Sunday, September 09, 2012

Pictish society

The Romans classified some fifteen tribes in the north and loosely identified the territories they occupied. They also observed that tribal chiefs had a religious as well as a royal function. Women could have such a role, as was the case with Boudicca of the Iceni. The succession of leaders was matrilineal: it mattered more who their mother was than who their father was. Since it is possible that women may indeed have more than one husband, the matter of succession could be complex. later Romantics sometimes regarded this Pictish society as democratic, but it was in fact full of social differentiations.

Queen Boudicca

Under the tribal leader there was a class who maintained chariots and fought from them. these charioteers had the status of barons, owned cattle and land in their own right, and usually they owned slaves who worked their land and served in their homes. These slaves were normally war prisoners although their status was often hereditary.There may also have been raids to obtain slaves from other tribes and vulnerable coastal communities south of the frontier.

Via Pictish society |