PICTISH SYMBOLS

An extract from The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome
by Phil Barker & Ian Heath



[Based on Pictish stones

103.      PICTISH SYMBOLS

These symbols are some of the commoner of those found on the carved stones, and are included as a possible hint as to shield decoration and standards. The free-flowing animal designs speak for themselves, with the possible exception of the famous "swimming elephant". The meaning of the others on the left largely remains a mystery. The upper pair may represent arrows breaking on shields and the lowest a mirror case - but probably do not.

I should make it plain that only the symbols are found on the earlier stones dating to the period we are presently interested in. Those with the figures of people are considerably later, but as there were few outside influences, changes in dress and weaponry probably did not proceed very fast.



Next: 104, 105, 106 & 107. SCOTS.IRISH WARRIORS by Phil Barker and Ian Heath