Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,31  Σκητις (or Οκητις);  Scetis at position 288 in the Ravenna Cosmography
  Scia insula in the Life of St. Columba by Adomnan, written about AD 700 describing events in about AD 500.

WhereLuing and/or Seil.  The cut implied implied by the name might be either the narrow channel between Luing and Seil or the even narrower channel between Seil and the mainland.

Name Origin:  PIE *skei- ‘to cut’ had descendants in many languages including Greek σχίζω, Latin scindo ‘to split’, Irish scíathshield, wing’, and Germanic words such as English sheath, shed, ski, etc or Old Frisian sketha ‘to separate’.  Conceivably the final -is might mean ‘island’.

Notes:  Skye's ancient name was most likely Magantia.  There are linguistic difficulties with thinking that Skye preserves an ancient Gaelic name and Skye is too far north for the names listed in that part of the Cosmography or for Columba's zone of operations around Iona.  Our previous suggestion that Scetis was Colonsay-plus-Oronsay now seems wrong.

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Last edited 14 September 2022     To main Menu