The Poolewe Stone is a Class-I Pictish stone discovered in 1992 in the cemetery at Poolewe in Wester Ross. The stone carries the common Pictish depictions of a v-rod. Chiseled inside the crescent are two spirals meeting to form a pelta. Today the stone lies in the church yard. Fraser, Ritchie, J. N. G. Et al. Pictish Symbol Stones: An Illustrated Gazetteer, no. 135 megalithic.co.uk, Photograph of the Poolewe Stone
Fordoun is a parish and village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Fothirdun, as it was known, was an important area in the Howe of the Mearns. Fordoun and Auchenblae, together with their immediate districts form the Parish of Fordoun with the Parish Church in the vicinity of the original settlement, now absorbed by Auchenblae. In the 19th Century a railway station was opened 3 miles to the South East of Fordoun Church and the original settlement. A village grew at the site of the railway named Fordoun Station where there were a number of shops, but only a seasonal farm shop remains. In the time since the founding of the railway station the village known as Fordoun Station has come to be known as Fordoun and the site of original settlement has been absorbed by Auchenblae. John of Fordun, Scottish Chronicler was born in the Parish of Fordoun. James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, judge on the Court of Session lived at Monboddo House, a 17th-century house in the parish, he was author of The Origin and Progress of Man and Language, a study of evolution that predated the work of Charles Darwin.
James Beattie, Scottish scholar and writer was born in Laurencekirk and first worked as schoolmaster in Fordoun. He became Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at Marischal College and is noted for his Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth and poem The Minstrel. Alexander Hamilton co-founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, one of the first doctors to recognise the infectious nature of puerperal fever. There is a Pictish symbol stone, the Fordoun Stone, in the parish church on the outskirts of Auchenblae at NO726784In his 1819 Geography, James Playfair notes that Fordoun is a mean town, the seat of a presbytery, noted for being the birthplace or temporary residence of John Fordoun, author of the Scotichronicon; the chapel of Palladius, adjacent to the church, is 40 by 18 feet. North of the village is a disused airfield, active during World War II. A two-runway satellite for Peterhead airfield, Fordoun Aerodrome operated from 1942 to 1944
Kirriemuir Sculptured Stones
The Kirriemuir Sculptured Stones are a series of Class II and III Pictish stones found in Kirriemuir, Scotland. Their existence points to Kirriemuir being an important ecclesiastical centre in the late first millennium AD; the stones were found in the grounds of Kirriemuir Kirk grid reference NO38955448. The stones are now on display at the Meffan Institute in Angus; the slab is carved on both faces in relief and, as it bears Pictish symbols, it falls into John Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson's classification system as a class II stone. The stone bears a number of a mirror and comb symbol; the figures have been identified as Saints Paul. The stone is one of the latest to include pictish symbols and can be dated with confidence to the late 9th/early 10th century. Cross slab carved on both faces in relief, it too contains Pictish symbols and falls into John Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson's classification system as a class II stone
The Dyce stones are a collection of Pictish and Early Medieval sculptured stones that are housed in a shelter in the ruined St Fergus's Chapel, Aberdeen, Scotland. There are two larger stones, known as Dyce I and Dyce II, that bear idiomatically Pictish symbols, as well as several smaller sculptured stones; this is a Class I stone. The symbols z-rod; this is a Class II cross slab bearing a celtic cross decorated with knotwork and a central boss with spiral work. Round the base of the cross are the Crescent and v-rod, Double disc and z-rod, triple disc and mirror case. On the side is an ogham inscription that transliterates as: EOTTASSARRHETODDEDDOTS MAQQ ROGODDADD
The Clach Biorach is a three-metre Standing Stone located 1⁄4 mile north-west of the village of Edderton in Easter Ross. It dates to the Bronze Age, but two Pictish-style symbols were engraved on the north side, making it a Class I Pictish symbol stone; the symbols are a 1) double-disc with a z-rod, 2) a salmon above. MacNamara, The Pictish Stones of Easter Ross, Douglas, The Stones of the Pictish Peninsulas
The Dunnichen Stone is a class I Pictish symbol stone, discovered in 1811 at Dunnichen, Angus. It dates to the 7th century AD; the exact location at which the stone was found is unknown, but thought to be in a field in the East Mains of Dunnichen, on the SE slope of Dunnichen Hill, overlooking Dunnichen Moss. It is on display at the Meffan Institute in Forfar. Jervise relates that the stone was found in a field called the Chashel or Castle Park, that the site became a quarry. While this name is no longer extant, Headrick records that it was in East Mains of Dunnichen, the location was assigned in 1966 at a disused quarry on that farm; the discovery was described by Headrick:... a good many years ago, there was turned up with the plough a large flat stone, on, cut a rude outline of an armed warrior's head and shoulders Jervise, noting the inaccuracy of description, identifies this confidently with the extant Dunnichen Stone. The stone was erected at the unidentified "Kirkton Church", either in Dunnichen or in Letham it was moved to the garden of Dunnichen House.
