« Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby... | Main | We're All Americans, Now »

June 12, 2008

Scots, Wha Ha'

For Grim, who has the good sense to write about Scots:

In celebration of this weekend's upcoming Scottish Highland Games in Blairsville, Georgia, let's talk a bit about Scottish history. A good starting point is this review of historian Trever-Roper, perhaps the most hostile to the mythology of Scotland.

The myths that bothered him were alike in this way: each made Scotland seem less a part of European civilization than it really had been. You can see the result in Braveheart, a movie actually filmed in Ireland, whose extras were provided by the Irish Army Reserves. William Wallace is depicted in a kilt, which he certainly would not have worn. The article above suggests the kilt was invented in the 19th century, but that is not quite right. What we call the military kilt was, that is, the skirt that is a separate garment. The Great Kilt, which is a huge bolt of cloth belted around the body, is ancient in origins; but it was the dress of the poor, who literally belted their bedclothes around themselves for warmth in the daytime. William Wallace was a knight.

Braveheart also has William Wallace wear woad, which was too late -- the Picts did that, in Roman times. Trevor-Roper, who survived long enough to have seen it, must have been beside himself.

The Scots were noted as having a unique character, however, in the Middle Ages. That character is different from how we imagine it today.

No kidding.

I'm a Wallace. It happens to be my middle name, actually.

But the point about kilts notwithstanding, I thought you all might enjoy this.

CWCID: The spousal unit.

Posted by Cassandra at June 12, 2008 06:42 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I thought the gentleman didn't do blogs?

Posted by: Grim at June 12, 2008 08:55 PM

Well, you finally found a way to include that link into a post. Now, I'm waiting for The Butt Book post...........among others.

Posted by: DL Sly at June 12, 2008 11:24 PM

Why the snit over the Eire-ish connection to the film? Call it a return to the roots, of a sort, since bagpipes were invented on the Emerald Isle.

Of course, when the Irish introduced the pipes to the Scots, the Scots mistook them for a type of musical instrument and the confusion persists to the present da -- *incoming*!

Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2008 05:36 AM

Ooooooohhhhh.... start running.

Sorry, Sly. This week has been crazy and that kind of post takes me a long time to do.

Posted by: The Sternly Wagging Finger of International Consensus at June 13, 2008 05:39 AM

I don't care that it was filmed in Ireland; but you're right that the Gaelic stock of the Scots themselves came from Ireland. They intermarried with the Picts and others in the north, but the language and much of the culture were Irish. The Great Kilt evolved from an Irish garment called a brat, shorter than the Great Kilt and worn as a cloak.

The movie just amuses me because of how totally innacurate it is. Like how they show the "Battle of Stirling Bridge," but minus the bridge.

Posted by: Grim at June 13, 2008 06:00 AM

Ooooooohhhhh.... start running.

With these knees? Besides, I don't want to die out of breath...

Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2008 06:24 AM

Did someone mention me island then?

Posted by: Steven at June 13, 2008 08:58 AM

There's just something about men wearing kilts!

Posted by: lela at June 13, 2008 09:16 AM

There's just something about men wearing kilts!

I can see it now -- this thread's gonna get hijacked into that whole Real Man/Real Woman thong.

Uhhh -- I meant *thing*. Real Man/Real Woman *thing*.

Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2008 10:30 AM

Mel Gibson is a toad-in-the-woad.

I have a Bruce badge floating around here somewhere...should wear it and go to the Games.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by: Cricket at June 13, 2008 10:44 AM

mmm...men in kilts. Takes me back to D.C. in 2006...

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 13, 2008 11:05 AM

Do Not Go There, Hf6...

Posted by: MaryAnn at June 13, 2008 12:42 PM

Do Not Go There, Hf6...

Oh, like *that* will even slow her down enroute...

Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2008 01:33 PM

*checking watch*

*calculating time zone differential*

*logging into naval observatory to check mean sidereal time*

*whacking watch against laptop*

Huh. Darned if she *didn't* go there.

Ummmm -- just when in 2006 was that again, MaryAnn?

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 06:56 AM

The only reason I didn't go there - YET - is because I'm not in Hawaii at the moment so your calculations are off, whirly-bird man ;~)

MaryAnn ~ why NOT? Men in kilts are fun, wouldn't you agree? Maybe we should ask Kit?

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 14, 2008 10:26 AM

...I'm not in Hawaii at the moment...


I *know* that. I was just estimating your time enroute to -- oh, Lowered -- you aren't flying into Dothan, I hope.

Every time I've had to fly commercial to Dothan, my bags wound up in Alaska. Keep a tight grip on Princess Trouble.

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 10:45 AM

Nope - flew into Nashville y'all! We'll be driving to Mother Rucker. Easier to keep a tight grip on Princess Trouble. But for now, we're hanging with the 101st. Well, kind of.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 14, 2008 12:07 PM

Oh... fine.

I see how you are. And what about your friends in the greater Washington metrosexual...err...metropolitan area?

What are we???? Chopped liver?


Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2008 12:10 PM

What are we???? Chopped liver?


Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 01:10 PM

No - you're not chopped liver or a hard-hearted harbinger of haggis (points if anyone can name the movie). You're just too far away and not in possession of the, um, equipment I desire... ;~)

You wanna see me? Come to VEGAS baby.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 14, 2008 04:24 PM

So I Married an Axe Murderer.

Forget the points. Send beer.

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 04:58 PM

So I Married an Axe Murderer.

Forget the points. Send beer.

I KNEW there was a reason I liked you. Now there's more.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 14, 2008 05:38 PM

I like THESE.
(Go figure)

Posted by: camojack at June 16, 2008 03:56 AM

Post a comment

To reduce comment spam, comments on older posts are put into moderation 5 days after the last activity. Comments with more than one link also go into moderation. If you don't see your comment after posting it, try refreshing the screen. If you still don't see it, your comment is probably in the moderation queue.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)