pseudo-Fordun, “On Highlands and Lowlands”

Bartholomew’s text is believed to have influenced an important description (originally in Latin) of an ethnic division between Highlands and Lowlands previously attributed to John of Fordun (c. 1385) but now believed to more likely originate in the period from 1260 to 1285.

The character of the Scots however varies with the differences in language, for two languages are spoken amongst them, the Scottish [i.e., Gaelic] and the Teutonic [i.e., English]. The people who speak the Teutonic language occupy the coastal and lowland regions, while the people who speak the Scottish language inhabit the mountains and outlying islands. The coastal people are docile and civilized, trustworthy, long-suffering, and courteous, decent in their dress, polite, and peaceable, devout in their worship, but always ready to resist injuries threatened by their enemies. The island and mountain people, however, are fierce and untamable, uncouth and unpleasant, much given to theft, fond of doing nothing, but their minds are quick to learn, and cunning. They are strikingly handsome in appearance, but their clothing is unsightly. They are always hostile and savage not only towards the English people and language but also towards their fellow Scots because of the difference in language. They are, however, faithful and obedient to the king and kingdom, and easily made to submit to law, if rule is exerted over them.