Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities exercised by solitary practitioners and groups. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, thus can be difficult to define with precision, cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role, is present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view; the concept of witchcraft and the belief in its existence have persisted throughout recorded history. They have been present or central at various times and in many diverse forms among cultures and religions worldwide, including both "primitive" and "highly advanced" cultures, continue to have an important role in many cultures today; the predominant concept of witchcraft in the Western world derives from Old Testament laws against witchcraft, entered the mainstream when belief in witchcraft gained Church approval in the Early Modern Period.
It posits a theosophical conflict between good and evil, where witchcraft was evil and associated with the Devil and Devil worship. This culminated in deaths and scapegoating, many years of large scale witch-trials and witch hunts in Protestant Europe, before ceasing during the European Age of Enlightenment. Christian views in the modern day are diverse and cover the gamut of views from intense belief and opposition to non-belief, in some churches approval. From the mid-20th century, witchcraft – sometimes called contemporary witchcraft to distinguish it from older beliefs – became the name of a branch of modern paganism, it is most notably practiced in the Wiccan and modern witchcraft traditions, no longer practices in secrecy. The Western mainstream Christian view is far from the only societal perspective about witchcraft. Many cultures worldwide continue to have widespread practices and cultural beliefs that are loosely translated into English as "witchcraft", although the English translation masks a great diversity in their forms, magical beliefs and place in their societies.
During the Age of Colonialism, many cultures across the globe were exposed to the modern Western world via colonialism accompanied and preceded by intensive Christian missionary activity. Beliefs related to witchcraft and magic in these cultures were at times influenced by the prevailing Western concepts. Witch hunts and killing or shunning of suspected witches still occurs in the modern era, with killings both of victims for their magical body parts, of suspected witchcraft practitioners. Suspicion of modern medicine due to beliefs about illness being due to witchcraft continues in many countries to this day, with tragic healthcare consequences. HIV/AIDS and Ebola virus disease are two examples of often-lethal infectious disease epidemics whose medical care and containment has been hampered by regional beliefs in witchcraft. Other severe medical conditions whose treatment is hampered in this way include tuberculosis, leprosy and the common severe bacterial Buruli ulcer. Public healthcare requires considerable education work related to epidemology and modern health knowledge in many parts of the world where belief in witchcraft prevails, to encourage effective preventive health measures and treatments, to reduce victim blaming and stigmatization, to prevent the killing of people and endangering of animal species for body parts believed to convey magical abilities.
The word witch is of uncertain origin. There are numerous etymologies. One popular belief is that it is "related to the English words wit, wisdom," so "craft of the wise." Another is from the Old English wiccecræft, a compound of "wicce" and "cræft". In anthropological terminology, witches differ from sorcerers in that they don't use physical tools or actions to curse; this definition was pioneered in a study of central African magical beliefs by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, who cautioned that it might not correspond with normal English usage. Historians of European witchcraft have found the anthropological definition difficult to apply to European witchcraft, where witches could use physical techniques, as well as some who had attempted to cause harm by thought alone. European witchcraft is seen by historians and anthropologists as an ideology for explaining misfortune; the witchcraft label has been applied to practices people believe influence the mind, body, or property of others against their will—or practices that the person doing the labeling believes undermine social or religious order.
Some modern commentators believe. The concept of a magic-worker influencing another person's body or property against their will was present in many cultures, as traditions in both folk magic and religious magic have the purpose of countering malicious magic or identifying malicious magic users. Many examples appear in early texts, such as those from ancient Babylonia. Malicious magic users can become a credible cause for disease, sickness in animals, bad luck, sudden death, impo
Mull or the Isle of Mull — is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, lies off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute. With an area of 875.35 square kilometres, Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island and the fourth largest island surrounding Great Britain. In the 2011 census the usual resident population of Mull was 2,800, a slight increase on the 2001 figure of 2,667. In the summer the population is supplemented by many tourists. Much of the population lives in Tobermory, the only burgh on the island until 1973, its capital. Tobermory is home to Mull's only single malt Scotch whisky distillery: Tobermory distillery. Mull has a coastline of 480 kilometres and its climate is moderated by the Gulf Stream; the island has a mountainous core. Various peninsulas, which are predominantly moorland, radiate from the centre; the Aros peninsula to the north includes the main town of Tobermory, a burgh until 1973 when burghs were abolished. Other settlements include Salen and Calgary.
