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Caledonian, Irish, Scots and Pictish

Historical Overview Section

The Caledonians were enemies of the Roman Empire, which was then occupying most of Britain as the Roman province Britannia. Caledonian is the name used by the Romans - bizzarrely we do not know how the Caledonians referred to themselves.

In AD 180 they took part in an invasion of Britannia, breached Hadrian's Wall and were not brought under control for several years, eventually signing peace treaties with the governor Ulpius Marcellus. In 197 AD Dio Cassius records that the Caledonians aided in a further attack on the Roman frontier being led by the Maeatae and the Brigantes and probably inspired by the removal of garrisons on Hadrian's Wall by Clodius Albin. The Caledonians are next mentioned in 209, when they are said to have surrendered to the emperor Septimius Severus after he personally led a military expedition north of Hadrian's Wall. By 210 however, the Caledonians had re-formed their alliance with the Maeatae and joined their fresh offensive. A punitive expedition led by Severus' son, Caracalla,

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