The following is a brief overview of The Stone of Destiny: In Search of the Truth Buy the eBook and read the complete story

Chapter 3
A Potted Pre-History of Scotland
 

Introduction
Chapter 1 – Events Leading up to the Theft
Chapter 2 – The Legend: From Bethel to Scone
Chapter 3 – A Potted Pre-History of Scotland
Chapter 4 – The Coming of the Patron Saint
Chapter 5 – St Fillan & Bannockburn
Chapter 6 – The Stone of Destiny?
Chapter 7 – Finding the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
Chapter 8 – Destiny in the 21st Century
Conclusions 

As with any aspect of historical research, the distinction between fact and propaganda comes down purely to the story the historian wants to tell. Many books have been written that will use the same bibliography, but the story will be completely different depending on the viewpoint of the author. Of this, we make no claims to be factually correct, only to be as close as we can be, given the source material we have had access to view. When dealing with the history of Scotland there are several things worth mentioning, but the truth is that very little is factually known. This is even so with the history of the whole of the British Isles; we know of the Roman times, and then seemingly little of the period between 400 and 1066, the Battle of Hastings. Ironically, it is also around this time when Scotland really moves away from the mythical history of the unknown, into the known history beginning with Queen Margaret. This period of ‘mythical history’ is commonly called the dark ages, because times were hard and the shining light of the Roman Church had to fight fierce battles with the heathen and pagan religions in order to supplant the old Gods in favour of what comes down to us as Christianity. So much so, that before Margaret was canonised in 1251, the Church of Rome did not officially recognise any of the Celtic Christian saints from Alba such as St Columba, St Ninnian, St Mungo and St Fillan, to name but a few of the more well known.

The Romans retreated from Caledonia, roughly equivalent of modern day Scotland, in 407, and the land was subsequently divided among four tribes, three of which were Celtic and the fourth were Angles. The three Celtic tribes were the Picts, whose capital was at Scone and their lands were mainly the eastern and northern parts of modern day Scotland; the Scots, who had their capital at Dunstaffnage and held dominion over the western parts of Scotland; and the Britons who had their centre at Dumbarton and controlled the south western areas of modern day Scotland. The Lothians in the south east of the country, where the modern day capital of Edinburgh is situated, came under the Kingdom of Northumbria, that was of Saxon descent.

It was during the dark ages that the Celtic Church was to flourish, with the aid of the many saints who saw it as their mission to Christianise the pagan tribes. Many regard St Columba as the first of these saints, but we can read in The Life of St Columba by Adamnan, his follower, that there were people, Druids, on Iona practicing a form of Christianity before Columba arrived. These people were known as the Celi Dei, or Culdee – the Servants of God. The Culdees are believed to have been followers of a very old Pictish form of Christianity that was rife throughout Alba, and many sites still to this day have names that associate them as places of Culdee worship, e.g. Kirkcaldy = Kirk of the Culdees. It is the custom of any incoming religion to supplant the old by taking over and setting up on the existing sites of worship and putting a spin on the old ways to make them, and their followers, fall into line with the new beliefs. This happened with the Culdee sites being taken by the Celtic Church, which were in turn supplanted by the Roman Catholic Church, which subsequently lost many sites to the Protestant movement. Recently in Britain, an abandoned church was granted licence to be turned into an Islamic mosque. If this has any significance to the modern day, we shall leave the reader to decide.

* * *
One of the earliest maps of Britain was drawn by the cartographer Ptolemy (90-168) in his Geographia, compiled sometime around the year 130, when Britain was occupied by the Romans. His work is widely regarded as being very accurate for the time, and he was the first to use a series of latitude and longitude readings so that anyone could replicate his map accurately. Rather bizarrely, his interpretation of Britain is not so accurate, with the land of Albion being stretched and elongated eastward. He also included a mysterious island called Thule, which many have tried to identify since, with the most popular theory being that it is the Shetland Isles. Either way, the land that he has shown as skewed is that which is primarily Pictish territory, which he interestingly records as having twelve distinct tribes, or clans, much like the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Romans and Picts had a huge battle at Mons Graupius in the year 84, although today the exact location is unknown. The Romans claimed a victory, but there is conjecture as to whether this is factually correct, as there is no evidence for the battle other than from the Roman accounts, which generally boasted of their superiority. The Romans also undertook great building projects throughout the British Isles; of special note are Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, both of which are still visible to this day. The Romans finally began to leave Britain sometime around the year 407, but their influence was to continue for many centuries after.

The first of the Celtic saints begin to appear soon after the Romans start to depart. St Columba is generally regarded as the first saint to step foot on modern day Scotland, and lived between 521-597. It is said that St Columba blessed some of the early kings of Dalriada on Iona, in an act that suggests he was fulfilling a role something akin to that of the Pope in later times. It is important to emphasise that none of the Celtic saints were recognised by the Roman Church as being legitimately ‘saints’ in their definition of the word. It was not until the canonisation of Queen Margaret of Scotland in 1251 by Pope Innocent IV that Scotland was to receive its first officially recognised saint. Therefore, all of the Dalriadic, Alban & Scottish kings that had been blessed by the saint(s) in their coronation ceremony were not, in the eyes of Rome, also blessed by God. This remained the case until the coronation of King David II (King Robert the Bruce’s son) when the Pope officially blessed him as King. King Robert the Bruce was only acknowledged as King, but never blessed, and this forms an important part of our story.

In later times, this fact posed the monarchs of Scotland with a dilemma; should they adhere to the older Celtic Church and its faith, which was what the majority of their people also believed, or should they believe that by following the new religion of Rome they, and therefore their people, would be allowed closer to God? This dilemma has plagued humanity since year dot. It is the constant worry that asks what if a held belief is wrong? The fear of getting it wrong is inconceivable to most, if not all, people today. Would it mean an eternity in hell and damnation or absolutely nothing at all?

Pre-11th century, Scotland was seemingly rife with Celtic saints that did not receive their habit from the Church of Rome, but who had dominated the British Isles long before the arrival of the said Roman Church. At a crux point in history, around the time when King Edward I of England stole the Stone of Destiny, the Scots had little choice but to make a side step away from the early Celtic saints towards those recognised by the Roman Catholic Church.

Buy The Stone of Destiny as an eBook

Introduction
Chapter 1 – Events Leading up to the Theft
Chapter 2 – The Legend: From Bethel to Scone
Chapter 3 – A Potted Pre-History of Scotland
Chapter 4 – The Coming of the Patron Saint
Chapter 5 – St Fillan & Bannockburn
Chapter 6 – The Stone of Destiny?
Chapter 7 – Finding the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
Chapter 8 – Destiny in the 21st Century
Conclusions 

Copyright © 2007-2011 Mark Naples & David Bews

 

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