The Ross of Mull lies to the south west and includes the villages of Bunessan, Pennyghael and Fionnphort. Lochbuie and Craignure lie to the east. Numerous islands lie off the west coast of Mull, including Erraid, Inch Kenneth, Iona and Ulva. Smaller uninhabited islands include Little Colonsay, the Treshnish Isles and Staffa. Calve Island is an uninhabited island in Tobermory Bay. Two outlying rock lighthouses are visible from the south west of Mull, Dubh Artach and Skerryvore; the Torran Rocks are a large shoal of reefs and skerries 15 square miles in extent, located two miles to the south west, between the Ross of Mull peninsula and Dubh Artach. Frank Lockwood's Island near Lochbuie is named after the brother-in-law of the 21st MacLean of Lochbuie, Solicitor General from 1894-5. Part of the indented west coast of Mull and some of the offshore islands there are part of the Loch Na Keal National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland, it is believed that Mull was inhabited from shortly after the end of the last Ice Age, around 6000 BC.
Bronze Age inhabitants built menhirs, brochs and a stone circle with examples of burial cairns, standing stones and knife blades provide compelling evidence. Between 600 BC and AD 400, Iron Age inhabitants were building protective forts and crannogs. Whether or not they were Picts is unclear. In the 6th century, Irish migrants invaded Mull and the surrounding coast, establishing the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata; the kingdom was divided into a number of regions, each controlled by a kin group, of which the Cenél Loairn controlled Mull and the adjacent mainland to the east. Dál Riata was a springboard for the Christianisation of the mainland. In the 9th century, Viking invasions led to the destruction of Dál Riata, its replacement by the Norse Kingdom of the Isles, which became part of the kingdom of Norway following Norwegian unification; the Kingdom of the Isles was much more extensive than Dál Riata, encompassing the Outer Hebrides and Skye. In Old Norse, the island kingdom became meaning southern isles.
The former lands of Dál Riata acquired the geographic description "Argyle": the Gaelic coast. In the late 11th century, Magnus Barefoot, the Norwegian king, launched a military campaign which, in 1098, led the king of Scotland to quitclaim to Magnus all claim of sovereign authority over the territory of the Kingdom of the Isles. However, a coup some 60 years led by a Norse-Gael named Somerled, detached the whole of the Suðreyjar from Norway, transformed it into an independent kingdom. After Somerled's death in 1164, nominal Norwegian authority was established, but practical control of the realm was divided between Somerled's sons and the heirs of Somerled's brother-in-law, the Crovan Dynasty, his son Dougall received the former territory of the Cenél Loairn, now known as Lorn, of which Mull formed part. Meanwhile, the Crovan dynasty had retained the title "king of the Isles", control of Lewis/Harris, the Isle of Man. After a few decades, they acknowledged the English kings as their overlords, so Dougall's heirs complained to Haakon, the Norwegian king, in 1237 were rewarded by the kingship being split.
They established the twin castles of Aros and Ardtornish, which together controlled the Sound of Mull. Throughout the early 13th century, the king of Scots, Alexander II, had aggressively tried to expand his realm into the Suðreyjar, despite Edgar's earlier quitclaim; this led to hostility between Norway and Scotland, which continued under Alexander III, Alexander II's successor. The Norwegian king died shortly after the indecisive Battle of Largs. In 1266, his more peaceable successor ceded his nominal authority over the Suðreyjar to Alexander III by the Treaty of Perth, in return for a large sum of money. Alexander acknowledged the semi-independent authority of Somerled's heirs. At the end of the 13th century, a violent dispute arose over the
Tobermory is the capital of Mull, until 1973 the only burgh on, the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is located on the east coast of Mishnish, the most northerly part of the island, near the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull. With a current population of 1000, the town was founded as a fishing port in 1788, its layout based on the designs of Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford; the name Tobermory is derived from the Gaelic Tobar Mhoire, meaning "Mary's well". The name refers to a well located nearby, dedicated in ancient times to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that the wreck of a Spanish galleon, laden with gold, lies somewhere in the mud at the bottom of Tobermory Bay—although the ship's true identity, cargo, are in dispute. By some accounts, the Florencia, a member of the defeated Spanish Armada fleeing the English fleet in 1588, anchored in Tobermory to take on provisions. Following a dispute over payment, the ship caught fire and the gunpowder magazine exploded, sinking the vessel.
