A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
Duncan I of Scotland
Donnchad mac Crinain was king of Scotland from 1034 to 1040. He is the historical basis of the "King Duncan" in Shakespeare's play Macbeth, he was a son of Crínán, hereditary lay abbot of Dunkeld, Bethóc, daughter of king Máel Coluim mac Cináeda. Unlike the "King Duncan" of Shakespeare's Macbeth, the historical Duncan appears to have been a young man, he followed his grandfather Malcolm as king after the latter's death on 25 November 1034, without apparent opposition. He may have been Malcolm's acknowledged successor or Tànaiste as the succession appears to have been uneventful. Earlier histories, following John of Fordun, supposed that Duncan had been king of Strathclyde in his grandfather's lifetime, between 1018 and 1034, ruling the former Kingdom of Strathclyde as an appanage. Modern historians discount this idea, although it is supported by the ODNB.. An earlier source, a variant of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, gives Duncan's wife the Gaelic name Suthen. Whatever his wife's name may have been, Duncan had at least two sons.
The eldest, Malcolm III was king from 1058 to 1093, the second Donald III was king afterwards. Máel Muire, Earl of Atholl is a possible third son of Duncan; the early period of Duncan's reign was uneventful a consequence of his youth. Macbeth is recorded as having been his dux, today rendered as "duke" and meaning nothing more than the rank between prince and marquess, but still having the Roman meaning of "war leader". In context — "dukes of Francia" had half a century before replaced the Carolingian kings of the Franks and in England the over-mighty Godwin of Wessex was called a dux — this suggests that Macbeth may have been the power behind the throne. In 1039, Duncan led a large Scots army south to besiege Durham, but the expedition ended in disaster. Duncan survived, but the following year he led an army north into Moray, Macbeth's domain on a punitive expedition against Moray. There he was killed in action, at Bothnagowan, now Pitgaveny, near Elgin, by the men of Moray led by Macbeth on 14 August 1040.
He is thought to have been buried at Elgin before relocation to the Isle of Iona. Duncan is depicted as an elderly king in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, he is killed in his sleep by Macbeth. In the historical novel Macbeth the King by Nigel Tranter, Duncan is portrayed as a schemer, fearful of Macbeth as a possible rival for the throne, he tries to assassinate Macbeth by poisoning and when this fails, attacks his home with an army. In self-defence Macbeth kills him in personal combat. In the animated television series Gargoyles he is depicted as a weak and conniving king who assassinates those who he believes threaten his rule, he tries to assassinate Macbeth, forcing Demona to ally with the Moray nobleman, with Duncan's resulting death coming from attempting to strike an enchanted orb of energy that one of the Weird Sisters gave to Macbeth to take Duncan down. Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History AD 500 to 1286, volume one. Republished with corrections, Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990.
ISBN 1-871615-03-8 Broun, Dauvit, "Duncan I", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 May 2007 Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Oram, David I: The King Who Made Scotland. Tempus, Stroud, 2004. ISBN 0-7524-2825-X
Sigurd the Stout
Sigurd Hlodvirsson, popularly known as Sigurd the Stout from the Old Norse Sigurðr digri, was an Earl of Orkney. The main sources for his life are the Norse Sagas, which were first written down some two centuries or more after his death; these engaging stories must therefore be treated with caution rather than as reliable historical documents. Sigurd was a direct descendent of Torf-Einarr Rognvaldson. Sigurd's tenure as earl was free of the kin-strife that beset some other incumbents of this title and he was able to pursue his military ambitions over a wide area, he held lands in the north of mainland Scotland and in the Sudrøyar, he may have been instrumental in the defeat of Gofraid mac Arailt, King of the Isles. The Annals of Ulster record his death at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, the earliest known reference to the earldom of Orkney; the saga tales draw attention to Sigurd's conversion to Christianity and his use of a totemic raven banner, a symbol of the Norse God Odin. This ambiguous theme and the lack of detailed contemporary records of his life have led to a variety of interpretations of the saga material by modern scholars.
