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Thread: The Forgotten Legacy of Germanic Scotland

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    The Forgotten Legacy of Germanic Scotland

    Only now i note the scottish flag amongst western germanics section ; It sounds a bit strange to me honestly. Is Scotland Germanic ? Many think Scotland being predominantly Celtic ethnoculturally rather than germanic(me too).


    What do you think ?

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    Post Re: Question :

    They are at least as Germanic as the French (who also have a section there). Scottish is a Germanic language, and Lowland Scots carry quite a bit of ancestry from Germanic settlers. I tend to think of Scotland as a blend and patchwork of Celtic and Germanic culture, just like France is a blend and patchwork of Celtic, Romance, and Germanic cultures. When it comes to self-identification, though, I'd expect most Scots to pick the Celtic family.

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    Post AW: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by KULL
    Only now i note the scottish flag amongst western germanics section ; It sounds a bit strange to me honestly. Is Scotland Germanic ? Many think Scotland being predominantly Celtic ethnoculturally rather than germanic(me too).
    To add to Siegfried's reply, the Scottish Lowlands are predominantly Germanic, with the people speaking a Germanic tongue known as Scots rather than the Scottish Gaelic spoken in the Celtic Highlands. If you are curious about the relationship of Scots to the other Germanic languages, click here.

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    Post Re: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by KULL
    Only now i note the scottish flag amongst western germanics section ; It sounds a bit strange to me honestly. Is Scotland Germanic ? Many think Scotland being predominantly Celtic ethnoculturally rather than germanic(me too).


    What do you think ?
    Scotland is not a homogenous country. There are Celtic and Germanic elements that make up Scotland. But by far the Germanic part is the Strongest.
    The Celtic part of Scotland is from at least 2 different origins. The Gaels and the Brytons.
    The Gaels originate from Ireland and there language used to be known as Erse (Irish). Its from an Irish tribe, the Scotti, that our country gets its name from. The Brythons are an indigenous Celtic people that lived in most of Northern and Central Britain.
    One of the most powerful and largest Kingdon was Ystrad Clud (Strathclyde) were i live. Place names in Scotland still retain this legacy, not only in Strathclyde but also in places like Glasgow, known in Brythonic as Gles cu the locals still call the city Glesca. Other examples are Dunbarton (Din Brython) and Edinburgh (Din Edin).
    Although their language now only exists in Wales and Cornwall.
    The Germanic part comes mostly from The Angles, the Northumbrian Kingdom. They ruled all the way up to Edinburgh and their language and culture spread throughout the Lowlands and Southern Uplands of Scotland wheras the Brythonic language became extinct and the Gaels remained mostly in the Highlands of Scotland and the Western Isles.
    Scots, the language, took root from the Northumbrian Anglic in South Eastern Scotland and spread through out the Central belt of Scotland down to the Southern Uplands around the border between Scotland and England and north along the Eastern Lowland parts of Northern Scotland, Aberdeenshire Morayshire (the Eastern Grampians) up to Caithness and the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland). You will find in traditionally Gaelic areas they speak some of the best English. I remember a while ago Inverness was voted as the best English speaking place in the whole UK. The reason is because they never spoke any anglic dialect before so their only exposure to English is the Standard English they were taught at school. Whereas elsewhere in Scotland where they spoke Scots when English was introduced they spoke a Scottish English, English with alot of influence from Scots.
    There has always been a distinction in Scotland between the Lallans (Lowlands) and the Highlands. The Highlanders known derogatively as Teuchers and Lowlanders sometimes called derogatively as Teutons.
    I would say these divisions still partly exist today.
    Even after the rise in the popularity of all things Celtic, most people in Scotland dont see themselves as Celts. Just as Scots. They dont particularly see themselves as Germanic either much like the English but i think that has more to do with the anti german stance of the government particularly since the second world war because all historical references show Lowland Scots as being aware of their Germanic and Teutonic heritage although still being destinct from the English.
    So historically most Scots descend from Brythons and Picts until the arrival of the Gaels and the Angles. At first the Gaels dominated most of Scotland hence why Scotland is named after a Gaelic tribe, but Gaelic eventually couldnt compete with the Angles who were more numerous and wealthy and dominated the more prosperous regions of Scotland.

    I would say Scotland is a Celto-Germanic nation of various degrees depending on what part of Scotland you go.

