On 19/10/2015 11:21, Mike Weatherley wrote:
> [Re English speaking Romans on Channel 5].... so little evidence for what the Picts/Caledonians actually spoke to each other before they were colonized by the Gaelic Scotti from Ireland, I'm guessing the script-writers used something more like the latter.
Mike ... on dear!
There's surprisingly little evidence for a significant change in culture
at the (supposed) time of the Scotti invasion. Again, that suggests
continuity of language. Therefore it is likely that the West of Scotland
spoke "Old Gaelic".
The Picts (of whom we only know they might have spoken a welsh-like
language) only appear in 297AD and were not present at the time of
Ptolemy nor are they mentioned by Tacitus.
Hadrian's wall starts being built as turf.
Woad: the horrible brilliant blue stuff was clearly modern pigment and
not woad. But even woad is wrong, because the only evidence for blue
pain being used is from Caesar down in Kent "Omnes vero se Britanni
vitro inficiunt, quod caeruleum efficit colorem." Which translates to
"All the British colour themselves with glass, which produces a blue
color." "Vitro" translates to a type of blue-green glass that was
popular among the Romans, it does not translate to woad. " The only
other evidence given is Pliny the Elder's discussion of women's funeral
rites that involve using a "Glastum" a "plantain-like" plant to paint
themselves to look "like Ethiopians." (Pliny the Elder, Book 22) Yet
this also cannot be referring to woad because Pliny was well acquainted
with woad (isatis) and mentioned elsewhere about its medical usage (Book
26). (source: http://www.dunsgathan.net/essays/woad.htm)
I loved the scene where the "witch" took out a chlorine bleached swab to
put on the wound. The way the axes and arrows cut through armour as if
it were not there. The neatly edged track along which the 9th legion
marched. Their ability to kill a huge stag with a single sling shot to
the shoulder (which then dramatically exploded blood just like a high
velocity rifle shot). The massive hole under the iron-age house - the
neat sawn cut floor boards, it's location on a winter flood plain, etc.