Picts “an ancient people of the British Isles”. The word appears for the first time in 297 A.D. in Eumenius’ Panegyric. It is a translation of the Breton Breizad “Breton” (from brezel “war”, thus “the warriers”) and confused with brez “variegated” ; this confusion prompted Isidore of Seville to say that their name arose from their being tattooed (which was just a supposition). Thus the Picts were just Bretons, not some mysterious people.


In his 2006 book The Origins of the British, revised in 2007, STEPHEN OPPENHEIMER argued that neither Anglo-Saxons nor Celts had much impact on the genetics of the inhabitants of the British Isles, and that British ancestry mainly traces back to the Palaeolithic Iberian people, now represented by Basques, instead. He also argued that the Scandinavian input has been underestimated. He published an introduction to his book in Prospect magazine of October 2006, and answered some of his critics in a further Prospect magazine article in June 2007.

H. GUITER in La langue des Pictes (Bull. Soc. vascongada 24: 281-321, 1968) shows convincingly that the inscriptions found in the British Isles do not differ any more from Basque than a dialect. This is not to say that the Picts were Basques, but simply that the Basques, a people of navigators, had left their traces in this country (as they have in America). Pict is without any relation to “Pictones” the ancient name of the inhabitants of Poitou, France.