"From Caledonia to Pictland" examines the earliest phases of Scottish history at a time when "Scotland" hadn't yet come into existence. It charts the transformation of the Celtic-speaking tribes of Iron Age Caledonia into the multi-lingual Christian kingdoms of Early Medieval northern Britain, peopled by Picts, Britons, Angles and Gaels. Major factors in this process include the direct and indirect influence of the Roman Empire, the profound impact of Christianisation, and the influx of Germanic settlers to the east and of Gaelic settlers to the west. Politically, we see the emergence of dynastic kingship and the earliest origins of state structures; culturally, this was a period of vibrant artistic achievement.
The volume concludes with a chapter on sources introducing the wide-range of, often intractable, evidence available to the historian of the period.