    Coincidentally i was reading this old thread from another website which as it develops shows that the Highland Lowlands division in Scotland is still prevalent. Its a quite long thread 9 pages, but i suggest it be read as it is still quite interesting and offers an insight into some views of Scots today.
    http://www.scotland.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20846
    A! Fredome is a noble thing
    Fredome mays man to haiff liking.
    Fredome all solace to man giffis,
    He levys at es that frely levys.
    A noble hart may haiff nane es
    Na ellys nocht that may him ples
    Gyff fredome failyhe, for fre liking
    Is yharnyt our all other thing.
    Na he that ay has levyt fre
    May nocht knaw weill the propyrte
    The angyr na the wrechyt dome
    That is couplyt to foule thyrldome,
    Bot gyff he had assayit it.
    Than all perquer he suld it wyt,
    And suld think fredome mar to prys
    Than all the gold in warld that is.
    Thus contrar thingis evermar
    Discoveryngis off the tother ar,


    Scots is our mither tung; an gin we dinna hain it,
    thare naebody gaun tae hain it for us.


    Scots is our mother tongue; and if we do not preserve it,
    nobody will preserve it for us.

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    Post Re: Question :

    Yes indeed many of the Lowland Scots are largely Germanic from the Angles, but don't forget that many of the Highland Scots are largely Germanic from Viking settlers. If I can find an article I once read claiming that nearly 40% of Highlanders have Norwegian ancestry I'll post it. The clan from which my Scottish family descends from was created by Norwegian settlers in the northern and western isles of Scotland.

    http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache...+vikings&hl=en
    http://www.isbuc.co.uk/People/Viking.htm

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    Post Re: Question :

    Scotland became English-speaking mainly because of the dominance of the Kingdom of England (particularly after the Norman Conquest), although it was the Northumbrian dialect which was adopted; this had already established itself in the former Northumbrian south-east Lowlands, around the capital Edinburgh.

    I'd say Scotland (with a Gaelic name and establishment) has less Germanic influence overall than France (which is comparable to England in this respect), and the south-east Lowlands were part of Northumbria only as a result of the latter's imperialism; I highly doubt that it resulted in any significant (if any at all) Germanic settlement.

    As for the division between Lowland and Highland Scotland, it has quite possibly existed since Roman times (or even earlier). Firstly it is a division between the wild Highlands and the somewhat more civilised Lowlands, but perhaps also between the Picts (and later, Scots) and Britons, the latter of whom were in fairly close contact with the Roman world.

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    Post Re: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhydderch
    Scotland became English-speaking mainly because of the dominance of the Kingdom of England (particularly after the Norman Conquest), although it was the Northumbrian dialect which was adopted; this had already established itself in the former Northumbrian south-east Lowlands, around the capital Edinburgh.
    The Normans had little influence on the Scots language so i disagree that any anglic spoken in Scotland is a result of the Normans. Scots is particularly known for retaining archaic Anglic words. I think you are giving the Normans too much credit.
    As for English, that only became a dominant language after the act of Union, prior to that the official language in Scotland was Scots. This is starkly shown in legal documents just prior to the Union and after. It clearly shows Scots before the Union and English after. The act of Union was in 1707. Over 6 hundred years after the Normans invaded Scotland. William the Conquerer invaded Scotland in 1072.
    Also Northumbrian was not just adopted by the masses just like that, it spread throughout lowland Scotland through settlement and intermarriages.
    I'd say Scotland (with a Gaelic name and establishment)
    I explained how Scotland got its name earlier. What do you mean by Gaelic establishment?
    has less Germanic influence overall than France
    So Lowland Scots with a Germanic language and evidently high amount of Germanic blood, particularly in the East, is less Germanic than a France which speaks a Romance language and a high amount of people of Romanic and Celtic origin? Think what you like.
    (which is comparable to England in this respect)
    Do you mean that England is also less Germanic thatn France?
    and the south-east Lowlands were part of Northumbria only as a result of the latter's imperialism; I highly doubt that it resulted in any significant (if any at all) Germanic settlement.
    Firstly the Anglic expansion through the Northumberland Kingdom is no more imperialist than gaelic "imperialism" remember they are originally from Ireland and Gaels speak a dialect of Irish.
    Secondly what makes you think that the Germanic settlement was insignificant? Have you ever been to Eastern Scotland? Edinburgh can seem more English than England.
    Thirdly, if the Germanic Settlement was so small how did the vast majority of Scots speak a Anglo dialect?
    I mean where Gaelic settlement was strongest in the West Highlands and Western Isles the folk there started to speak Gaelic through intermixing and expansion of Gaelic speaking communities.
    Ystrad Clud which was a Brythonic Kingdom was defeated by the Gaels and not the Northumbrians so how come it became an Anglic speaking area and not a Gaelic one? The people would go on to replace their Cymric language with an Anglic one.
    Its obvious that once the kingdoms of Scotland was united the Germanic settlers spread westwards into Western Central and Southern Scotland mixing with the Britons there.
    As for the division between Lowland and Highland Scotland, it has quite possibly existed since Roman times (or even earlier). Firstly it is a division between the wild Highlands and the somewhat more civilised Lowlands, but perhaps also between the Picts (and later, Scots) and Britons, the latter of whom were in fairly close contact with the Roman world.
    Again i think your wrong. The divide geographically is somewhat exagerrated.
    To assume any kind of divide existed throughout history si to assume the geography is responsible. This is not true.
    I mean the divide is mostly cultural and not geographic. The Gaels were always considered different simply because they were Irish invaders and quite successful invaders too. So there was an element of fear.
    Even the Britons who were also Celts would see them as just as different as the Anglic invaders simply because there was no notion of a "Celtic" identity and their languages which although share the same celtic roots were vastly different.
    The Britons and the Picts are known to have influenced each other and the most probable theory for the Picts now is that they were a Britonic speaking people with a culture that pre dated the arrival of the Celts.
    Picts have also lived in many parts of the lowlands.
    Also the Kingdom of Strathclyde included large parts of the Highlands too.
    So the difference isnt geographic its cultural.
    Also the Romans considered all of Scotland uncivilised, including the Brythonic areas. Take another look at where Hadrians wall is located. Far south from the Highlands.
    Last edited by Wayfarer; Wednesday, October 12th, 2005 at 02:45 AM.
    A! Fredome is a noble thing
    Fredome mays man to haiff liking.
    Fredome all solace to man giffis,
    He levys at es that frely levys.
    A noble hart may haiff nane es
    Na ellys nocht that may him ples
    Gyff fredome failyhe, for fre liking
    Is yharnyt our all other thing.
    Na he that ay has levyt fre
    May nocht knaw weill the propyrte
    The angyr na the wrechyt dome
    That is couplyt to foule thyrldome,
    Bot gyff he had assayit it.
    Than all perquer he suld it wyt,
    And suld think fredome mar to prys
    Than all the gold in warld that is.
    Thus contrar thingis evermar
    Discoveryngis off the tother ar,


