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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
VI. The Cruithne


conall cearnach

writing itself into Pict land or Albany. The fact that Latin orthography was associated with and applied to the Latin and Gaelic languages may explain the relative absence of written records concerning specifically Pictish matters --and this state of affairs may well obscure the survival of Pictish as a spoken vernacular for some time in the provencial areas away from the Royal Court (Strathclyde British similarly has no written records). Here one may see in operation the always close relationship between language, culture and race, as all three factors became more generally Gaelic with the passage of time, though each influenced the emerging whole (original ethnic tribal affiliations would, however, remain centrally important in the political arena).

It is wrong to think that the Picts were defeated as a group, though no doubt independent bands or kin-groups under certain warlords fell victim to defeat. By the ninth century the cultural distinction between the various Celtic groups was blurring, and in any case such distinctions had never had the nation-state overtones we anachronistically place on them today. Neither were there many players on that ancient landscape, by modern standards. From


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