Annals of Ulster
The Annals of Ulster are annals of medieval Ireland. The entries span the years from A. D. 431 to A. D. 1540. The entries up to A. D. 1489 were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, under his patron Cathal Óg Mac Maghnusa on the island of Belle Isle on Lough Erne in the kingdom of Fermanagh. Entries were added by others. Entries up to the mid-6th Century are retrospective, drawing on earlier annalistic and historical texts, while entries were contemporary, based on recollection and oral history. T. M. Charles-Edwards has claimed that the main source for its records of the first millennium A. D. is a now lost Armagh continuation of the Chronicle of Ireland. The Annals used the Irish language, with some entries in Latin; because the Annals copied its sources verbatim, they are useful not just for historians, but for linguists studying the evolution of the Irish language. A century the Annals of Ulster became an important source for the authors of the Annals of the Four Masters.
It informs the Irish text Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib. The Library of Trinity College Dublin possesses the original manuscript. There are two main modern English translations of the annals – Mac Airt and Mac Niocaill and MacCarthy. Several kings are mentioned throughout the Annals of Ulster; the Annals tend to follow the lives of the kings, including important battles and their ultimate death. Between the years of 847 and 879, three different kings are highlighted. For example: Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid, the king of the southern Ui Neill clan from 846–862: 839.6 – First mentioned in the Annals of Ulster having killed Crunnmael son of Fiannamail. 841.2 – Kills Diarmait 843.1 – Mael Sechnaill's father, Mael Ruanaid, dies 845.7 – Kills his brother Flann 845.8 – Takes Tuirgéis prisoner 846.7 – Suffers heavy losses at hands of Tigernach 847.2 – Begins his reign. 847.3 – Destroys the Island of Loch Muinremor 848.4 – defeats Vikings at Forach 849.12 – conducts siege in Crupat 850.3 – Cinaed, king of Cianacht, with help from foreign forces rebels against Mael Sechnaill 851.2 – kills Cinaed, king of Cianacht 851.5 – attends conference in Ard Macha 854.2 – took hostages from Mumu at Inneóin na nDéise 856.2 – took hostages from Mumu at Caisel 856.3 – battle against the Vikings 858.4 – marched against Mumu, took hostages from them and travelled with them "from Belat Gabráin to Inis Tarbnai off the Irish coast, from Dún Cermna to Ára Airthir."
859.3 – attends conference at Ráith Aeda Meic Bric "to make peace and amity between the men of Ireland" 860.1 – leads army into the north, but hold position 862.5 – Dies and is described as "king of all Ireland"The same pattern is followed for Aed mac Neill, the king of the northern Ui Neill clan. Aed mac Neill appears in the following entries in the Annals of Ulster: 855.3, 856.5, 860.1, 861.1, 862.2, 862.3, 863.2, 864.1, 864.3, 866.4, 868.4, 870.2, 874.4, 879.1 The final entry ends with the entry about his death and includes a poem. It reads "Aed son of Niall, king of Temair, fell asleep on the twelfth of the Kalends of 20 December Nov at Druim Inasclainn in the territory of Conaille. 1. "Just as with the Irish kings, the Annals of Ulster follow the lives of the Viking kings of Dublin. For example, Amlaíb Conung is mentioned in the following entries: 853.2, 857.1, 859.2, 863.4, 864.2, 866.1, 867.8, 869.6, 870.6, 871.2, 875.4 The final entry deviates from the Irish kings and instead tells of the death of Amlaib’s son, Oistín and reads: "Oistín son of Amlaíb, king of the Norsemen, was deceitfully killed by Albann."
