ireland."



The "wheel" cross isn't actually a wheel. The round thing on a Celtic (or Wheel) cross is a representation of the sun disc. As such it's older than Christianity.
They make a desert and call it peace.........

#5 Melisende

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:33 AM

Legend also has it that the Irish was descended from Noah's daughter!!!


"Creation" myths ... so fascinating .... such wonderful reading ....
~~~ Melisende

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."


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#6 Chookie

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:11 PM

Legend also has it that the Irish was descended from Noah's daughter!!!



Legend (or at least the Book of Enoch)also has it that the flood was sent by God to kill the children of humans and "watchers".


"Creation" myths ... so fascinating .... such wonderful reading ....



They certainly are fascinating - the flood legend appears in many of them. There are similarities in Hopi and Mayan creation myths etc etc etc..........

Unfortunately I don't know any Dreamtime legends - there might be a flood in there somewhere too..........
They make a desert and call it peace.........

#7 Aristilus

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:01 AM

This from a man who authenticated the "Hitler Diaries" in 1983 while he was a director of The Times. A hoax, OBVIOUSLY.