A 15th century depiction of Scota’s voyage from Egypt.

Scota: Mother of Scotland and Daughter of a Pharaoh


During the 1440s, a Scottish chronicler, Walter Bower, sought to trace the history of the Scottish people from the earliest times. The result of his endeavour was the creation of a compendium of Scottish history, the Scotichronicon. Perhaps one of the most astonishing claims made by Bower in his Scotichronicon is that the Scottish people were actually descendants of the ancient Egyptians, and could trace their ancestry to the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh, Scota.

The Moses Connection to Scota

The story of Scota begins with a Greek king by the name of Gaythelos. In one version of the story which involves Ireland, Gaythelos is known as Gaodhal Glas (the word ‘Gael’ is said to be derived from his name), and was originally from the region of Scythia. It is also said that Gaodhal Glas lived during the time of Moses, andthe latter is said to have cured the former when he was bitten by a serpent.

Gaodhal Glas was also promised by Moses that no serpent or other poisonous creature will inhabit the western island that his posterity would inhabit one day. One of Gaodhal Glas’ grandsons, Niul, was invited into Egypt as an instructor by a pharaoh, and eventually married one of his daughters, Scota (Both ‘Scotland’ and the Roman name for Ireland, ‘Scotia’, are said to be derived from her name).Niul and Scota’s people were later driven from Egypt by a later pharaoh, and wandered around the Mediterranean until they reached Spain.



During the rule of Miled / Milesius (whose wife was incidentally also a pharaoh’s daughter by the name of Scota), these people heard about Ireland, and believed it to be the island foresaw by Moses. Although Miled died in Spain, his wife and children eventually reached and settled in Ireland.

Milesius and Scota

Milesius and Scota ( J. Fitzpatrick )

Irish and Scottish Origins Intertwine

This legendary origin of the Irish people is also shared by the Scots. For the Scots, however, the story did not end in Ireland. From Ireland, the descendants of Niul and Scota travelled to the west coast of Scotland, battled and defeated the Picts, and became the Scottish people. This version of Scottish lineage can also be found in the Declaration of Arbroath, an important document written in 1320 by the barons and noblemen of Scotland requesting the intervention of the Pope on their behalf during the Wars of Independence. In the second paragraph of the document, it is written:

Most Holy Father, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. It journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage peoples, but nowhere could it be subdued by any people, however barbarous. Thence it came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to its home in the west where it still lives today.

The Tyninghame Copy of the Declaration of Arbroath (1320)

The Tyninghame Copy of the Declaration of Arbroath (1320) ( Wikimedia Commons )

Scota by Another Name

Not everyone agrees that the Scots originated from Scythia, however. One writer, for instance, speculated that Gaythelos / Gaodhal Glas was neither a Greek king, nor a Scythian, but an Egyptian pharaoh himself. In Scota, Egyptian Queen of the Scots , Ralph Ellis traces the story of Scota and Gaythelos to a 3rd century BC source, Manetho’s Aegyptiaca.

Using this ancient source, it has been argued that Scota was actually Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutankhamen. Gaythelos, on the other hand, has been argued to be Ay, the successor, and according to Ellis, also the father of Tutankhamen. Due to religious conflict, Ay’s reign was cut short, and the pharaoh and his court were soon forced into exile. Like the Irish legends, Ay and Ankhesenamun wandered around before settling in Spain. Several generations later, there was a migration to Ireland, and thence to Scotland.

Statue of Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun, Luxor, Egypt.

Statue of Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun, Luxor, Egypt. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Featured image:  A 15th century depiction of Scota’s voyage from Egypt. ( Wikimedia Commons )

By Ḏḥwty


Ellis, R., 2006. Scota, Egyptian Queen of the Scots. Cheshire: Edfu Books.

MacManus, S., 2005. The Story of the Irish Race. New York: Cosimo.

The National Records of Scotland , 2012. Feature: the Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320. [Online]
Available at:

The Scotsman, 2006. The pharaoh's daughter who was the mother of all Scots. [Online]
Available at:


Autumn what about 'Sisters of the Eastern Star'?

You do NOT want to join a MASONIC?SATANIC worshipping LODGE! CHRIST is the foundation stone that the builders=Masons rejected and their all seeing eye on the Egyptian pyramid and their Lightbearer is Lucifer! He bore the light at one time til iniquity was found n him. But CHRIST is the LIGHT! DR. Raymond E Capt says the Scotts are an Isrealite tribe and its in the Scottish Declaration of independence. My great great grandfather wasof the Anderson?Andrews Clan of the Scottish lowlands and my grand mother was Irish from County Cork Ieland of the Twohig and Ballard Clans. Keep searching Sister.

Autumn, I see every correlation with Jacob, who was named Israel at Peniel, if you know your Bible. Peniel Heugh Iron Age fort is near Ancrum in the Borders, where the oldest ‘Roman’ road in the world, Deer Street, crosses the River Teviot, a tributary of the Tweed. The place where the ancient ford crosses the river is called JERDON-FIELD, or Jordan, which is Hebrew means ‘ford’. On the north side of the ford are the remains of the 12 Harestanes stone circle. The Israelites put put up 12 stones when they crossed the Jordan, on their way to Jerusalem after the Exodus. The ‘Reed Sea’ is the Solway Firth, where the Gypsies used to cross at low tide to bypass the Roman Wall at its western terminus, into Palestine, which means ‘the Land between the Walls’ (Pales/fences). I obviously have much more detail, like Perthshire being Parthia (Persia) etc., but I’m sure I could answer any questions you have about family connections or Masonic histories.

David Alan, do you see any correlation in the stories and timelines of Joseph, son of Jacob, and the stories of Ay? This is of great interest to me These concepts would perceive some Scottish clan descendants of the original 12 tribes. I am of the Fraser clan on my father's side, but unable to join any masonic organization with a library, as far as i know, because of my gender.

You sound like a troll... so why don’t you do a Google search on me and see what you find?


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