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Jon
11-12-2014, 06:48 PM
Hi All,

Just thought I'd share some very interesting reading with you all. Tim Clarkson has a blog, and has written books on the Makers of Scotland, the Picts, and, very much needed, the Strathclyde Britons. I'm often skeptical about such popular history books, but I must say I'm halfway through 'The Makers of Scotland', and it's really good. Informed, well-researched (Clarkson has a Phd in the topic), yet readable and enjoyable. It also seems engaged: he discusses the whole theory about a Gaelic-speaking community in west Scotland pre-Dalriada, for example.

Being L193, I am clearly scouring the books for possible leads(!). Since SW Scotland was such a mix, just about every group he discusses could be a candidate, of course. But for background reading, extra information, and just a darn good read, I can thoroughly recommend him.

http://senchus.wordpress.com/about/

Jon

rms2
11-14-2014, 01:21 PM
Looks interesting. I think I'd like to start with The Men of the North: The Britons of Southern Scotland. Thanks!

Jon
11-14-2014, 06:07 PM
That was my first instinct as well, as there is so little written about Strathclyde it seems. And there may well be a tie-in to L193 ;)

But I have to say 'the Makers of Scotland' has been a great foundation. 'Men of the North' next.

Enjoy!

Jon
12-21-2014, 11:15 AM
Hi rms2,

Have you got round to the Men of the North yet? I'm still tempted to give it a go. Let me know what you thought of it if so...!

Jon

rms2
12-21-2014, 01:44 PM
Hi rms2,

Have you got round to the Men of the North yet? I'm still tempted to give it a go. Let me know what you thought of it if so...!

Jon

I haven't yet, but I plan to. I need some new books.

Jon
07-28-2015, 12:20 PM
Just finished 'The Men of the North'. Very impressively researched and written. What struck me was Clarkson's debunking of the myth that the men of Strathclyde fled to north Wales - he claims that it was only the high-ranking elite who did that. The majority of normal folks stayed. What was also interesting was the extent to which the Britons intermarried from the earliest times with (Gaelic) Scots and Picts. Making the job of identification through modern-day DNA extremely difficult, if not impossible. It may simply have to be enough to say 'we're all from Celtic-speaking folks' for L21, with no finer tuning ultimately possible.

cairn
07-28-2015, 06:30 PM
I also recently finished The Men of the North and another of Clarkson's books, The Makers of Scotland. I enjoyed both of them and felt like they gave me a much better understanding of the time period from the Roman invasion to the emergence of a united Scotland. He argues that Dal Riata was populated mainly by the early Britons (pre-Britons?) but that they adopted Gaelic due to the ease of travel and trade with Ireland versus the overland route to the rest of Briton. That was much different from the Irish invasion model I had previously learned, and I think it will be interesting to see if the growing genetic evidence supports either of these hypothesis.

I agree with you Jon, it would be difficult to say that any particular haplogroup belongs exclusively to any particular kingdom or people, but I think that genetic clusters seem to emerge with geographic ties that suggest an affinity for a historical group; for example, the L1335/L1065 haplogroup being linked with the Picts. Clarkson's books made me really curious about what we might discover if/when we start to get more ancient DNA results from the Isles.

Jon
07-28-2015, 07:16 PM
Glad you liked them cairn. I had read the non-invasion theory from Ewan Cambell, who argues convincingly that there is no evidence in archaeology, history or language to support a one-off invasion. It's way more likely that both western Scots and Irish just had lots of contact from earliest times, leading to a mutual language. This throws up a lot of questions: who were the Dalriadans? Irish, Scots, or both? It's interesting that a lot of the sources that Clarkson questions are ancient Irish, Welsh and English - written by people who had a political agenda in magnifying themselves and their rulers: like all history I guess! Untangling that web to make sense of it all will be challenging.

In L513/193, my clade, we are Scotland-centred, with a focus on the south-west. Many people had speculated about Strathclyde Britons, but then we have some closely related clades in Ireland, and a growing presence in Argyll and further up western Scotland, so Irish/Scotti/Gael could also be a contender I guess.