Thursday, May 12, 2011

Workshop - Picts and Scots

I'm taking this wonderful class about the ancient Picts in Scotland - fascinating stuff. Check out this class if you're also interested!

Class: Picts and Scots 400-1100
Instructor: Sharron Gunn
Dates: May 2-June13, 2011

Registration Deadline: May 1,2011
Fee: $15/HHRW members, $25/others
Click HERE for Registration Form
FMI: HHRW Campus Coordinator:

Class Description:

Because the era after the fall of the Roman Empire seems so long ago, people think that very little can be known about the peoples of northern Europe. You will be surprised at what is known from archaeological records, place name evidence, saints' lives, king lists, and annals, and so on. Yes, there are gaps. It's not like writing a novel set during the Regency Period. But that's a good thing. Your imagination can kick in!

So here is a bit of what you'll learn. The Scots were a Gaelic-speaking people who came from Ireland during the Iron Age. The Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata extended from the north of Ireland to the southwest of Scotland; the centre of kingship shifted about AD 500 from Ireland to Scotland. Christianity came to Scotland during this period and many clergy left Ireland to found churches in Scotland.

The Picts spoke a British language (very similar to Welsh). Myths about the Picts say they also spoke a language unrelated to most other languages in Europe and that inheritance was matrilinial (through the mother). We'll look at those ideas. The Picts and Scots, Celtic peoples, believed in the religion of the Druids. In the 9th century the Picts and Scots merged to form the Kingdom of Alba, to meet the Norse threat. Picts, Scots and Norse all in one course! What more could you ask for?

5 Lectures with self quizzes, simple research projects and story ideas. Questions and discussion encouraged, but lurkers also welcome.


Sharron Gunn learned to read and write Scottish Gaelic at Xavier College (now UCB) in Nova Scotia, and later obtained an honours degree in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow. While a student, she had a job selling Gaelic books in the Highlands from which she gained a greater knowledge of the geography and people. A requirement for the job was fluency in Gaelic, the language of the Highlands and Islands. She often returns to Scotland. Several times she has travelled to the Royal National Mòd, a huge music festival, as a member of a Gaelic choir from Canada. She is busy writing a fantasy novel set in WWII.

Format: Course is conducted via Yahoo Groups email with lessons and Q&A

Click HERE to register for this class or learn more.