Along with kings and kingdoms, the entries in the Annals of Ulster focus on important places of Ireland such as Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland which appears several times throughout the text. Dublin for example, referred to in the text as either Áth Cliath or Duiblinn, is described in the Annals of Ulster with entries ranging from the settlement of Dublin by Vikings to deaths of notable names to Dublin being ruled by the Irish; the town appears 66 different times in the Annals of Ulster and can be found in the following entries: 770.1, 790.2, 841.4, 842.2, 842.7, 845.12, 851.3, 870.2, 871.2 893.4, 895.6, 902.2, 917.4, 919.3, 920.5, 921.5, 921.8, 924.3, 926.6, 927.3, 930.1, 936.2, 938.5, 938.6, 939.1, 942.3, 942.7, 944.3, 945.6, 946.1, 947.1, 950.7, 951.3, 951.7, 956.3, 960.2, 961.1, 978.3, 980.1, 994.6, 995.2, 999.8, 1000.4, 1013.12, 1013.13, 1014.2, 1018.2, 1021.1, 1022.4, 1031.2, 1035.5, 1070.2, 1075.1, 1075.4, 1084.8, 1088.4, 1094.2, 1095.4, 1100.5, 1103.5, 1105.3, 1115.4, 1118.6, 1121.7, 1126.7, 1128.6 The Annals of Ulster contain a large amount of historical information on the invasions of the Vikings into Ireland and several specific events are mentioned that are paralleled in other Irish works such as the Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib.
The Annals of Ulster documents the Viking invasions one year after the common starting event of the Viking Period, the raiding of Lindisfarne in 793, as mentioned by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The first mentioning of the Vikings is brief. "794.7 Devastation of all the islands of Br
The Picts were a confederation of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. Where they lived and what their culture was like can be inferred from the geographical distribution of Brittonic place name elements and Pictish stones; the name Picts appears in written records from Late Antiquity to the 10th century, when they are thought to have merged with the Gaels. They lived to the north of the rivers Forth and Clyde, spoke the Pictish language, related to the Celtic Brittonic language spoken by the Britons who lived to the south of them. Picts are assumed to have been the descendants of the Caledonii and other tribes that were mentioned by Roman historians or on the world map of Ptolemy. Pictland called Pictavia by some sources merged with the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to form the Kingdom of Alba. Alba expanded, absorbing the Brittonic kingdom of Strathclyde and Northumbrian Lothian, by the 11th century the Pictish identity had been subsumed into the "Scots" amalgamation of peoples.
Pictish society was typical of many Iron Age societies in northern Europe, having "wide connections and parallels" with neighbouring groups. Archaeology gives some impression of the society of the Picts. While little in the way of Pictish writing has survived, Pictish history since the late 6th century is known from a variety of sources, including Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, saints' lives such as that of Columba by Adomnán, various Irish annals; the term Pict is thought to have originated as a generic exonym used by the Romans in relation to people living north of the Forth–Clyde isthmus. The Latin word Picti first occurs in a panegyric written by Eumenius in AD 297 and is taken to mean "painted or tattooed people". Pict is Peohta in Old English, Pecht in Scots and Peithwyr in Welsh; some think. In writings from Ireland, the name Cruthin, Cruthni, Cruithni or Cruithini was used to refer both to the Picts and to another group of people who lived alongside the Ulaid in eastern Ulster.
It is accepted that this is derived from *Qritani, the Goidelic/Q-Celtic version of the Britonnic/P-Celtic *Pritani. From this came Britanni, the Roman name for those now called the Britons. What the Picts called themselves is unknown, it has been proposed that they called themselves Albidosi, a name found in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba during the reign of Máel Coluim mac Domnaill, but this idea has been disputed. A unified "Pictish" identity may have consolidated with the Verturian hegemony established following the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 AD. A Pictish confederation was formed in Late Antiquity from a number of tribes—how and why is not known; some scholars have speculated that it was in response to the growth of the Roman Empire. The Chronicon Pictum, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the early histographers such as Isidore of Seville, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, etc. all present the Picts as conquerors of Alba from Scythia. However, little credence is now given to that view. Pictland had been described by Roman writers and geographers as the home of the Caledonii.
