Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Uncovering the Picts

I happened upon two linked articles from The Scotsman about recent archaeological work on  the Picts. As far as I can see the first article from 2019 has been updated recently, but both contain different material from the other. 

Unravelling the fragmented story of the Picts is even more obscure than that of recent disputes in the Scottish Parliament and executive, but these articles may help with the former, if not the latter. They can be seen at The Picts: How their mysterious world is being illuminated like never before and at Archaeologists re-writing the history of the Picts are honoured


Anonymous said...

Re your interesting blog article some years back:


I recently wrote a blog article, in which I argue that a realistic carving of William the Conqueror can still be seen, in Exeter Cathedral of all places:


Knowing of your interest in such things and church matters, I emailed you a link to this but received no reply. If you did see it, but for whatever reason decided not to reply, then please forgive me for raising it again and rest assured this won't be repeated!

I mention it here only because my email may have disappeared into your spam folder or the email address I found was one you no longer use. Likewise, I left a comment on your latest article because if you are not alerted to comments then one left on the original article from 2012 might also never be seen again!

John Ramsden ( jhnrmsdn@yahoo.co.uk )

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall reading that many tribes in Roman Britain were then fairly recent incomers, but at the time everyone agreed that one tribe in present-day Scotland had been there since the year dot. That was the Taezali tribe, who occupied the eastern coastal strip of the highlands, and were presumably one of the Pictish tribes.

It is all too easy to invent spurious word associations, because there are only so many vowels and consonents. But I sometimes wonder if the thistle, the present emblem of scotland, and also called the teazel, wasn't derived from their tribal name or vice versa. Perhaps they cut their hair short, or flat on the top, and the name Taezali meant something like "Thistle Heads"!

Maybe in addition to their body painting, which gave rise to their Latin name "pictae" (Painted People), they also dyed their hair purple, making them resemble thistles even more!

John Ramsden