Scotia, My Scotia, or bringing back the real Scotland!!

Last updated June 7, 2002

Far westward lies an isle of ancient fame,   
By nature blessed and Scotia is her name.
An island rich; exhaustless is her store   
Of veiny silver and of golden ore.
Her fruitful soil forever teems with wealth,
With gems her water and her air with health.
Her verdant fields with milk and honey flow,   
Her woolly fleeces vie with virgin snow;
Her waving furrows float with bearded corn,  
And arms and arts her envied sons adorn.
No savage bear with ruthless fury roves.   
Nor ravening lion through her sacred groves;   
No poison there infects, no scaly snake
Creeps through the grass, nor frog annoys the lake;  
An island worthy of its pious race,
In war triumphant, and unmatched in peace.

Map of Medieval Ireland and Britain.

Map of Medieval Ireland and Britain.

View expanded map

Sounds a lot like Heaven . . . and it was....This poem is by a saint and scholar from Hibernia named Donatus, (Dunchad) bishop of Fiesole in Tuscany (829-875). Such was his love for Christ that he left such an enchanted land to preach the Gospel to the pagans in Italy.

In his magnum opus, History of the Scottish Nation, Dr. J. A. Wylie brought to our attention the fact that Hibernia alone was called Scotia or Scotland. Most of the ancient historical documents were destroyed by the plundering Vikings, Normans, etc., etc. but many can still be found in museums in Europe.

We found a gold mine of information in a 2 volume set entitled Ireland and the Making of Britain and Ireland and the Foundations of Europe by a writer named Benedict Fitzpatrick.

Mr. Fitzpatrick verifies everything Dr. Wylie says . . . and he was a Roman Catholic historian. As he was writing his books he tried to find something good to say about his "church" and the Roman monks . . . but he admits complete failure. The Benedictines (the only competitors to the Scotch) were not even allowed to own a book!! Their most famous monastery Monte Casino in Italy is at the top of a mountain It may as well have been on another planet for all the good they did.!

Origin of the Scots

Around the year 600 B.C., a vast irruption of Celtic people occurred in Europe. The Cimmerii or Celts are descended from Gomer, grandson of Noah through his son Japheth. They came from the area of the landing of the Ark, Armenia or Scythia . . . they are not descended from African apes as Rome's evolutionist's claim!! 

They  ruled most of Europe and were the dominant power when Rome was still a heap of shacks on the banks of the Tiber. The Scyts or Scots were part of this great Gaelic family. These Milesian Gaels, led by their king Milo, invaded Hibernia about the time of Alexander the Great (332 B.C.) and give the island its name which existed for 2000 years. King Milo named the island after his youngest son, Hiberus or Hibernia.

Pagan Rome hated the freedom loving Celts. They were big and strong compared to the Romans, but they lacked unity. Rome used her typical divide and conquer tactics to defeat the Celts. Julius Caesar killed over 1 million Celts in his conquest of Gaul. His invasion of Britain killed thousands more.

Because Hibernia was not part of the Roman Empire, the Romans did not like to admit that it even existed. It was considered the end of the world - the wilderness.

It was the ministry of the Blessed St. Patrick that really brought Hibernia out of its isolation and established it as the center of an Empire - but unlike pagan Rome - an Empire of brains and not of brawn.

One hundred years after St. Patrick, St. Columba (around 563 A.D.) established the Christian Institute of Iona and he also established the colony of Scotia Minor in Caledonia which today exclusively bears the name of Scotland.

After the Fall of Rome, fierce savage Anglo-Saxon pirates invaded Britain and slaughtered the inhabitants. That country reverted to its pagan primitive state. Gregory I, Bishop of Rome, sent Augustine (597 A.D.) to try and convert them to Romanism. He was so terrified of the Anglo-Saxons that he first refused to go. Finally he went as far as Canterbury and stopped there. His monks waited until the Hibernians Christianized and civilized them before venturing out of their hiding places.