These Romans used other names to refer to tribes living in that area, including Verturiones and Venicones. But they may have heard these other names only second- or third-hand, from speakers of Brittonic or Gaulish languages, who may have used different names for the same group or groups. Pictish recorded history begins in the Dark Ages. At that time, the Gaels of Dál Riata controlled what is now Argyll, as part of a kingdom straddling the sea between Britain and Ireland; the Angles of Bernicia, which merged with Deira to form Northumbria, overwhelmed the adjacent British kingdoms, for much of the 7th century Northumbria was the most powerful kingdom in Britain. The Picts were tributary to Northumbria until the reign of Bridei mac Beli, when, in 685, the Anglians suffered a defeat at the Battle of Dun Nechtain that halted their northward expansion; the Northumbrians continued to dominate southern Scotland for the remainder of the Pictish period. Dál Riata was subject to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa during his reign, though it had its own kings beginning in the 760s, does not appear to have recovered its political independence from the Picts.
A Pictish king, Caustantín mac Fergusa, placed his son Domnall on the throne of Dál Riata. Pictish attempts to achieve a similar dominance over the Britons of Alt Clut were not successful; the Viking Age brought great changes in Britain and Ireland, no less in Scotland than elsewhere, with the Vikings conquering and settling the islands and various mainland areas, including Caithness and Galloway. In the middle of the 9th century Ketil Flatnose is said to have founded the Kingdom of the Isles, governing many of these territories, by the end of that century the Vikings had destroyed the Kingdom of Northumbria weakened the Kingdom of Strathclyde, founded the Kingdom of York. In a major battle in 839, the Vikings killed the King of Fortriu, Eógan mac Óengusa, the King of Dál Riata Áed mac Boanta, many others. In the aftermath, in the 840s, Cínaed mac Ailpín became king of the Picts. During the reign of Cínaed's grandson, Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the Kingdom of Alba rather than the Kingdom of the Picts, but it is not known whether this was because a new kingdom was established or Alba was a closer
Bridei I known as Bridei, son of Maelchon, was king of the Picts from 554 to 584. Sources are vague or contradictory regarding him, but it is believed that his court was near Loch Ness and that he may have been a Christian. There were contemporaries claiming the title "king of the Picts", he died in the mid-580s in battle, was succeeded by Gartnait son of Domelch. Bridei son of Maelchon, was king of the Picts until his death around 584–586. Other forms of his name include Brude son of Melcho and, in Irish sources, Bruide son of Maelchú and Bruidhe son of Maelchon, he was first mentioned in the Irish annals from 558–560, where the Annals of Ulster report "the migration before Máelchú's son, king Bruide". An earlier entry, reporting the death of "Bruide son of Máelchú" in the Annals of Ulster for 505 is presumed to be an error; the Ulster annalist does not say who fled, but the Annals of Tigernach refers to "the flight of the Scots before Bruide son of Máelchú" in 558. This uncertainty has provoked considerable speculation.
Bridei is suggested to have been the son of Maelgwn Gwynedd by John Morris in his Age of Arthur, where he is referred to in passing as "... Bridei, son of Maelgwn, the mighty king of north Wales...". Though the book has been a commercial success, it is disparaged by historians as an unreliable source of "misleading and misguided" information. Bridei's death was reported in the 580's in battle against Pictish rivals in Circinn, an area thought to correspond with the Mearns; the lists of kings in the Pictish Chronicle agree that Bridei was followed by Gartnait son of Domelch. Bridei appears in Adomnán's Life of Saint Columba as a contemporary, as one of the chief kings in Scotland. Adomnán's account of Bridei is problematic as it does not mention whether Bridei was a Christian, if not, whether Columba converted him; the archaeological discoveries at Portmahomack, showing that there was a monastic community there from around 550, provide some support for the idea that Bridei was either a Christian, at least in name, or was converted by Columba.
