n his new book, Scottish History For Dummies, Dr William Knox from the University of St Andrews explores the story of Scotland and its place within the historical narratives of Britain, Europe and the rest of the world.
The book charts Scotland’s turbulent past to the present day, and explains the impact of key historical figures such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and philosopher David Hume.
Here, writing for History Extra, Dr Knox reveals 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Scottish history.
1) There is no genetically pure or original Scot
There is no common ancestral or genetic heritage that links the peoples of Scotland. The country was a patchwork quilt of various peoples grouped together in tribes who certainly never thought of themselves as Scottish. They owed allegiance only to their kith and kin, but in the campaigns against Roman imperialism they built federations that laid the basis of kingdoms.
Ancient Scotland was made up of four separate groups: Angles, Britons, Picts and Gaels (or Scoti), who each spoke a different language. Latin became the common language of the whole country only after the Christianisation of Scotland in the 6th century AD...