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Peoples of Northern Britain according to Ptolemy's map

The Epidii (Greek Επίδιοι) were a people of ancient Britain, known from a mention of them by the geographer Ptolemy c. 150. They inhabited the modern-day regions of Argyll and Kintyre, as well as the islands of Islay and Jura.

Some authorities suggest they were Goidelic-speaking rather than Brythonic-speaking as the reported name suggests.[1] The area they are presumed to have controlled later became the heartland of the kingdom of Dál Riata.


The name includes the Brittonic and Gaulish root epos, meaning horse[2] (Compare with Goidelic primitive Irish ech). It may, perhaps, be related to the Horse-goddess Epona.


Ptolemy does not list a Πολις for the Epidii, but the Ravenna Cosmography (RC 108.4) lists Rauatonium, assumed to be Southend, Kintyre.


  1. ^ Campbell 2001, Were the Scots Irish?; cf. Foster, Picts, Gaels and Scots, pp. 9 – 10 and Armit, Celtic Scotland, pp. 21 – 24
  2. ^ Delamarre 2003:163 – 164, Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise


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