In her hold, was 300,000 GBP worth of gold bullion. Other sources claim the vessel was the San Juan de Sicilia, records indicate, carried troops, not treasure. Whatever the true story, no significant treasure has been recovered in Tobermory Bay; the largest attempt made to locate the galleon was in 1950 when the Duke of Argyll signed a contract with the British Admiralty to locate the galleon. Nothing came of the attempt, apart from the development of equipment still used today to locate ancient sunk vessels. Owing to similarities in sailing conditions, in the mid-1800s emigrant sailors created the community of Tobermory, located in Ontario, Canada; this namesake town has twin harbours, known locally as "Big Tub" and "Little Tub", which sheltered ships from the severe storms of Lake Huron. During the Second World War, Tobermory was home to Royal Navy training base HMS Western Isles, under the command of the legendary Vice-Admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson, the so-called "Terror of Tobermory", his biography was written by broadcaster Richard Baker.
Many of the buildings on Main Street, predominantly shops and restaurants, are painted in various bright colours, making it a popular location for television programmes, such as the children's show Balamory. The burgh hosts the Mull Museum, the Tobermory whisky distillery as well as Mull Aquarium, the first catch and release aquarium in Europe; the clock tower on the harbour wall is a noted landmark. The town contains an arts centre, An Tobar, the management of, merged with Mull Theatre in 2012 to form the umbrella arts organisation Comar; the theatre remains, based just outside Tobermory in Drumfin, is used by youth and adult dance and drama groups, hosting a wide variety of performances.71% of Tobermory residents were born in Scotland, 23% in England and 6% elsewhere. Tobermorite, a calcium silicate hydrate found near Tobermory in 1880, was named after the town. People born in Tobermory include Duncan MacGilp and Janet MacDonald, both past Gold Medal winners at Scotland's Royal National Mòd.
Three generations of the town's MacIntyre family have achieved eminence: Colin MacIntyre is a singer-songwriter. His brother is BBC Scotland Sport's Kenny Macintyre; the late accordionist Bobby McLeod lived in the town from his birth in 1925 until his death in 1991, owned the Mishnish Hotel.. The military surgeon Prof George Ritchie Thomson FRSE was born here in 1865. Another Tobermory native was Donald McLean, who emigrated to Canada before he was twenty and became a fur trader and explorer for the Hudson's Bay Company in the New Caledonia and Columbia Department fur districts, rising to the position of Chief Trader at Thompson's River Post in the then-Colony of British Columbia, he was the last casualty of the Chilcotin War of 1864. Isabella Bird, the Victorian traveller and writer stayed in the town, where her sister Henrietta had a house, she assisted the local doctor and, on at least one occasion, served as anaesthetist when he removed a tumour from a local woman. When Henrietta died, she funded the building of the clock tower as a memorial to her sister.
The visit of the composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1829, en route to Staffa, is commemorated in the annual Mendelssohn on Mull Festival in early July. Other highlights of the town's calendar include an annual Traditional Music Festival held on the last weekend in April, the local Mòd, which takes place on the second Saturday in September and has established itself as one of the best local Mòds on the circuit, the Mull Fiddler's Rally in September, the traditional Mull Highland Games held every summer; the fictional town of Torbay in Alistair MacLean's novel When Eight Bells Toll was based on Tobermory, much of the 1971 movie was filmed in the town and other parts of Mull. The writer Saki gave the name to a talking cat in one of his most famous short stories and two well-loved children's TV series have made use of the town's name. Elisabeth Beresford called one of the Wombles'Tobermory', more the town played host to its almost-namesake Balamory for three years. Other films made in the area include the 1945 Powell and Pressburger classic I Know Where I'm Going!.