The sources for Sigurd's life are exclusively Norse sagas, none of which were written down at the time of the events they record. The Orkneyinga Saga was first compiled in Iceland in the early 13th century and much of the information it contains is "hard to corroborate". Sigurd appears in St Olaf's Saga as incorporated into the Heimskringla and in the Eyrbyggja Saga. There are various tales about his exploits in the more fanciful Njal's Saga as well as the Saga of Gunnlaugr Serpent-Tongue, Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson's Saga, the Vatnsdæla Saga and in the tale of "Helgi and Wolf" in the Flateyjarbók; the Orkneyinga Saga reports that Sigurd was the son of Hlodvir, one of the five sons of Thorfinn Skull-Splitter, Eithne. She is said to be a daughter of a "King Kjarvalr"; the period after Earl Thorfinn's death was one of dynastic strife. Sigurd's patronymic is an unusual one and there would appear to be a connection with this name and the early roots of the modern French name "Louis". Sigurd was in the fortunate position that on his accession to the earldom there seem to have been no other serious contenders.
In this respect his rule was unlike that of the earlier generation of the sons of Earl Thorfinn and of the next generation in that it avoided the bitter feuding that beset the earldom during both of those periods. Sigurd's great-grandfather, Torf-Einarr, lost the udal rights of the Orkney and Shetland farmers as part of a deal he brokered with the Norwegian crown; these rights were restored by Sigurd. The Burray hoard of silver ring-money has been dated to the period 997-1010, during Earl Sigurd's reign. Sigurd's domain included not just Orkney itself but Shetland, which formed part of the earldom and extensive lands on mainland Scotland. For the latter his overlords were the Kings of Scotland rather than of Norway; the extent of these mainland dominions is uncertain. According to the rather dubious source, Njal's Saga, they included Ross, Moray and the Dales. At the time Moray would have included districts on the west coast including Lochaber. Smyth notes the density of dalr placenames on Scotland's west coast and it has been suggested that "the Dales" is a reference to Dalriada, although it is more that it means Caithness.
During Sigurd's tenure the earldom approached its high point and his influence was only exceeded by that of his son Thorfinn. Sigurd's uncle Ljot had been killed in war against the Scots, Sigurd soon faced trouble from his southern neighbours. According to the Orkneyinga saga "Earl Finnleik" led an army against him which outnumbered Sigurd's forces by seven to one; the saga records Sigurd's mother's reply when he went to her for advice: Had I thought you might live for I'd have reared you in my wool-basket. But lifetimes are shaped by, not by where you are. Now, take this banner. I've made it for you with all the skill I have, my belief is this: it will bring victory to the man it's carried before, but death to the one who carries it; the Raven banner worked as just Sigurd's mother said: he was victorious but three standard-bearers in succession were killed. A battle was fought between Norwegian forces and Malcolm II of Scotland at Mortlach c. 1005 which may have involved or been led by Sigurd.
Although victory went to the Scots, the Norwegians had spent some considerable time encamped in Moray and came equipped with a large fleet. However, Orcadian influence in this part of Scotland is to have been temporary and on other occasions, such as during his uncle Ljot's earldom, Scottish forces had pushed north into Caithness. Sigurd the Stout took control of the Hebrides, placed a jarl called Gilli in charge. Njal's Saga records an expedition that took place c. 980 in which Kari, Sigurd's bodyguard, plundered the Hebrides, Kintyre and "Bretland". On another occasion Kari sailed through The Minch in order to collect tribute from Gilli, whose base may have been either Colonsay or Coll; the Annals of Ulster record a raid by "the Danes" on Iona on Christmas Night in which the abbot and fifteen of the elders of the monastery were slaughtered and this may have been connected with the successful conquering of the Isle of Man by Sigurd and Gilli between 985 and 989. Njal's Saga records a victory for Sigurd over Gofraid mac Arailt, King of the Isles with the former returning to Orkney with the spoils.
The contemporary Annals of Ulster recor
Malcolm II of Scotland
Malcolm II was King of the Scots from 1005 until his death. He was a son of King Kenneth II. To the Irish annals which recorded his death, Malcolm was High King of Scotland. In the same way that Brian Bóruma, High King of Ireland, was not the only king in Ireland, Malcolm was one of several kings within the geographical boundaries of modern Scotland: his fellow kings included the king of Strathclyde, who ruled much of the south-west, various Norse-Gael kings on the western coast and the Hebrides and and most dangerous rivals, the kings or Mormaers of Moray. To the south, in the Kingdom of England, the Earls of Bernicia and Northumbria, whose predecessors as kings of Northumbria had once ruled most of southern Scotland, still controlled large parts of the southeast. Malcolm II was born to Kenneth II of Scotland, he was grandson of Malcolm I of Scotland. In 997, the killer of Constantine is credited as being son of Malcolm. Since there is no known and relevant Kenneth alive at that time, it is considered an error for either Kenneth III, who succeeded Constantine, or Malcolm himself, the son of Kenneth II.