Bridei was not the only "king of the Picts" during his lifetime. The death of Galam — called "Cennalath, king of the Picts" — is recorded in 580 in the Annals of Ulster, four years before Bridei's death. In addition, Adomnán mentions the presence of the "under-king of Orkney" at Bridei's court; the Annals of Ulster report two expeditions to Orkney during Bridei's reign, in 580 and 581. The location of the court of Bridei's kingdom is not certain. Adomnán's account states that after leaving the royal court, Columba came to the River Ness and that the court was located atop a steep rock. Accordingly, it is supposed that Bridei's chief residence was at Craig Phadrig, to the west of the modern city of Inverness and overlooks the Beauly Firth. Bridei’s kingdom may have corresponded with what would become Fortriu. Juliet Marillier's trilogy The Bridei Chronicles is written as a combination of history and informed guesswork regarding this king's rise to power and rule, her novels describe events in the life of Bridei III.
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum, the Lebor Bretnach and various Saints' Lives. Most are translated into English. Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Continuation of Bede, at CCEL, translated by A. M. Sellar. Tarbat Discovery Programme with reports on excavations at Portmahomack. List of Kings of the Picts
Annales Cambriae is the name given to a complex of Cambro-Latin chronicles compiled or derived from diverse sources at St David's in Dyfed, Wales. The earliest is a 12th-century presumed copy of a mid-10th century original. Despite the name, the Annales Cambriae record not only events in Wales, but events in Ireland, England and sometimes further afield, though the focus of the events recorded in the two-thirds of the text is Wales; the principal versions of Annales Cambriae appear in four manuscripts: A: London, British Library, MS. Harleian 3859, folios 190r-193r. B: London, National Archives, MS. E.164/1 pp. 2–26C: London, British Library, MS. Cotton Domitian A.i, folios 138r-155rD: Exeter, Cathedral Library, MS. 3514, pp. 523–28, the Cronica ante aduentum Domini. E: ibid. pp. 507–19, the Cronica de Wallia. A is written in a hand of about 1100x1130 AD, inserted without title into a manuscript of the Historia Brittonum where it is followed by a pedigree for Owain ap Hywel. Although no explicit chronology is given in the MS, its annals seem to run from about AD 445 to 977 with the last entry at 954, making it that the text belongs to the second half of the 10th century.
B was written at the Cistercian abbey of Neath, at the end of the 13th century. It is entitled Annales ab orbe condito adusque A. D. mcclxxxvi. C is part of a book written at St David's, is entitled Annales ab orbe condito adusque A. D. mcclxxviii. Two of the texts, B and C, begin with a World Chronicle derived from Isidore of Seville's Origines, through the medium of Bede's Chronica minora. B commences its annals with Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain "sixty years before the incarnation of the Lord." After A. D. 457, B agrees with A until A ends. C commences its annals after the empire of Heraclius at a year corresponding to AD 677. C agrees with A until A ends, although it is clear that A was not the common source for B and C. B and C briefer Welsh entries. D and E are found in a manuscript written at the Cistercian abbey of Whitland in south-west Wales in the 13th century. A alone has benefited from a complete diplomatic edition. There are two entries in the Annales on King Arthur, one on Medraut, one on Merlin.
These entries have been presented in the past as proof of the existence of Arthur and Merlin, although that view is no longer held because the Arthurian entries could have been added arbitrarily as late as 970, long after the development of the early Arthurian myth. The entries on Arthur and Mordred in the A Text: Year 72 The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ on his shoulders for three days and three nights and the Britons were victors. Year 93 The Strife of Camlann in which Arthur and Medraut fell and there was death in Britain and in Ireland. Concerning Arthur's cross at the Battle of Badon, it is mirrored by a passage in Nennius where Arthur was said to have borne the image of the Virgin Mary "on his shoulders" during a battle at a castle called Guinnion; the words for "shoulder" and "shield" were, however confused in Old Welsh – *scuit "shield" versus *scuid "shoulder" – and Geoffrey of Monmouth played upon this dual tradition, describing Arthur bearing "on his shoulders a shield" emblazoned with the Virgin.
