Protecting a Pict?: Further thoughts on the inscribed silver chape from St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland

Forsyth, K. (2020) Protecting a Pict?: Further thoughts on the inscribed silver chape from St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 149, pp. 249-276. (doi: 10.9750/PSAS.149.1294)

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Abstract

A detailed discussion of the inscription on the silver chape (NMS FC 282) discovered in 1958 as part of a large hoard of silver from the major early medieval ecclesiastical site on St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland (NGR: HU 3685 2090). Previous interpretations and a range of parallels are explored. A new interpretation of the inscription is proposed: that it contains a Pictish male personal name, Resad. This has implications for previous arguments in favour of an Anglo-Saxon origin for the metalwork. Features of the lettering previously interpreted as errors are instead argued to indicate familiarity with the type of cursive writing used on wax-tablets, rather than bookhand. It is argued that the inscription was designed and manufactured by a single literate artisan, possibly in an ecclesiastical workshop.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Epigraphy, onomastics, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, literacy, palaeography.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Forsyth, Professor Katherine
Authors: Forsyth, K.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Journal Abbr.:Proc Soc Antiq Scot
Publisher:Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
ISSN:0081-1564
ISSN (Online):2056-743X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and The Author
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 149: 249-276
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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