Whether Malcolm killed Constantine or not, there is no doubt that in 1005 he killed Constantine's successor Kenneth III in battle at Monzievaird in Strathearn. John of Fordun writes that Malcolm defeated a Norwegian army "in the first days after his coronation", but this is not reported elsewhere. Fordun says that the Bishopric of Mortlach was founded in thanks for this victory over the Norwegians. Malcolm demonstrated a rare ability to survive among early Scottish kings by reigning for twenty-nine years, he was a ambitious man. Brehon tradition provided that the successor to Malcolm was to be selected by him from among the descendants of King Aedh, with the consent of Malcolm's ministers and of the church. Ostensibly in an attempt to end the devastating feuds in the north of Scotland, but influenced by the Norman feudal model, Malcolm ignored tradition and determined to retain the succession within his own line, but since Malcolm had no son of his own, he undertook to negotiate a series of dynastic marriages of his three daughters to men who might otherwise be his rivals, while securing the loyalty of the principal chiefs, their relatives.
First he married his daughter Bethoc to Crinan, Thane of The Isles, head of the house of Atholl and secular Abbot of Dunkeld. His middle daughter, was married to Finlay, Earl of Moray, Thane of Ross and Cromarty and a descendant of Loarn of Dalriada; this was risky business under the rules of succession of the Gael, but he thereby secured his rear and, taking advantage of the renewal of Viking attacks on England, marched south to fight the English. He defeated the Angles at Carham in 1018 and installed his grandson, son of the Abbot of Dunkeld and his choice as Tanist, in Carlisle as King of Cumbria that same year; the first reliable report of Malcolm II's reign is of an invasion of Bernicia in 1006 the customary crech ríg, which involved a siege of Durham. This appears to have resulted in a heavy defeat by the Northumbrians, led by Uhtred of Bamburgh Earl of Bernicia, reported by the Annals of Ulster. A second war in Bernicia in 1018, was more successful; the Battle of Carham, by the River Tweed, was a victory for the Scots led by Malcolm II and the men of Strathclyde led by their king, Owen the Bald.
By this time Earl Uchtred may have been dead, Eiríkr Hákonarson was appointed Earl of Northumbria by his brother-in-law Cnut the Great, although his authority seems to have been limited to the south, the former kingdom of Deira, he took no action against the Scots so far as is known. The work De obsessione Dunelmi claims that Uchtred's brother Eadwulf Cudel surrendered Lothian to Malcolm II in the aftermath of the defeat at Carham; this is to have been the lands between Dunbar and the Tweed as other parts of Lothian had been under Scots control before this time. It has been suggested that Cnut received tribute from the Scots for Lothian, but as he had received none from the Bernician Earls this is not probable. Cnut, reports the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, led an army into Scotland on his return from pilgrimage to Rome; the Chronicle dates this to 1031, but there are reasons to suppose that it should be dated to 1027. Burgundian chronicler Rodulfus Glaber recounts the expedition soon afterwards, describing Malcolm as "powerful in resources and arms … Christian in faith and deed."
Ralph claims that peace was made between Malcolm and Cnut through the intervention of Richard, Duke of Normandy, brother of Cnut's wife Emma. Richard died in about 1027 and Rodulfus wrote close in time to the events, it has been suggested that the root of the quarrel between Cnut and Malcolm lies in Cnut's pilgrimage to Rome, the coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, where Cnut and Rudolph III, King of Burgundy had the place of honour. If Malcolm were present, the repeated mentions of his piety in the annals make it quite possible that he made a pilgrimage to Rome, as did Mac Bethad mac Findláich in times the coronation would have allowed Malcolm to publicly snub Cnut's claims to overlordship. Cnut obtained rather less than previous English kings, a promise of peace and friendship rather than the promise of aid on land and sea that Edgar and others had obtained; the sourc