Merlin is not mentioned in the A Text, though there is mention of the battle of Arfderydd, associated with him in medieval Welsh literature: Year 129 The Battle of ArmteridTexts B and C omit the second half of the year 93 entry. B calls Arfderydd "Erderit". In the B Text, the year 129 entry continues: "between the sons of Elifer and Guendoleu son of Keidau in which battle Guendoleu fell and Merlin went mad". Both the B and C texts display the influence of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, this is reflected in the Arfderydd entry by the choice of the Latinized form Merlinus, first found in Geoffrey's Historia, as opposed to the expected Old Welsh form Merdin. History of Wales English historians in the Middle Ages Brett, Caroline, 1988'The Prefaces of Two Late Thirteenth-century Welsh Latin Chronicles', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 35, pp. 64–73. Dumville, David N. 1972-74'Some aspects of the chronology of the Historia Brittonum', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 25, pp. 439–445.
Dumville, David N. 1977'Sub-Roman Britain: history and legend', History 62, pp. 173–192. Dumville, David N. 1977/8'The Welsh Latin annals', Studia Celtica 12/13, pp. 461–467 Dumville, David N. 1984'When was the'Clonmacnoise Chronicle' created? The evidence of the Welsh annals', in Grabowski K. & Dumville D. N. 1984 Chronicles and Annals of Mediaeval Ireland and Wales: The Clonmacnoise-group of texts, Boydell, pp. 209–226. Dumville, David N. 2002'Annales Cambriae, A. D. 682-954: Texts A-C in Parallel', Department of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Dumville, David N. 2004' Annales Cambriae and Easter', in The Medieval Chronicle III, Amsterdam & New York. Gough-Cooper, Henry, 2010'Annales Cambriae, from Saint Patrick to AD 682: Texts A, B & C in Parallel.' The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwest Europe, Issue 15 The Heroic Age website Grigg, Erik, 2009"Mole Rain' and other natural phenom
Alhred of Northumbria
Alhred or Alchred was king of Northumbria from 765 to 774. He had married Osgifu, either the daughter of Oswulf, granddaughter of Eadberht Eating, or Eadberht's daughter, was thus related by marriage to Ecgbert, Archbishop of York. A genealogy survives. Æthelwald Moll was deposed in 765 and Alhred became king. Little is said of his reign in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle other than the bare facts that he became king, was deposed and exiled in 774. Symeon of Durham's Historia Regum Anglorum reports that he fled to the kingdom of the Picts, where he was received by King Ciniod. Frank Stenton notes Ahlred's connection to the English missions on the continent; the mission of Saint Willehad, which led to the founding of the Archbishopric of Bremen, was authorised by a religious assembly called by Alhred. A letter from Alhred to Saint Lull, Archbishop of Mainz, a native of Wessex survives. Alhred was succeeded by son of Æthelwald Moll. Alhred's son Osred would be king. A second son, Alhmund would be killed in the reign of Eardwulf and develop a cult as Alcmund of Derby.
Anderson, Alan Orr, Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers A. D. 500 to 1286. David Nutt, London, 1908. Higham, N. J; the Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350-1100. Stroud: Sutton, 1993. ISBN 0-86299-730-5 Kirby, D. P; the Earliest English Kings. London: Unwin, 1991. ISBN 0-04-445692-1 Marsden, J. Northanhymbre Saga: The History of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of Northumbria. London: Cathie, 1992. ISBN 1-85626-055-0 Stenton, Sir Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1971 ISBN 0-19-280139-2 Yorke, Barbara and Kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England. London: Seaby, 1990. ISBN 1-85264-027-8 List of monarchs of Northumbria Alhred 1 at Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England
Annals of the Four Masters
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland or the Annals of the Four Masters are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616. Due to the criticisms by Irish historian Tuileagna Ó Maol Chonaire, the text was not published in the lifetime of any of the participants; the annals are a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 at a Franciscan friary near the Drowes river in County Leitrim, on the border with County Donegal and County Sligo; the patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M. P. a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, County Sligo. The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon, assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain. Although only one of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as'The Four Friars' or in the original Irish, Na Ceithre Máistrí.