In the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith (1933
The Spanish Armada was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from A Coruña in late May 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II; the aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in America. English ships sailed from Plymouth to attack the Armada, were faster and more manoeuvrable than the larger Spanish Galleons, enabling them to fire on the Armada without loss as it sailed east off the south coast of England. There was an opportunity for the Armada to anchor in the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland and to occupy the Isle of Wight, but Medina Sidonia was under orders from King Philip II to meet up with the Duke of Parma's forces in The Netherlands.
This was so that England could be invaded by Parma's soldiers and other soldiers carried in ships of the Armada. Meanwhile, damage to the Armada had been done by English guns and a Spanish ship had been captured by Sir Francis Drake in the English Channel; the Armada anchored off Calais. While awaiting communications from Duke of Parma, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship night attack and abandoned its rendezvous with Parma's army, who were blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines the Spanish fleet was further damaged and were in risk of running aground on the Dutch coast when the wind changed; the Armada, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. On return to Spain round the north of Scotland and south around Ireland, the Armada was disrupted further by storms. A large number of ships were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland and over a third of the initial 130 ships failed to return.
As Martin and Parker explain, "Philip II attempted to invade England. This was due to his own mismanagement including appointing an aristocrat without naval experience as commander of the Armada, unfortunate weather, the opposition of the English and their Dutch allies including the use of fire-ships sailed into the anchored Armada.". The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War; the following year, England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the English Armada, sometimes called the "counter-Armada of 1589". The word armada is from the Spanish: armada, cognate with English army. From the Latin: armāta, the past participle of armāre,'to arm', used in Romance languages as a noun for armed force, navy, fleet. Armada Española is still the Spanish term for the modern Spanish Navy. Armada was the Portuguese traditional term of the Portuguese Navy. Henry VIII began the English Reformation as a political exercise over his desire to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Over time it became aligned with the Protestant reformation taking place in Europe during the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI. Edward died childless, his half-sister Mary I ascended the throne. A devout Catholic, Mary began to reassert Roman influence over church affairs, her attempts led to over 260 people being burned at the stake, earning her the nickname'Bloody Mary'. Mary's death in 1558 led to Elizabeth I, taking the throne. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was in the reformist camp, reimplemented many of Edward's reforms. Philip, no longer co-monarch, deemed Elizabeth a illegitimate ruler of England. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Henry had never divorced Catherine, making Elizabeth illegitimate, it is alleged that Phillip supported plots to have Elizabeth overthrown in favour of her Catholic cousin and heir presumptive, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth retaliated against Philip by supporting the Dutch revolt against Spain, as well as funding privateers to raid Spanish ships across the Atlantic. In retaliation, Philip planned an expedition to invade England in order to overthrow Elizabeth and, if the Armada was not successful, at least negotiate freedom of worship for Catholics and financial compensation for war in the Low Countries.
Through this, it would end the English material support for the United Provinces – the part of the Low Countries that had seceded from Spanish rule – and cut off English attacks on Spanish trade and settlements in the New World. The King was supported by Pope Sixtus V, who treated the invasion as a crusade, with the promise of a subsidy should the Armada make land. A raid on Cádiz, led by Francis Drake in April 1587, had captured or destroyed some thirty ships and great quantities of supplies, setting preparations back by a year. Philip favoured a triple attack, starting with a diversionary raid on Scotland, while the main Armada would capture the Isle of Wight, or Southampton, to establish a safe anchorage in the Solent; the Duke of Parma would follow with a large army from the Low Countries crossing the English Channel. Parma was uneasy about mounting such an invasion without any possibility of surprise, he was alarmed by the costs that would be incurred and advised Philip to postpone or abandon it.
