This book challenges the belief that the Scots were an ancient nation whose British identity only emerged in the early modern era. In fact, the idea of Scotland as an independent kingdom was older than the age of Wallace and Bruce. Dauvit Broun radically reassesses a range of fundamental issues: the fate of Pictish identity and the origins of Alba, the status of Scottish kingship vis-A-vis England, the papacy's recognition of the independence of the Scottish Church, and the idea of Scottish freedom. He also sheds new light on the authorship of John of Fordun's chronicle, the first full-scale history of the Scots, and offers an historical explanation of the inability to distinguish between England and Britain. Broun situates his history in the wider context of ideas of ultimate secular power in Britain and Ireland and the construction of national histories in this period.