All the schools and colleges established in Britain at that time were Scottish Foundations and the British youth reverted to Hibernia for an education!!

The same thing can be said of the Continent of Europe. The Fall of Rome brought an inundation of savages from the forests of Germany. Again, it was the Scottish Christians who brought them out of their pagan darkness, barbarism, and savagery to the light of Christianity. As Dr. Wylie so aptly said:

"If it wasn't for the Scottish Christians, Luther would still have been worshipping Thor at the time of the Reformation."

Map of Hibernicized Medieval Europe.

View expanded map . . . Meet the Competition!!

Dotted all over the landscape of Northern Europe as far as Russia and Iceland were Scottish schools and colleges. These Foundations became the universities and cities of modern Europe. Their brightest luminaries were men like Columbanus, John Scotus Eriugena, Duns Scotus, Marianus Scotus, St. Gall, Peter Hibernicus, and others just too numerous to mention. They were the terror of Rome. When Columbanus showed up in Italy, there was consternation at the Vatican!!

When was the name changed from Scotland to Ireland?

A question that has always perplexed us is when did Scotia Major became known as Ireland? Benedict Fitzpatrick supplies the answer in his masterpiece. The changed was first officially recognized by . . . Pope Leo X....Yes, the same Leo X, who excommunicated the Hibernians in 1515, and Martin Luther in 1520....Leo said that the Irish were lying when they described their country as Scotia Major!!

Leo X. (1513 - 1521).

Leo X. (1513 - 1521).

We quote from Benedict's Fitzpatrick's Ireland and the Foundations of Europe, pp. 376-379:


A singular fate befell these foundations of Marianus Scotus and his compatriots. By the beginning of the sixteenth century the process of Gallicization through the Norman French and the subsequent process of Anglicization through the English in the southern and lowland parts of Scotland had greatly weaned the Scotch inhabitants from their older Gaelic ideals and from their attachment to Ireland, which before that time an almost universal common language and common civilization had continued to hold up in their memory as the motherland of them all. The transference also of the Latin names of "Scotia" and "Scot" from Ireland and the Irish to North Britain or Caledonia and its inhabitants, who from the eleventh and twelfth centuries began to be known as Scotland and the Scots - names before that time applied exclusively to Ireland and the Irish - resulted also in a condition whereby the older meaning of the terms came to be forgotten. The confusion arising from the transference of the terms gave rise to warm controversies which reached a climax following the publication of the Menologium of Dempster, which claimed for the new Scotland the hosts of Ireland's missionary saints.

"For a long period Scottish historians refused to admit that the terms Scot and Scotland belonged to Ireland and Irishmen, and they arrogated everything that could be attributed to the Scots as referring to the natives of North Britain," writes a modern historian of Scotland. Walter Goodall, a vehement vindicator of everything popularly considered typical of Scots nationality, was so angry at the proposal to shift old Scotia to Ireland that, not content with struggling against the transference, he threatened to prove that the other ancient name of Ireland, Ierne, belonged to Scotland. He found the "glacialis Ierne," which, according to Claudian, wept for her slain Scots, in Stratheam, and that by a process much more simple than Pinkerton's guidance of the Picts out of Peuke. The considerable celebrity which the Irish had acquired all over Europe was thus transferred with the name to Scotland."6

"Thus with the name, the Scots of the new Scotia or Scotland acquired the fame along with many other possessions of the medieval Scots of Ireland, and among these possessions went the Irish monasteries of Ratisbon and some other German cities. Had the Scots of North Britain based their equal claim on the former homogeneity of Ireland and Scotland as a single country and nation, they would have stood on firm ground. But their demand was for exclusive possession, and the success of their appeal ought not to appear singular in view of the ignorance prevalent on similar subjects even in this enlightened age.

