Sunday, July 03, 2022

"Two sorts of Scots" - Edmund Spenser, 'A Veue of the Present State of Ireland', 1596

Eudox: I wonder, Irenius, whether you runne so farre astraye; for whilst wee talke of Ireland me thinkes you rippe up the originall of Scotland; but what is that to this?

Iren: Surelie very much, for Scotland and Ireland are one and the same.

Eudox: That seemeth more strange; for wee all knowe right well that they are distinguished, with a greate sea runninge betweene them; or else there are twoe Scotlands.

Iren: Never the more are there twoe Scotlands, but twoe kindes of Scotts there were indeede, as you may gather out of Buchanan, the one Irine or Irishe Scotts, the other Albyne Scotts; for those Scotts or Scythians arrived, as I supposed, in the North parts of the Island, where some of them afterwards passed into the next coaste of Albyne, nowe called Scotland, which, after much trouble, they possessed, and of themselves named yt Scotland; but in process of tyme, as is commonly seene, the denominac[o]n of the part prevailed in the whole, for the Irishe Scotts puttinge away the name of Scotts, were called only Irishe, and Albyne Scotts, leavinge the name of Albyne, were called only Scotts. Therefore yt cometh of some wryters, that Ireland is called Scotia-major, and that which nowe is named Scotland, is called Scotia-minor.

Eudox: I doe nowe well understande your distinguishing of the twoe sortes of Scotts, and twoe Scottlands, howe that this which is nowe called Irelande was auncyently called Erine, and afterwardes of some wrytten Scotland, and that which is nowe called Scotland was formerlie called Albyn, before the cominge of the Scotts thither: But what other Nations inhabited thother partes of Irelande?