The Anglicized version of this was "The Four Masters", the name that has become associated with the annals themselves. The annals are written in Irish; the several manuscript copies are held at Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. The first substantial English translation was published by Owen Connellan in 1846; the Connellan translation included the annals from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. The only version to have a four-colour frontispiece, it included a large folding map showing the location of families in Ireland; this edition, neglected for over 150 years, was republished in the early twenty-first century. The original Connellan translation was followed several years by a full translation by the historian John O'Donovan; the translation was funded by a government grant of £1,000 obtained by the notable mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton while he was president of the Royal Irish Academy. The Annals are one of the principal Irish-language sources for Irish history up to 1616.
While many of the early chapters are lists of names and dates, the chapters, dealing with events of which the authors had first-hand accounts, are much more detailed. The reliability and usefulness of the Annals as a historical source has sometimes been questioned on the grounds that they were limited to accounts of the births and activities of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland and ignore wider social trends or events. On the other hand, the Annals, as one of the few prose sources in Irish from this period provide a valuable insight into events such as the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years War from a Gaelic Irish perspective; the early part of this work is based upon the Lebor Gabala. Today, most scholars regard the Lebor Gabála as myth rather than history, it appears to be based on medieval Christian pseudo-histories, but it incorporates some of Ireland's native pagan mythology. Scholars believe the goal of its writers was to provide an epic history for Ireland that could compare to that of the Israelites or the Romans, which reconciled native myth with the Christian view of history.]
It is suggested, for example, that there are six'takings' to match the "Six Ages of the World" Lebor Gabála Érenn is considered a "highly influential Middle Irish prose-and-verse treatise written in order to bridge the chasm between Christian world-chronology and the prehistory of Ireland". O'Donovan, John, ed. Annala rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616, 7 volumes, Royal Irish Academy. Volume 1, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 2, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 3, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 4, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 5, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 6, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, english † Volume 7 † The appendix of volume 6 contains the done pedigrees of a small selection of the Gaelic Irish nobility, pp.2377 ff Irish annals The Chronicle of Ireland Template:Cite AFM for citing the Annal in articles at Wikipedia Cunningham, Bernadette. The Annals of the Four Masters: Irish History and Society in the Early Seventeenth Century.
Dublin: Four Courts. ISBN 978-1-84682-203-2. Cunningham, Bernadette, ed.. O'Donnell Histories: Donegal and the Annals of the Four Masters. Rathmullan: Rathmullan & District Local Historical Society. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. The Irish Annals: Their Genesis and History. Dublin: Four Courts. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. "Irish Chronicles and Their Chronology". Retrieved 5 April 2010. Ó Muraíle, Nollaig. "The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters". Celtica. 19: 75–95. O'Sullivan, William. "The Slane manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters". Ríocht na Mídhe: Journal of the County Meath Historical Society. 10: 78–85. Catholic Encyclopedia: Annals of the Four Masters List of Published Texts at CELT — University College Cork's Corpus of Electronic Texts project has the full text of the annals online, both in the original Irish and in O'Donovan's translation. Irish Script On Screen — The ISOS project at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has high-resolution digital images of the Royal Irish Academy's copy of the Annals
Óengus son of Fergus, was king of Picts from 732 until his death in 761. His reign can be reconstructed in some detail from a variety of sources; the unprecedented gains he made and the legacy he left, mean Óengus can be considered the first king of what would become Scotland. Wresting power from his rivals, Óengus became the chief king in Pictland following a period of civil war in the late 720s. During his reign, the neighbouring kingdom of Dál Riata was subsumed under Pictish rule and he extended Pictish influence through Northumbria and Ireland, Óengus is credited with establishing the cult of Saint Andrew in Scotland, at Cennrígmonaid; the most powerful ruler in Scotland over more than two decades, kings from Óengus' family dominated Pictland for a century, until defeat at the hands of Vikings in 839 began a new period of instability, ending with the coming to power of another Pictish line, that of Cináed mac Ailpín. Surviving Pictish sources for the period are few, limited to king lists, the original of, prepared in the early 720s, a number of accounts relating to the foundation of St Andrews called Cennrígmonaid.
