She is a legendary figure from whom the Scots took their name. She is said to have been the daughter of an unnamed Eyptian pharaoh. The context of her story shows that the Irish thought of her as a daughter of the pharaoh of the Exodus and a contemporary of Moses.
An 11th century rescension of the ￼Historia Brittonum￼ mentions Scota. She also appears in the ￼Book of Leinster￼, a 12th century redaction of the ￼Lebor Gabála Érenn￼, where she married Geytholos (Gaodhal Glas). The earliest Scottish sources claim Geytholos was "a certain king of the countries of Greece, Neolus, or Heolaus, by name", while the Leinster redaction of the ￼Lebor Gabála Érenn ￼calls him a Scythian.
In variant manuscripts of the ￼Lebor Gabála Érenn￼, her husband was Míl Espáine.
Faced with the discrepancy, modern genealogists have created two Scotas.
There are many guesses about her father, Scota the wife of Gaodhal Glas being (perhaps) daughter of the mythical Pharaoh Cingeris, and Scota the wife of Míl Espáine being (perhaps) daughter of the mythical Pharaoh Nactabaeus. Both pharaohs are named only in medieval Irish sources, not in Egyptian sources.
Later, her story became attached to the story of the Stone of Scone. It was she who brought it from Egypt to Scotland (Baldred Bisset, ￼Processus￼, 1301).
The legends of Ireland and Scotland tell a tale of an Egyptian queen and her Greek husband, who were exiled from Egypt to Ireland at some point during the second millennium BC. It is said that it was from this Queen Scota and King Gaythelos that the modern titles for the Scottish and Gaelic people were derived.