    Scots is our mither tung; an gin we dinna hain it,
    thare naebody gaun tae hain it for us.


    Scots is our mother tongue; and if we do not preserve it,
    nobody will preserve it for us.

  8. #8
    Account Inactive Huzar's Avatar
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    Post Re: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried
    They are at least as Germanic as the French .


    Effectively, to be completely honest, i don't perceive (instinctively) France like a Germanic country ; yes, in the northeast of the country there is an important germanic genetic component, (especially in regions like Alsace and Normandy) plus a notable phenotypical presence in the upperclass of the central-northern part of the country. Although this, France ,in its ethnocultural, Historic-national and genetic/phenotypical complex, isn't a Germanic country i think. I know many of you consider France a western Germanic country, but personally i'm disagree on the matter : imo, France is something of unclassifiable. It's not Germanic like England or Scotland and isn't Mediterranean/latin like Spain or Portugal. Is something other (Gaulic/Celtic more probably) i would define most of french people like GAULS/Celts "romanized".

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    Post Re: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by KULL
    to be completely honest, i don't perceive (instinctively) France like a Germanic country
    Agreed, with the notable exception of regions like Elsaß-Lothringen. France is not really a nation in the folkish sense; as I said above, it's a blend and patchwork of Celtic, Romance, and Germanic cultures. I don't think the whole can be classified as anything more precise than Western European.

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    Post Re: Question :

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayfarer
    The Normans had little influence on the Scots language so i disagree that any anglic spoken in Scotland is a result of the Normans. Scots is particularly known for retaining archaic Anglic words. I think you are giving the Normans too much credit.
    As for English, that only became a dominant language after the act of Union, prior to that the official language in Scotland was Scots. This is starkly shown in legal documents just prior to the Union and after. It clearly shows Scots before the Union and English after. The act of Union was in 1707. Over 6 hundred years after the Normans invaded Scotland. William the Conquerer invaded Scotland in 1072.
    I never suggested it was due to Normans invading Scotland. I'm referring to the fact that England seems to have become more powerful after the Norman Conquest, and as a result tended more and more to dominate Scotland.

    My use of the term "English" was generic; I'm talking about the Northumbrian dialect, which was originally referred to in Scotland as "Inglis", but eventually became "Scots". I'm well aware that Scots became the national language of the country.

    Also Northumbrian was not just adopted by the masses just like that, it spread throughout lowland Scotland through settlement and intermarriages.
    How do you know that? I think you're making a deduction, just as I am; it remains to be seen whose deduction is correct.

