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Where did the Picts come from?

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Quick Answer

The Picts were descendants of the indigenous peoples of northern Scotland. The Picts were likely an amalgamation of indigenous Scots and Celts who assimilated via conquest, marriage or some combination. The Picts are not believed to have spoken a recognizable Celtic language, so their Iron Age roots prevailed.

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Full Answer

Having left no written documents, the earliest references to the Picts are found in Roman records. The Roman orator Eumenius wrote of the "semi-naked Picti ('painted ones')" as fearsome adversaries.

The term "Picti" was probably a Roman nickname used to describe the people north of Hadrian's Wall. "Pict" was an umbrella term applied to many different people in the north of Scotland with different cultures and languages.

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