Caledonia

AttestedCaledonia or Calidonia as an area, and Caledonii or Καλεδονιοι as a tribe, were mentioned by many classical authors, listed by R&S.

Where:  Scotland, especially north of the Antonine Wall.  Ptolemy 2,3,13 explicitly situated his Καλεδονιοι in the region of the Great Glen.

Name originCaledonia is usually explained as derived from a Celtic form ancestral to Welsh calet, Irish calad, etc ‘hard’, which descended from PIE *kal- ‘hard’ and probably referred simply to mountains.  Other PIE roots (*kal- ‘beautiful’, *kal- ‘cup’, *gal- ‘to call’, *kel- ‘hill’, etc) are often not properly considered in discussions of similar names.

Notes:  Classical authors’ mentions of a Caledonian forest were picked up by early Welsh poets and thoroughly confused by later historians and pseudo-historians.

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Last Edited: 15 June 2016