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The Legend of Prince Gathelus
The supposed ancient history of the Scots from Greece to Egypt, Spain and Ireland

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The Declaration of Arbroath,
6th April 1320

"They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today."

The reference to the journeys of the Scots people in the Declaration of Arbroath refer to the legend of Prince Gathelus and his wife Scota. 

Gathelus was a Greek prince, exiled after incurring his father's displeasure, he and his followers  found refuge in Egypt where their military prowess earned them the Pharaoh's favour and ultimately the hand of his daughter Scota in marriage.  To honour their princess his people were known as the "Scots".  It is  said that they took their leave of Egypy when Pharaoh began persecuting the Israelites , and it is further suggested that it was at this time they gained possession of the Stone of Destiny, thought to have been the Prophet Jacob's pillow, a saddle shaped stone of black basalt. The "Stone of Destiny" was seized by Edward I in 1296 during Scotland's Wars of Independence. Many say the stone that sat for years in Westminster Abbey, and returned to Edinburgh only recently is the stopper from a bottle dungeon that the English were persuaded was the treasured stone on which Scotland's kings had been crowned. (The True Stone is lost or hidden, many claim to know its resting place but that is another story.)

After Gathelus and Scota their people left Egypt, they sailed west across the Mediterranean and on into Spain.  There, Scota bore two sons, Hiberus and Himecus.   In time they became too succesful and made too many enemies, and so searched for a new land, finding and settling in Ireland.  Hiberus became popular and for a long time Ireland bore his name, Hibernia.  Gathelus died in Ireland, and many years later, his descendant Rothsay lead his people to the Islands off the West Coast of Scotland where on the Isle of Bute the town of Rothesay still bears his name, and finally to the mainland of Scotland, the country that finally took their name after they defeated the Picts.

Sources include: 1968 Revised edition of "Scotland's Story" by H E Marshall, (first published 1906) Thomas Nelson (Printers) Ltd, London and Edinburgh

See also Jeremiah in Ireland, Fact or Fabrication? which disproves one theory but refers to sources for the story of Gathelus, Scota and the Stone of Destiny.