    Gododdin, in the south-east Lowlands, was conquered by Northumbria around the 600's, and it is my opinion that Northumbrian spread through that region because it became politically dominant at this time, becoming the language of administration. But it must have taken many centuries before it became the native language.

    I explained how Scotland got its name earlier. What do you mean by Gaelic establishment?
    The kingdom was established by Gaels, and the royalty was for a long time of Gaelic descent. They gave Scotland its name.

    So Lowland Scots with a Germanic language and evidently high amount of Germanic blood, particularly in the East, is less Germanic than a France which speaks a Romance language and a high amount of people of Romanic and Celtic origin? Think what you like.
    France was established by, and named after, the Germanic Franks.

    I don't agree that Scots 'evidently' have a high amount of Germanic blood. In general they are easily distinguishable from Germanics. Blond hair, if that's what you're referring to, does not equal Germanic; the Bronze age invaders were brown and blond in hair colour, and their descendants are common in Eastern Scotland.

    As for language, are the Irish more Germanic than the French, since the vast majority speak a Germanic first language?

    Do you mean that England is also less Germanic thatn France?
    'Comparable' is the word I used; in other words I believe they're about equal in that respect.

    The subject of England being Germanic-speaking, whereas France is not, is an interesting one, and I think the reason is not due to a difference in the nature of the Germanic invasion and settlement, but to the peculiar position of Latin in Britain. I have an opinion on it, which I might post soon on another thread.

    Firstly the Anglic expansion through the Northumberland Kingdom is no more imperialist than gaelic "imperialism" remember they are originally from Ireland and Gaels speak a dialect of Irish.
    Exactly. Gaelic was the language of administration all over Scotland as a result of imperialism, and that's why it spread over much of the Lowlands and North-East Scotland.

    Have you ever been to Eastern Scotland? Edinburgh can seem more English than England.
    I know what Scotsmen look like, and I wouldn't argue that they are very dissimilar to the English. But as I've said on many threads, I don't think the English have much Germanic blood either.

    Thirdly, if the Germanic Settlement was so small how did the vast majority of Scots speak a Anglo dialect?
    As I said, England loomed large over Scotland, and English came to be the language of the Scottish royal court (also helped by the fact that Anglo-Norman aristocrats were becoming influential); but they adopted the variety of English which was already spoken in their realm. This, of course, gave it very much a dominant position, and slowly but surely, it began to supplant Gaelic.

    Ystrad Clud which was a Brythonic Kingdom was defeated by the Gaels and not the Northumbrians so how come it became an Anglic speaking area and not a Gaelic one? The people would go on to replace their Cymric language with an Anglic one.
    Its obvious that once the kingdoms of Scotland was united the Germanic settlers spread westwards into Western Central and Southern Scotland mixing with the Britons there.
    The people of Strathclyde were adopting Gaelic when "Inglis" became politically dominant. However, Gaelic may have continued to replace Brythonic even after this; at any rate it survived in parts of Ayrshire and Galloway until at least the 17th century.
    But the fact that Inglis spread through Scotland is due to its position as the administrative (or official) language of the country.

    Again i think your wrong. The divide geographically is somewhat exagerrated.
    To assume any kind of divide existed throughout history si to assume the geography is responsible. This is not true.
    I mean the divide is mostly cultural and not geographic. The Gaels were always considered different simply because they were Irish invaders and quite successful invaders too. So there was an element of fear.
    Even the Britons who were also Celts would see them as just as different as the Anglic invaders simply because there was no notion of a "Celtic" identity and their languages which although share the same celtic roots were vastly different.
    The Britons and the Picts are known to have influenced each other and the most probable theory for the Picts now is that they were a Britonic speaking people with a culture that pre dated the arrival of the Celts.
    Picts have also lived in many parts of the lowlands.
    Also the Kingdom of Strathclyde included large parts of the Highlands too.
    So the difference isnt geographic its cultural.
    Geography can have a considerable effect on culture; mountains often isolate people from cultural innovations and civilising effects.

    Also the Romans considered all of Scotland uncivilised, including the Brythonic areas. Take another look at where Hadrians wall is located. Far south from the Highlands.
    Less civilised than England yes, but the Brythonic areas came under Roman rule three times (only about twenty years each time though, I think), and don't forget about the Antonine wall, north of Strathclyde. The Brythonic areas were constantly subjected to Roman influence (even when not part of the Empire), whereas the Picts remained uncivilised in the more isolated Highlands. As far as I know, the Britons in southern Scotland were not considered Barbarians in Late Roman times, unlike the Picts and Scots.
    Last edited by Rhydderch; Wednesday, October 12th, 2005 at 09:53 AM.

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