"The Scots of North Britain asserted that the foundations of Marianus and his compatriots, being themselves called "Scoti," had belonged to their nation, and that the Irish, to whom the name "Hiberni" was now given, had thrust themselves in. And, marvelous to say, their plea was admitted at Rome. Pope Leo X issued a Bull "restoring" the foundations to their "proper owners," the inhabitants of Scotland, and the Irish were expelled after being charged among other things with having made a fraudulent entry in the records in that Ireland had been described as "Major Scotia." 7Such was the ignorance already in the sixteenth century regarding Ireland's ancient nomenclature.

"In 1515 one John Thomson, apparently a Northumbrian Englishman by descent, but claiming the name of "Scot," who had been visiting Rome, where he had been a daily guest of the Pope, entered the Irish St. James's at Ratisbon as superior with a company of Scotch monks from Dunfermline. The Scots of Scotland also came into possession of the Irish monasteries of Constance and Erfurt. Down to their suppression in 1847 these Irish foundations were looked upon as belonging exclusively to the natives of Scotland, 8 who in the eighteenth century, when Ireland lay chained under the Penal Laws, had also, through the mouth of James Macpherson, laid claim to the authorship of the old Gaelic of Ireland, as previously, through the mouth of Innes, they had laid claim to the superior antiquity and long conceded maternity of Ireland as the older and greater Scotia. The pretensions are probably unique in the history of civilization.9"


6. Hill Burton, History of Scotland, I, p. 201.

7. Collection in the Scots College Abroad, by James Dennistoun, in Advocates Library, Edinburgh.

8. The controversy to which Dempster, Innes, and Macpherson were the major contributors had its uses on the Irish side. "The greatest boon that was ever conferred upon Irish literature was the publication of Dempster's Menologium Sanctorum Scotorum. The book, taking as an axiom that Scotis, wherever the name occurred meant Scotland, transferred to Caledonia the greater part of the noble army of confessors who were known in history as Scots and whose memory was as fresh in the Isle of Saints as if they had been but just dead; for the author of it acquired the title of  Haglokleptes or Saint Stealer, and it set the Irish upon the recovery of their historical property; it excited Hugh Ward to put in motion the intellectual machinery which was represented by Patrick Fleming, the O'Clerys, and Colgan; and it produced the undying memorials of Irish Industry, the Annals of the Four Masters, the Collectanea, and the Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae" (Reeves, Ulster Jour. of Arch., 1. p. 296).

9. See Ossianic Society, Transactions vol. V. (1857), p 171, seq.; Kirchenlexicon, vol. X, Schottenkloster.


Ireland and the Making Of Britain, Benedict Fitzpatrick, Funk & Wagnalls Company, NY & London, 1921.

Ireland and the Foundations of Europe, Benedict Fitzpatrick, Funk & Wagnalls Company, NY & London, 1927.

Editor's Notes

". . . By which it may almost be infallibly gathered together, with other circumstances, that the Irish are very Scots or Scythes originally . . . "

 Quoted from A View of the State of Ireland by Edmund Spencer, London, 1598, p.62.

Edmund Spencer was an English poet who wrote The Faerie Queen.

Description of Hibernia by the Venerable Bede:-- 

"Ireland, in breadth, and for wholesomeness and serene air, surpasses Britain; for the snow scarcely ever lies there above three days; no man makes hay in the summer for winter's provision, or builds stables for his beasts of burden. No reptiles are found there; for, though often carried thither out of Britain, as soon as the ship comes near the shore, and the scent of the air reaches them, they die. On the contrary, almost all things in the island are good against poison. In short, we have known that when some persons have been bitten by serpents, the scrapings of leaves of books that were brought out of Ireland, being put into water, and given them to drink, have immediately expelled the spreading poison, and assuaged the swelling. The island abounds in milk and honey, nor is there any want of vines, fish, or fowl; and it is remarkable for deer and goats. It is properly the country of the Scots, who, migrating from thence, as has been said, added a third nation in Britain to the Britons and the Picts." 

