I'm not sure whether I am replying to Mike or to Michael, but anyway:
The evidence from 297 AD is the preamble to the Panegyric of
Constantius, describing Britain at the time when Julius Caesar first
landed there in 56 BC, "the first of the Romans to do so", and found the
Britons to be "a nation which was then primitive and accustomed to
fight, still half-naked, only with Picts and Hiberni” and which
therefore “easily succumbed to Roman arms and standards".The speaker was
describing the situation as he understood it to have been three hundred
and fifty years earlier, so his remarks should perhaps not be taken too
literally, but it indicates that the people whom the Romans called
/Picti/ existed in Julius Caesar's time. (And they had nothing to do
with Scotland, but were Irish - but that's another story.)
On 19/10/2015 14:27, Michael wrote:
> 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....