The Scoti were the ancient inhabitants of Hibernia, as appears from notices in some of the Latin writers. (Claudian, de IV. Cons. Honor.
33, de Laud. Stil.
2.251; Oros. 1.2
.) For several centuries Ireland was considered as the land of the Scoti, and the name of Scotia was equivalent to that of Hibernia. (Isid. Orig.
14.6; Beda, 1.1, 2.4; Geogr. Rav. 1.3, 5.32; Alfred the Great, ap. Oros. p. 30, &c.) We have no accounts respecting the subdivisions of the Scoti; but perhaps they are to be sought in the names of the Irish counties, as Munster, Leinster, Ulster, Connaught.
Ammianus mentions the Scoti, in conjunction with the Attacotti, as committing formidable devastations (27.8.4).
According to St. Jerome (adv. Jovin.
5.2. 201, ed. Mart.) they had their wives in common; a custom which Dio Cassius represents as also prevailing among the kindred race in Caledonia (76.12).
At a later period the names of Scotia and Scoti vanish entirely from Ireland, and become the appellations of the neighbouring Caledonia and its inhabitants.
This was effected through a migration of the Scoti into Caledonia, who settled to the N. of the Clyde;
but at what time this happened, cannot be ascertained. Beda (i. I) states that it took place under a leader called Reuda.
The new settlement waged war with the surrounding Picts, and even against the Anglo-Saxons, but at first with little success. (Id. 1.24, 4.36.) Ultimately, however, in the year 839, under king Keneth, they succeeded in subduing the Picts (Fordun, Scot. Hist.
ap. Gale, 1.659, seq.); and the whole country N. of Solway Frith
subsequently obtained the name of Scotland.
(Comp. Zeuss, Die Deutschen u. die Nachbarstämme,
p. 568; Gibbon, vol. iii. p. 268, and notes,