Bede, " Eccl. Hist.," translated by Stevens, ed. J. B. Giles, 1859, P. 49. 

We are Scots . . . not Gauls . . . we don't build stone churches!!

Malachy O' Morgair was the first Papal Nuncio to Hibernia. He was born at Armagh in the year 1095 and died in France Nov. 2, 1148. His biography was written by his close friend Bernard of Clairvaux. He traveled to Rome (1139) and was made Archbishop and Papal Legate of the whole of Hibernia by the Pope. In keeping with his new status he started to build a Cathedral like the ones he had seen on the Continent and at Rome. Here is the reaction of the local Christians as recorded by his biographer:

"It seemed good to Malachy that a stone oratory should be erected at Bangor like those which he had seen constructed in other regions. And when he began to lay the foundations the natives wondered, because in that land no such buildings were yet to be found. But that worthless fellow, presumptuous and arrogant as he was, not only wondered but was indignant. And from that indignation he conceived grief and brought forth iniquity. And he became a talebearer among the people, now disparaging secretly, now speaking evil openly; drawing attention to Malachy's frivolity, shuddering at the novelty, exaggerating the expense. With such poisonous words as these he was urging and inducing many to put a stop to it: "Follow me, and what ought not to be done by any but ourselves let us not permit to be done against our will."  Then with many whom he was able to persuade - himself the first leader in speech as well as the origin  of the evil he went  down to the place, and finding the man of God accosted him: "Good sir, why have you thought good to introduce this novelty into our regions ? We are Scots, not Gauls. What is this frivolity ? What need was there for a work so superfluous, so proud ? Where will you, a poor and needy man, find the means to finish it?  What sort of presumption is this, to begin, I say not what you cannot finish, but what you cannot even see finished ? Though indeed it is the act of a maniac rather than of a presumptuous man to attempt what is beyond his measure, what exceeds his strength, what baffles his abilities. Cease, cease, desist from this madness. If not, we shall not permit it, we shall not tolerate it...." 

Bernard has terrible things to say about the Gaelic church. Here is a small sample: 

"A tyrannous race laid claim to the metropolitan see of Patrick, the great Apostle of the Hibernians, creating archbishops in regular succession and possessing the sanctuary of God by hereditary right"

Hereditary means passed down from father to son.

Finally, in a sermon preached at the funeral of Malachy, Bernard did tell the truth about his nationality . . . not like most people today!!

"From further Scotland he ran hither to death . . . "

Life of Malachy by Bernard of Clairvaux is available from

Other ancient nations were blotted out by Rome through her Spanish Conquistadors. Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, the Philippines etc., etc, didn't exist before the Reformation but the case of Hibernia is unique in the history of the world. There is only ONE France, one Italy, one Germany, etc., etc., likewise there can be only ONE Scotland!

A Real Old-Fashioned Education

Education today is such a "cheat." Here is a description of a real education. This was before the invention of printing and books were very difficult to produce. Back then if you didn't know the "Three - Fifties" - as the Book of Psalms was called you were considered very ignorant....How many people in the world today know the Book of Psalms by memory?

"The first reader of the seventh-century schoolboy was not a picture book about cat and dog and bird, but the Psalter, or Book of Psalms. The one hundred and fifty glorious songs of David and the other Hebrew lyrists had to be learnt by heart. Bible stories replaced the nursery tale, and the Psalms and the Alleluia supplanted the pagan nursery rhyme. Such had been the practice of the Church since the days of Basil, Chrysostom, and Jerome." Quoted from:

Metlake, George, Life and Writings of Saint Columban, Philadelphia, 1914, p. 93.

"The child must be made acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures as early as possible. The teachings of the Bible are a wholesome antidote against the evil inclinations that manifest themselves even at this tender age; they are the fountain that water the soul." Quoted from:

St. Chrysostom, 60 Hom. in Matthew.

Download the 3-50's - the Book of Psalms from the King James Bible.

Hibernian History Resources

Back to Main Menu