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Top comments that mention products on r/Scotland:

u/alljustshitereally · 27 pointsr/Scotland

Hi! This sounds super interesting! Which game are you modding, sounds like something like Total War? I used to love that back in the day, I would definitely play a mod with some more realistic Scottish historical context!

You're right that this is a difficult area to research - the thing about this era is that the sources for Scotland are very sketchy - very few written records from this period survive, and a lot of it is translated through later witnesses. A lot of it is also apocryphal and not all of it ends up in the history books (though I added some links at the bottom to some good books if that's useful!).

That being said, there are definitely some colourful events that you could draw on in this period, one of huge upheaval and change in Scotland. And using a bit of license is totally OK - as long as you don't just make things up! - some of the best films about Medieval Scotland, like Braveheart, aren't 100% accurate.

So here are a couple of events off the top of my head you might be able to use, adapt, refer to etc. Hopefully other people in the sub can add details if I've forgotten any or got something incorrect!


  1. The Fànne v. Dòbber Wars

    The Fànne - Dòbber Wars was a period of major conflict and violence between two tribes (the clans came a bit later) in Scottish history that marked an important early phase in the rise of Kenneth MacAlpin, sometimes seen as the first King of Scots. He was also a member of the Fànne tribe, and in fact is thought to have become Chief of the Fànnes while still quite young due to his military skill. At some point however, before Kenneth was born, the Fànne tribe split due to a dispute over heritage (very important in those days!), which saw one faction claiming rightful heritage of the lineage - known as the Pure Fànnes - whereas a second faction claimed feudal overlordship over all of the tribe. They have come to be known by historians as the Total Fànnes because of the breadth of their claim. Eventually the Pure Fànnes were successful in driving out their rivals, and so the Total Fànnes left the tribe and founded a new one, the Dòbbers (from the old Pictish words Dòb and Ur - 'glorious' and 'exile'). Because they never gave up their claims to their kinship, they came to be called the 'kin Dòbbers'.

    If we jump back to Kenneth MacAlpin, by the time he assumed leadership of the tribe these two tribes were basically at war. The 830s saw repeated, bloodthirsty clashes between the Pure Fànnes and the Kin Dòbbers without any resolution, until finally both sides, exhausted, decided to make peace. This was done at the foot of a mountain called Cúl Beag in the northwest Highlands, near modern-day Ullapool. You might have heard of a medieval tradition called the Kiss of Peace. Well Scotland had its own version of that, which was used at this occasion, called the 'Té' in Gaelic, so bearing in mind the location, the peace treaty between the Pure Fànnes and the Kin Dòbbers was known as the Tè Beag.

    Because the sources are very unclear we don't know exactly what this looked like, but it involved King Kenneth and the Chief of the Dòbbers, Avon Four Sail (a moniker which evidently refers to his maritime skills and mercantile wealth). The Té Beag is described in much later sources as 'an intimate gesture' (so perhaps not unlike the Kiss of Peace) that was 'performed in a squatting position close to the fundament'. It was followed by both sides breaking open several ritual casks of whisky (booze features in a lot of this history!) known as B'aw, from the Gaelic 'special' and 'drink'. Although we don't know exactly when this event took place, it's still said that 'B'aws were tasted that day'.


  2. The Pumping of the Maws

    This isn't really a historical event per se, more of a kind of cultural anecdote that you might be able to use - hope it's still useful!

    So I'm sure you've heard the word 'maw' before, which usually refers to something like an opening, e.g. the mouth of a cave, but in Scotland it has several meanings. One of these is a kind of container or skin with a narrow opening (so a bit like the other definitions). It was mainly used to store alcohol - especially whisky, back in the day (told you there was a lot of booze! We Scots sure love to drink!). To give you an idea, the modern bagpipe is also built using a maw, so you can see the kind of dimensions I mean.

    Now you'll know already that although whisky has been made in Scotland for hundreds of years, it wasn't always done legally. Back in Medieval Scotland, the Crown used to try and tax whisky production in every household, so a lot of people used to make it secretly using their own equipment rather than a big, central still. And it was stored in maws - because they're flexible, they were easier to hide away than a big barrel or cask. This is a much later source, but it gives you an idea: illicit distilling.