The appointed commander of the Armada wa
Clan MacLean is a Highland Scottish clan. They are one of the oldest clans in the Highlands and owned large tracts of land in Argyll as well as the Inner Hebrides. Many early MacLeans became famous for their honour and courage in battle, they were involved in clan skirmishes with the Mackinnons, MacDonalds and Campbells, as well as all of the Jacobite risings. There are several different origins for the surname MacLean, the clan surname is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic MacGilleEathain; this was the patronymic form of the personal name meaning "servant of John". Or the "son of the servant of Saint John; the family grew powerful throughout the Hebrides and Highlands through allegiances with the Catholic Church in the 9th century, the MacDonalds in the 13th century, the MacKays and MacLeods in the 16th century. The founder of the clan was a Scottish warlord descended from the royal Cenél Loairn named Gillean of the Battle Axe; the stories of Gillean being descended from the FitzGerald dynasty are fictitious, as the FitzGeralds are of Cambro-Norman descent and the Macleans are of Gaelic descent, having been in Scotland since the Dalriadic migration from northeastern Ulster in the earlier centuries C.
E. Gillean's great-grandfather was Old Dugald of Scone, born ca. 1050 during the reign of King Macbeth of the House of Moray, the principal royal line of the Cenél Loairn. He was a Councillor to King David of Scots. Gillean fought at the Battle of Largs in 1263 during the Scottish-Norwegian War where the Scottish were victorious. Gillean's son Malise mac Gilleain was thought by some to have taken the name Gillemor in 1263 and is said to have led his followers at the Battle of Largs in 1263, he wrote his name as "Gillemor Mcilyn, County of Perth" on the third Ragman Rolls of 1296, swearing fealty to Edward I of England. Gillean's great-great-grandson was Iain Dhu Maclean. One of his sons was Lachainn Lubanach, the progenitor of the Macleans of Duart and the other son was Eachainn Reafanach, the progenitor of the Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie; the Macleans of Duart married into the family of John of Lord of the Isles. By the end of the 15th century the Macleans owned the isles Mull, Islay, Knapdale as well as Morvern in Argyll and Lochaber in mainland Scotland.
The Clan MacLean are said to have fought in support of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. During the 14th and 15th century many battles were fought between the Clan Maclean and Clan Mackinnon. In 1411 the Clan MacLean fought as Highlanders at the Battle of Harlaw near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire on 24 July 1411 against an Army of Scottish Lowlanders, their enemy was the forces of the Duke of Earl of Mar.. The MacLeans were led by "Red Hector of the Battles", the 6th Chief, who engaged in single combat with the chief of Clan Irvine, known as "Sir Alexander de Irwine". After a legendary struggle both died of the wounds inflicted upon each other; the Battle of Corpach took place in 1439. It was fought between the Clan Cameron. In 1484 the Clan MacLean fought at the Battle of Bloody Bay on the side of the Lord of the Isles, chief of Clan Donald. In 1513 During the Anglo-Scottish Wars, Lachlan Maclean of Duart was killed at the Battle of Flodden; the clan extended its influence to other Hebridean islands such as Tiree and Islay and onto the mainland.
In 1560 the Clan MacLean, joined by their allies the Clan Mackay and Clan MacLeod became part of the Gallowglass, who were ferocious mercenaries of Norse-Gaelic descent who served in Ireland for King Shane O'Neill. The rising power of the Clan Campbell during the sixteenth century brought them into opposition with the Macleans. Several marriages were arranged between Macleans and Campbells to avoid feuding, however one of these went badly wrong when chief Lachlan Maclean married Lady Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of the Earl of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell; the match was not a happy one and Maclean took drastic action by marooning his wife on a rock in the sea, leaving her to drown. However she was rescued by some passing fishermen who took her back to her kin and Maclean was killed by her brother in Edinburgh in 1523; the Battle of the Western Isles was fought in 1586, on the Isle of Jura, between the Clan MacDonald of Sleat and the Clan MacLean. In 1588 the Clan MacLean captured Mingarry Castle seat of the chief of the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, from where they fought off a Spanish galleon called the Florida.
