About Scotia, Alba, etc --
| Scotia was a early name for Ireland and came from the name Scota, the
| daughter of a pharoa who was an ancestor of the Milesians, who were also
| commonly called Scotti or Scots by both early Latin historians and...of
| course...many poets.
This "rationale" is the result of later synthetic 'historians'. The term
'Scot' was simply a Latin term describing the people of Ireland, which has
its exact parallel in the Welsh term for them 'Gwyddyl', "wild". It is
from this Welsh term that the Gaels derived their name for themselves,
"Gaidheal". So, being the home of Scots, it was called by these outsiders
The old Celtic name for Britain was 'Alba' or something close to this.
It's been suggested that this is cognate with the term for "white" and is an
epithet for the white cliffs of Dover. The term 'Albion', etc, are reminders
of this old name. Blake, for example, harkened back to this when he wrote
that "in ancient Albion was the power to..." (or something like this). The
genitive form of the name in modern Gaidhlig is "Albainn".
However, as alien forces pushed out the Celtic element in Britain, the term
became used for the remaining Celtic part, that being in the far north.
Remember that Picts were in Ireland as well as 'Scotland'. Some of the
most famous "Irishmen" were really Picts, such as CuChulainn.
These two tribal groups formed an alliance against the Romans and Britons
in the more southerly parts, and coalesced into increasingly larger political
structures. The Gaelic influence (and language) became so strong that the
terms "Scot" and "Scotland" became associated with Northern Britain rather
than Ireland, which instead retain its indigenous name.
| Among other things, Ireland has been named Ogyia (in texts of that most
| exciting and transcending of writers...the acclaimed Plutarch) as well as
| Hibernia (by Ceasar). This latter name some trace from the term Ivernia, which
| was purportedly the name of peoples living in the southern part of ancient
| Ireland. Others trace the name from Eber or Heber, the first Milesian king of
| the southern half of Ireland.
There are many ancient names for Ireland from the native tradition. These
include the names Bodba, Fodla, Eiru, etc. And note that many of these
names were also used in place names in Scotland. For example, Blair Atholl,
Srath Earn, etc etc.