Cruithne: Legendary King, His Seven Sons And The First Celtic Tribe That Inhabited British Isles

An ancient myth says that in the beginning of time, there was a legendary king of the Picts, Cruithne.

‘Cruithne’ (from the Gaelic word: ‘An Cruithain’ (Pict) – naturally, ‘painted people’, was son of Cing (in Gaelic: ‘strong or brave’).

Considered to be the father of the Picts, Cruithne, the first king of the Picts, reigned for a hundred years and he had seven sons and their names were: Fib, Fidach, Foclaid (or Fotla), Fortrenn, Caitt (or Cat), Ce and Circenn.

If Cruithne really existed, he would have lived about 442 or 476 BC.

Historically speaking, the myth seems accurate these seven provinces did exist within Pictish territories.

In his book, ‘The Problem Of The Picts’ F.T. Wainwright mentions an ancient account of Scotland called ‘De Situ Albanie’, the first of seven Scottish documents (‘Pictish Chronicles ‘) recorded in the so-called ‘Poppleton Manuscript’, probably written between 1202 and 1214, in the reign of the William the Lion, by a French-speaking resident of Scotland (north of the Forth).

‘Cruithne’ refers also to the whole tribe of people – one of the earliest Celtic tribes known to have inhabited Ireland and Britain, who appeared in the British Isles between approximately 800 and 500 BC. These people probably migrated from the mainland; they may have been descendants of prehistoric – native tribes – that inhabited the British Isles since the Stone Age. Or were they perhaps Partholonians, mythical early invaders of Ireland?

The history of the earliest tribes in the British Isles is obscure.

The name ‘Cruithne’ could be also related to the early Irish word ‘Cruth’ , which means ‘shape’ or ‘design’. Many historians have said that the Picts were the ‘painted people’ and it has been suggested that the Picts had a habit of tattooing themselves; they may have decorated and tattooed their faces and bodies with dyes.

The Irish called the Picts the ‘Cruithne’, the Romans called them ‘Picts’, as a general term that covered many separate tribes.

Written by – A. Sutherland Staff Writer

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