One thing that did unite the Macleans and the Campbells was their Protestant faith as well as their dislike for the MacDonalds. Sir Lachland Maclean harried the MacDonalds of Islay causing so much carnage that both he and the MacDonald chief were declared outlaws in 1594 by the Privy Council; however Lachlan redeemed himself when in the same year he fought for the king at the Battle of Glenlivet, on the side of the Earl of Argyll and Clan Campbell, against the Earl of Huntly and Clan Gordon. The Battle of Traigh Ghruinneart took place on the 5 August 1598, it was fought between the Clan Clan Maclean on the Isle of Islay. Chief Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean was killed. After Sir Lachlan MacLean's death in 1598, his sons took revenge on his suspected murderers, the MacDonalds, by carrying out a massacre of the people of Islay which lasted for three days. After obtaining "Letters of Fire and Sword" he was assisted in this by the MacLeods, MacNeils,and Camerons; the quarrel between the MacLeans and the Macdonalds of Islay and Kintyre was, at the outset a dispute as to the right of occupancy of the crown lands
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
A legendary and mythological creature traditionally called a fabulous beast and fabulous creature, is a fictitious and supernatural animal a hybrid, sometimes part human, whose existence has not or cannot be proved and, described in folklore or fiction but in historical accounts before history became a science. In the classical era, monstrous creatures such as the cyclops and the Minotaur appear in heroic tales for the protagonist to destroy. Other creatures, such as the unicorn, were claimed in accounts of natural history by various scholars of antiquity; some legendary creatures have their origin in traditional mythology and were believed to be real creatures, for example dragons and unicorns. Others were based on real encounters, originating in garbled accounts of travelers' tales, such as the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, which grew tethered to the earth. A variety of mythical animals appear in the art and stories of the Classical era. For example, in the Odyssey, monstrous creatures include the Cyclops and Charybdis for the hero Odysseus to confront.
In other tales there appear the Medusa to be defeated by Perseus, the Minotaur to be destroyed by Theseus, the Hydra to be killed by Heracles, while Aeneas battles with the harpies. These monsters thus have the basic function of emphasizing the greatness of the heroes involved; some classical era creatures, such as the centaur, chimaera and the flying horse, are found in Indian art. Sphinxes appear as winged lions in Indian art and the Piasa Bird of North America. In medieval art, both real and mythical, played important roles; these included decorative forms as in medieval jewellery, sometimes with their limbs intricately interlaced. Animal forms were used to add majesty to objects. In Christian art, animals carried symbolic meanings, where for example the lamb symbolized Christ, a dove indicated the Holy Spirit, the classical griffin represented a guardian of the dead. Medieval bestiaries included animals regardless of biological reality. One function of mythical animals in the Middle Ages was allegory.
Unicorns, for example, were described as extraordinarily swift and uncatchable by traditional methods. It was believed; the unicorn was supposed to leap into her lap and go to sleep, at which point a hunter could capture it. In terms of symbolism, the unicorn was a metaphor for Christ. Unicorns represented the idea of purity. In the King James Bible, Psalm 92:10 states, "My horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn." This is because the translators of the King James erroneously translated the Hebrew word re'em as unicorn. Versions translate this as wild ox; the unicorn's small size signifies the humility of Christ. Another common legendary creature which served allegorical functions within the Middle Ages was the dragon. Dragons were identified with serpents, though their attributes were intensified; the dragon was supposed to have been larger than all other animals. It was believed that the dragon had no harmful poison but was able to slay anything it embraced without any need for venom. Biblical scriptures speak of the dragon in reference to the devil, they were used to denote sin in general during the Middle Ages.
Dragons were said to have dwelled in places like Ethiopia and India, based on the idea that there was always heat present in these locations. Physical detail was not the central focus of the artists depicting such animals, medieval bestiaries were not conceived as biological categorizations. Creatures like the unicorn and griffin were not categorized in a separate "mythological" section in medieval bestiaries, as the symbolic implications were of primary importance. Animals we know to have existed were still presented with a fantastical approach, it seems the religious and moral implications of animals were far more significant than matching a physical likeness in these renderings. Nona C. Flores explains, "By the tenth century, artists were bound by allegorical interpretation, abandoned naturalistic depictions." The historian Richard Kieckhefer explains, "Magic is not meant to work but to express wishes, or to encode in symbols a perception of how things do or should work." Cryptozoology Lists of legendary creatures List of legendary creatures by type Mythical creature in the New World Encyclopedia