THE Jacobite movement must not be seen as an "18th century independence movement", a leading expert says.

Dr Allan Kennedy, of the Centre for Scottish Culture at Dundee University, says the Yes-No binary currently surrounding Scottish nationhood has led to yet another myth about Jacobinism, which sought to restore the Stuart line to the British and Irish thrones.

The period and its key figures, including Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald, are already steeped in romanticism.

Continued interest in the era has sparked a tourism boom through overseas fans of Diana Gabaldon's swords-and-sporrans series Outlander, and its big-budget TV adaptation.

But two of the country's "most eminent" historians will debate the reality of Jacobite aims and legacy at a special event chaired by Scottish Government minister Michael Russell later this month.

Professor Murray Pittock of Glasgow University and Dundee's Professor Christopher Whatley will take the stage at the event, hosted by the Centre for Scottish Culture, on April 24.

The free talk, at the Apex Hotel in Dundee, is the first in a new nationwide lecture series exploring our shared past from History Scotland magazine.

Announcing the event, Kennedy said it will dispel "simplistic" notions about the period, which followed the overthrow of James VII of Scotland and II of England in favour of his Protestant daughter and son-in-law Mary II and William of Orange.

As well as devising plots against the successors, the Jacobites fought a civil war in Ireland during the 1690s and mounted four rebellions, which ended in bloody defeat at Culloden in 1746.

The result marked major change for Scottish society, with laws passed to weaken the clan system through proscriptions on Highland dress and possession of arms and bagpipes – which were considered an "instrument of war" – as well as the brutal "pacification" of the Highlands.

Kennedy said: "The 2014 independence referendum pushed Scottish history into the foreground of the debate about national identity.

“As such, the memory of the Jacobites tends to be seen through nationalist or unionist prisms.

“It is simplistic to view Jacobinism as a sort of 18th-century independence movement, however. There were many complex issues of nationalism, religion, power, culture and dynasty bound up in it.

"Much of our contemporary understanding of the Jacobites is rooted in myth and our two very eminent speakers will, from their own very different perspectives, explore who exactly they were and what their vision was for Scotland.”

The event, titled "Who were the Jacobites and what did they want for Scotland?" is the first of the History Scotland Lectures series, which will take place across the country to give history enthusiasts insight into the latest research and thinking on a range of topics. Tickets for the Jacobite date can be reserved by emailing or calling 0113 200 2922.