Origin Myth of Scotland

The origin myths of Scotland which were popular during medieval times focussed on two women. Scota explains the origin of the race and St. Margaret the origin of the Scottish Royal Dynasty since she was the queen of King Malcolm III.

The legend of Scota was largely an attempt to create a foundation myth for Scotland which was separate from Ireland or England. It gave the Scottish race a distinctive quality and the kingdom itself a timeless and independent nature.

Scota was supposed to have been the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh who married Gaythelos, an expelled Greek prince. The two set off across the sea on a long voyage and found Scotland. She was supposed to have lived around 1500 B.C. and interestingly the Irish Annals also record a Scota but they claim she landed in Ireland via Spain after leaving ancient Egypt.

The English creation myth which was popular during the medieval period suggested that they descended from the Trojans so the writing of the Greek Gaythelos into the Scottish creation myth may have been a reference to the Greeks beating the Trojans in warfare, a kind of creation myth one-up-manship.

Scota was also believed to have brought the Stone of Destiny with her. Legend has it that the stone was originally Jacob's pillow, the stone he rested his head on when he slept at Bethel and saw the angels in his dream. The Stone of Destiny was placed under the throne of Scotland and according to legend every new monarch had to be crowned while sitting on it or they could not reign.