    OK so in Medieval Scotland, a lot of villages were very remote, so the Royal Tax Collector used to visit only once a year - and as soon as he was gone, they knew they were in the clear for another 12 months! This led to a custom where everyone in the village would gather after the Royal Tax Collector had gone, put the whisky into casks (important for the maturing process) and clean out the maws with rudimentary pumping devices, ready for next time. This was a collective activity and became known as The Pumping of the Maws - basically, everyone in the village would bring their maw to the common grazing lands, see that each maw was properly pumped, and there would be inspections to make sure it was done correctly. Often clansmen would pump each others' maws for a measure of accountability, but it was common enough to pump one's own maw, too. Really skilful clansmen could actually pump numerous maws in one session - in some villages the one who got through the most would be ritually crowned the 'Méad Shaggháir' (from the Gaelic words Méad and Sheág, meaning 'enthusiastic' and 'efficient'). After all this, there would be a giant party where some of the whisky from the previous year would be cracked open and drunk while the freshly-pumped maws would dry out in the sun - great stuff!



    Sorry if that's a bit much detail, I can get a bit carried away with my enthusiasm for history sometimes! I hope it's useful anyway and that you might be able to use one or two details, even if the whole stories don't make it in.


    Finally some literature that you might find useful if you want to do some more research!

    Scotland: A New History by Michael Lynch - quite an old book now but it holds up well

    Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson


    I'd love to see some of these details make it into the mod - keep us posted!
u/bigmama333 · 2 pointsr/Scotland

Wow so much love, thank you! And even bigger thank yous to those who went ahead and bought/downloaded it!! I hope you enjoy it as much as i am!

Showed dad and he thinks this is amazing and super grateful for all the kind comments... although he doesnt quite understand what reddit is and how people are commenting haha

Wee note re comments:
Currently only available to buy/download on amazon -

His publisher is focused on ebooks so we've a bit more work to do to get it on shelves in bookstores abd chains (if you have an in for somewhere or want to stock please do message me! 😁). Book launch in a couple of weeks at local pub where he will be signed selling paper copies. Happy days!

u/OllieGarkey · 10 pointsr/Scotland

Here is an actual Pictish stone, reproduced for clarity. It's based on an actual pictish stone that has been significantly weathered by time.

There's a big difference between the vaguely Celtic, but cool, symbols on your Ankh-Cross (which again, I think is neat) and the symbols on that Pictish stone.

As for the meanings of the pictish stone symbols?

We haven't a fucking clue. We have a lot of guesses, but being that the Gaels of the Highlands are almost completely lost to history, their predecessors the Picts are one of the least-known people.

Now, there has been a lot of really, really cool Scholarship lately. <- The Discovery of Middle Earth points out a lot of the geometric logic the celts used, and points out a lot of lost history. And argues that it may be that the old celtic scrollwork has actual geometric or mathematical meaning.

I'm not sure if that's true, but it's a fascinating hypothesis.

There is a lot to be learned, but unfortunately, the archaeology has in general been either poorly done many years ago or very poorly funded and done recently as a labor of love.

And so there's much that we really don't know. There's a lot just waiting to be learned.

But the recent scholarship on the Celts, in France and Germany and in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland has opened our eyes to a number of facts that we didn't know before.

A sampling:

  1. The Gauls were the richest people in Europe, which is why Julius Caesar invaded Gaul: he wanted their gold mines. Rome had run out of gold, and the only gold coins minted in western and southern Europe in the years just before Caesar's invasion bore names like Vercingetorix. It was only after his conquest of Gaul that the Romans started minting gold coins again.

  2. The Gauls were the original road builders in Europe, with most Roman roads being built over older, wooden Celtic trackways. Identical, pre-roman trackways have been found in Ireland and Germany, and almost all Roman Roads in Britain and France are built using Celtic celestial geography.

  3. Celtic Science, especially their use of astronomy and understanding of the calendar, was far more advanced than the Romans, and in some ways more advanced than the greeks. The Coligny calendar was the most accurate ancient calendar, and the best Lunar/Solar calender made probably until the advent of computers. It was extremely accurate, and also extremely complicated. But the Romans during Caesar's time were celebrating the fall harvest festival in the middle of August, so fucked was their calendar.

  4. The Romans were liars, thieves, and marauders. They were less advanced than every culture around them, the Greeks, the Celts, the Carthaginians, in nearly every capacity. Save one: Warfare. The Romans were not the bringers of civilization and reason, they were marauding barbarians who destroyed more advanced cultures, and plundered not just their wealth, but their ideas, as well.

