Pictish Chronicle

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The Pictish Chronicle is a name used to refer to a pseudo-historical account of the kings of the Picts beginning many thousand years before history was recorded in Pictavia and ending after Pictavia had been enveloped by Scotland. The original (albeit lost) manuscript seems to date from the early years of the reign of Kenneth II of Scotland (who ruled Scotland from 971 until 995) since he is the last king mentioned and the chronicler does not know the length of his reign. Apart from the list of kings, the chronicle survives only in the 14th century Poppleton Manuscript.

There are actually several versions of the Pictish Chronicle; the so-called "A" text is probably the oldest, the fullest, and seems to have fewer errors than other versions. It is in three parts:

  1. An account of the origins of the Picts, mostly from the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville.
  2. A list of Pictish kings.
  3. Occasionally included is the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba.

It is evident that the latter two sections were originally written in Gaelic since a few Gaelic words have not been translated into Latin.

See also[edit]


  • A.O. Anderson: Early Sources of Scottish History (Vol. I) (1922)
  • M.O. Anderson: Kings & Kingship in Early Scotland (ISBN 0-7011-1930-6) (1973)
  • H.M. Chadwick: Early Scotland (1949)
  • B.T. Hudson: Kings of Celtic Scotland (ISBN 0-313-29087-3) (1994)

External links[edit]