A, late-16th century, vision of a Pictish warrior (clearly based on Herodian's description of the “barbarians” of Caledonia) by John White. The overall blue tinting of the body is inspired by a remark made by Julius Caesar, who had spent a few weeks in the south-eastern corner of Britain in 55BC and 54BC: “All the Britons, without exception, stain themselves with woad, which produces a blueish tint; and this gives them a wild look in battle.”
Caledonii. The Romans called the tribes of the north the ‘Caledones’ or ‘Caledonii’ and named their land ‘Caledonia’. The Roman historian Tacitus tells us that the inhabitants of Caledonia had ‘red hair and large limbs’; they were a fierce people that were quick to fight when they first saw the Roman invaders.
The earliest surviving mention of the Picts dates from AD297. In a poem praising the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus, the orator Eumenius wrote that the Britons were already accustomed to the semi-naked "Picti and Hiberni (Irish) as their enemies."