    We've learned all of this in the last 10-30 years. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can learn in the next hundred.
u/BesottedScot · 3 pointsr/Scotland

I think you're going to suffer too much with broad strokes. All of the things you've mentioned have their own usecases really. You should focus on one of them and learn it before deciding whether you want to try another.

Although, you can also just do 'X vs Y' for all of those things you've mentioned and see articles on the differences between them as well as what they actually do.

Before you start any of the learning on any of those things though, you should definitely take one or two JS courses. Code School, Code Academy, Udemy all have great courses on Javascript. A couple of books I'd definitely recommend are Clean Code and Javascript, the Good Parts, I'd say these are ubiquitious and essential reading for any developer looking to get better.

Less and Sass are for doing stylesheets better. They basically introduce programming concepts like functions and variables into CSS.

Gulp and Grunt are task runners. Tests, minifying, linting and live previews can all be done with them.

Angular and React are basically front end frameworks built with flavours of JS. They introduce OO concepts into javascript and the MVVM/MVC way of working for the front end. The are markedly different from how they do things.

With the other things, there's basically a wealth of information for them.

Needless to say, you have a lot of reading and practicing to do. Luckily these days there's lots of examples and documentation for every one of the things you've mentioned.

u/TheBlaggart · 5 pointsr/Scotland

For a good general overview of Scotland's history you can't go far wrong with Michael Lynch's Scotland: A New History and my dad says that Neil Oliver's book A History of Scotland is good as well. I've not read it myself, but given that it's aimed at a general audience instead of historians it's possibly more readable than Lynch's book.

For modern Scottish history Tam Devine's book The Scottish Nation: 1700-2007 is a pretty good start. I find him quite readable, but it's more of a social history than a dates and facts history. I've taken against him a bit lately as he keeps sticking his oar in whenever there's a social issue on the go (Rangers going into administration was the latest), but I can't fault him for his knowledge and research work. I've a lot of respect for him as a historian.

The articles on Scottish History on Wikipedia tend to be quite well written, researched and sourced so you might find more specific books and information from their footnotes.

u/Turd_in_the_hole · -4 pointsr/Scotland

Fuck agriculture too?

Thankfully not a lot occurs on cold water coral in the UK nowadays- even the fishing industry themselves recognise the need to protect sensitive habitats and there's a wider official network of marine protected areas to try and ensure damaging activities don't occur in damaging places.

But often the most consistently productive habitats for our fisheries are higher energy environments that can recover more quickly from the disturbance of bottom trawls (lots of quick growing food)- which is why they are repetitively productive fishing grounds. Of course, it's often in modified state, but can you really expect it not to be? Humans can't use it to produce food without any consequence. It's a question of protecting what we can and should, whilst recognising that some habitat has to be used for food production.

It's not is black and white. If a balanced and more nuanced assessment interests you then I can highly recommend this book probably the best and easiest to digest book I've read on the subject.

u/autonomyscotland · 0 pointsr/Scotland

It feels strange but the probability of you having the same dream as someone you know is high. It's because there are hundreds of thousands of chances it could happen. So, for it to happen once out of hundreds of thousands of oppertunities isn't strange. That math says it's going to happen.

Especially as it's a common dream. It's so popular that google auto populates it when you type in, dream of p.

It's something that statistically is going to happen to a lot of people.

I'd recommend reading this book. I read it years ago and it is a good beginners guide to understanding why you think there is something mystical going on.

You are making one of the error explained in the book where you are attributing something that is common as being unusual.

u/ventisei · 4 pointsr/Scotland

Nice wee find! As an ex-pat, must share that Amazon Prime in the US does the same recipe bottles for $2.28 a bottle in a 12-pack. Also good for finding other UK treats.

u/EduTheRed · -1 pointsr/Scotland

Don't mind the downvotes and unhelpful comments. Real life Scots are more friendly than this politicised subreddit suggests.

If you have time but not much money, try a two pronged strategy:

  • listen to as many Scots voices as possible on TV, films, radio etc. Constantly have something Scottish on as background when you are doing something else. If you know where in Scotland the character you are playing is from, concentrate on that area. Also be aware of class differences in accent. However there are common aspects to most Scottish accents. See the Wikipedia article linked to below.

  • learn about phonetics, the actual shapes of the lips and tongue etc. involved in various sounds. I recommend this book. Physically do the exercises and learn the International Phonetic Alphabet to write the sounds. This takes work but will set you up to recognise and replicate the vowels and consonants of any accent in future.

