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In the eleventh century there was no such identity as Scotland. The Scots were one of several peoples in the Kingdom of the King of Scots: the Picts may have faded away, but English, British, Galwegians were still distinct and Anglo-Normans were soon to be added. On the eve of the Reformation, five centuries later, Scotland was one of the most fiercely self-conscious nations in Europe. How this came about is the theme of this study.