Fascinating insight into Pictish culture

The third lecture in the 2011/2012 season of the Pictish Arts Society will be given at Pictavia, near Brechin, by Guto Rhys on Friday, December 9.

This promises to be a fascinating insight into an area of Pictish culture that is less frequently discussed. Guto’s subject will be “So what did the Picts speak then? A Historiography of opinions on the language of the Picts.”

This will be an overview of writing and thinking on the Pictish language from the earliest times to the present. What people thought of it, what were their motives and how and why the thinking evolves, culminating in the present viewpoint.

Guto is a Welshman who gained his degree in Welsh at the University College of Wales, Bangor, before proceeding to other studies including an MPhil in Medieval Scottish History at University of Glasgow and his present studies for a PhD at University of Glasgow.

His professional experience is varied and involves work in Wales, Scotland France and Spain on linguistic research, tuition and development of language learning material.

He is fluent in Welsh, English, Breton, French and Spanish and can additionally claim varying degrees of competence in Cornish, Catalan, Old English and Scottish Gaelic as well as Latin and Italian. Modestly, he claims to be less proficient in Old Irish , Modern Irish, Dutch and Galician.

Unsurprisingly, Guto is the author of several papers he has presented on these subjects and has been published.

He lists his favourite sports as mountain walking, rock-climbing and skiing, and professes to interest in languages, politics, history/anthropology, travel, teaching night classes, cinema, poetry/literature. He is an experienced second-language tutor in Welsh, English, Breton and Cornish.

Doors open at Pictavia at 7 pm for a 7.30 pm start. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available before and after the talk. The talk is free to members and £2.50 to non-members.