    When you have done that, this Wikipedia article on the phonology of Scottish English gives the main points.
u/Shepy · 11 pointsr/Scotland

Love Glasgow, ordered a copy on kindle.

For the lazy:

Hopes And Dreams... And Buster Too

u/vipergirl · 0 pointsr/Scotland

Hollywood is representative of whoever buys into it, that includes the UK. I've gone to Cineworld, it is Western or Anglosphere if not international.

You saying that such and such is part of my culture is like saying Scots are British, full stop (which you may or may not agree with but there are people who would take full offence at that statement).

And there is no one American nation. As previously stated, America is made up of several different nations, many of whom transcend state borders.

I did not get this idea from Woodard but it is reflective of the experience that I have had. I'll be happy to send you the ebook if interested.

u/-Dali-Llama- · 2 pointsr/Scotland

>You seem to be blaming the UK and England for this.

I blame the union, the establishment, and above all other Scots who decided that our language was inferior and that it embarrassed us. This result in us enforcing the use of English on others, in order to rid ourselves our Scottishness and become more British.

>But Scotland has always had control of it's own education system, right from the beginning.

The problem goes a lot further than schools. If you really do want to learn more than you appear to know on this complex topic, a good place to start might be Scots: The Mither Tongue by Billy Kay, and Tom Devine's Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present.

>There has been nothing at all stopping Scotland from teaching Scots in school the way Welsh is taught in Welsh schools (and the teaching of Welsh in schools has predated devolution).

The Welsh language also suffered as a result of union, though again, much of this was enforced by the Welsh themselves. Here's an example:

>You need to accept that the decision to stamp out Scots has been taken by Scottish people, which means that will likely continue after independence.

It definitely has, as a result of unionism and cultural cringe. But as a Scots speaker in his late thirties, let me assure you that there has never been so much awareness, and dare I say even pride, in the Scots language in my lifetime, and speaking to my parents, it seems the same holds true for them. This has been a direct result of both devolution and the renewed energy brought on by the first independence referendum, with sparked all manner of discussion and reflection on our politics and culture.

u/asiatrails · 2 pointsr/Scotland

Pack of 6 half liter bottles are $15.49 (£12.39) with free shipping, delivery tomorrow anywhere in the USA.

u/t54oneill · 11 pointsr/Scotland
Burke and hare snatched bodies and then moved on to murder in Edinburgh in 1828 to sell to a doctor who wanted cadavers.
The Highland clearances, English Lords and Scottish royalists force people of off the land creating poverty and destitution.
This one focuses on Glasgow but he has other books it covers a broad range of events.

Edit.. Add one on

This book is expensive wow, the hunter brothers pioneered all sorts of medical things they were from my home town and the old house is a museum. plenty online about them.

u/abz_eng · 6 pointsr/Scotland

Or see posts that try to give a reasoned pro-union argument shoot of to -10 whilst a pro-indy get +50?

There is a distinct risk of creating an echo chamber here. You just have to look across the pond to see what could happen. see the now infamous sub of don-the-ald.

Echo chambers aren't good.

Yes Westminster has issues, but so does independence, as does the EU. I caught part of Guy Verhofstadt on Hardtalk and he fully admits that there are problems in the EU. His solution of more integration actually would solve a lot of these, using Brexit to force the EU countries to really get serious and not keep kicking a can down the road, is sensible. How far you actually agree or disagree with the solution is one debate, the other is does Europe get serious or keep kicking the can? What worked for 6 or 12 is becoming unworkable at 27+.

u/poutiney · 1 pointr/Scotland

Looks like you can buy it on (the US site) here and from looking at the pictures it appears to be manufactured in Glasgow, but an American label is applied, so should be the real deal.

u/Rossums · 3 pointsr/Scotland

I really enjoyed Scotland: A New History, you can get it on Amazon for pennies.

It goes from the Scottish Wars of Independence to modern day Scotland.

u/mendicantbias343 · 3 pointsr/Scotland

Burke and Hare I have not read this book, you should probably find the highest reviewed one.

u/nudimmud · 5 pointsr/Scotland

Shahnameh is a very long and complex book of verse. It has never been translated to English in entirety, in verse. There is however a fairly voluminous prose translation in English which covers many parts.

Here is a BBC Radio 4 documentary on Shahnameh.

Here is Dick Davis' prose translation of Shahnameh.