It was relocated to St Vigeans Museum in 1967 to Dundee Museum in 1972. It is on long-term loan to the Meffan Institute in Forfar. A replica stands at the Church in Dunnichen; the stone is of rough sandstone, 0.7 meters wide and 0.3 meters thick. It is incised on one face with three symbols: a pictish flower. While the double disc and Z-rod and mirror and comb motifs are common and exist together elsewhere (see for example the Aberlemno Serpent Stone, the Flower is rare
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the early Irish language, the Old Irish language. There are 400 surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain; the largest number outside Ireland are in Wales. The vast majority of the inscriptions consist of personal names. According to the High Medieval Bríatharogam, names of various trees can be ascribed to individual letters; the etymology of the word ogam or ogham remains unclear. One possible origin is from the Irish og-úaim'point-seam', referring to the seam made by the point of a sharp weapon, it has been argued that the earliest inscriptions in ogham date to about the 4th century AD, but James Carney believed its origin is rather within the 1st century BC. Although the use of "classical" ogham in stone inscriptions seems to have flowered in the 5th and 6th centuries around the Irish Sea, from the phonological evidence it is clear that the alphabet predates the 5th century. A period of writing on wood or other perishable material prior to the preserved monumental inscriptions needs to be assumed, sufficient for the loss of the phonemes represented by úath and straif, gétal, all of which are part of the system, but unattested in inscriptions.
It appears that the ogham alphabet arose from another script, some consider it a mere cipher of its template script. The largest number of scholars favours the Latin alphabet as this template, although the Elder Futhark and the Greek alphabet have their supporters. Runic origin would elegantly explain the presence of "H" and "Z" letters unused in Irish, as well as the presence of vocalic and consonantal variants "U" vs. "W", unknown to Latin writing and lost in Greek. The Latin alphabet is the primary contender because its influence at the required period is most established, being used in neighbouring Roman Britannia, while the runes in the 4th century were not widespread in continental Europe. In Ireland and in Wales, the language of the monumental stone inscriptions is termed Primitive Irish; the transition to Old Irish, the language of the earliest sources in the Latin alphabet, takes place in about the 6th century. Since ogham inscriptions consist exclusively of personal names and marks indicating land ownership, linguistic information that may be glimpsed from the Primitive Irish period is restricted to phonological developments.
There are two main schools of thought among scholars as to the motivation for the creation of ogham. Scholars such as Carney and MacNeill have suggested that ogham was first created as a cryptic alphabet, designed by the Irish so as not to be understood by those with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet. In this school of thought, it is asserted that "the alphabet was created by Irish scholars or druids for political, military or religious reasons to provide a secret means of communication in opposition to the authorities of Roman Britain." The Roman Empire, which ruled over neighbouring southern Britain, represented a real threat of invasion to Ireland, which may have acted as a spur to the creation of the alphabet. Alternatively, in centuries when the threat of invasion had receded and the Irish were themselves invading the western parts of Britain, the desire to keep communications secret from Romans or Romanised Britons would still have provided an incentive. With bilingual ogham and Latin inscriptions in Wales, one would suppose that the ogham could be decoded by anyone in the Post-Roman world.
The second main school of thought, put forward by scholars such as McManus, is that ogham was invented by the first Christian communities in early Ireland, out of a desire to have a unique alphabet for writing short messages and inscriptions in the Irish language. The argument is that the sounds of Primitive Irish were regarded as difficult to transcribe into the Latin alphabet, so the invention of a separate alphabet was deemed appropriate. A possible such origin, as suggested by McManus, is the early Christian community known to have existed in Ireland from around AD 400 at the latest, the existence of, attested by the mission of Palladius by Pope Celestine I in AD 431. A variation is that the alphabet was first invented, for whatever reason, in 4th-century Irish settlements in west Wales after contact and intermarriage with Romanised Britons with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet. In fact, several ogham stones in Wales are bilingual, containing both Irish and British Latin, testifying to the international contacts that led to the existence of some of these stones.
A third theory put forward by the noted ogham scholar R. A. S. Macalister was influential at one time, but finds little favour with scholars today. Macalister believed that ogham was first invented in Cisalpine Gaul around 600 BC by Gaulish druids as a secret system of hand signals, was inspired by a form of the Greek alphabet current in Northern Italy at the time. According to this theory, the alphabet was transmitted in oral form or on wood only, until it was put into a written form on stone inscriptions in early Christian Ireland. Scholars are united in rejecting this theory, however because a detailed study of the letters shows that they were created for the Primitive Irish of the early centuries AD