Beyond Pictland, the principal sources are the Irish annals, of which the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Tigernach are the most reliable. These include materials from an annal kept at the monastery of Iona in Scotland. Óengus and the Picts appear in Welsh sources, such as the Annales Cambriae, more in Northumbrian sources, of which the Continuation of Bede's chronicle and the Historia Regum Anglorum attributed to Symeon of Durham are the most important. The Picts were one of four political groups in north Britain in the early 8th century. Pictland ran from the River Forth northwards, including Orkney and the Western Isles. Prior to the Viking Age, the main power in Pictland appears to have been the kingdom of Fortriu. Known high-status sites in Fortriu include Craig Phádraig by Inverness. Pictland appears to have had only one bishop with his seat at Rosemarkie. From the Forth south to the River Humber lay the kingdom of Northumbria. Once the dominant force in Britain, it remained a powerful kingdom, but the end of the old dynasty of kings with the death of Osric in 729 led to conflict between rival families for the throne.
The growing power of the Mercian kingdom to the south added to the problems faced by Northumbrian kings. For most of Óengus's reign Northumbria was ruled by the capable King Eadberht Eating. To the south-west of Pictland were the Gaels of Dál Riata where the kingship was disputed between the Cenél Loairn of northern Argyll and the Cenél nGabráin of Kintyre. In 723 Selbach mac Ferchair abdicated as head of the Cenél Loairn and king of Dál Riata in favour of his son Dúngal, driven out as king of Dál Riata by Eochaid mac Echdach of the Cenél nGabráin in 726. Dúngal and Eochaid were still in conflict as late as 731; the history of the fourth group, the Britons of Alt Clut the kingdom of Strathclyde, leaves little trace in the record. King Teudebur map Beli had ruled from Dumbarton Rock since 722, continued to do so until his death in 752 when his son Dumnagual succeeded him. An early medieval Irish genealogy tract claims Óengus to be a descendent of Cairpre Cruithnecháin or "Cairbre the little Pict", of the Eóganachta of Munster.
The branch of the kindred from which it's claimed he came, known in the annals as the Éoganachta of Mag Gergind, are accepted as having been located in modern Angus and the Mearns.Óengus thus appears to have been a native of the Mearns born into an established Verturian kindred there. Indeed, it's nearby, at the hill of Moncrieffe, near Perth, that he first appears in the records, defeating his rival, Alpin, in battle; that the Irish annals envision his kin as'Éoganachta' suggests he was the descendent of an obscure'Vuen', the Pictish British cognate of Gaelic Éogan. Otherwise much of Óengus' early life is unknown, his close kin included at least two sons and Talorgan, two brothers and Bridei. King Nechtan son of Der-Ile abdicated to enter a monastery in 724 and was imprisoned by his successor Drest in 726. In 728 and 729, four kings competed for power in Pictland: Drest. Four battles large enough to be recorded in Ireland were fought in 728 and 729. Alpín was defeated twice by Óengus. In 729 a battle between supporters of Óengus and Nechtan's enemies was fought at Monith Carno where the supporters of Óengus were victorious.
Nechtan was restored to the kingship until his death in 732. On 12 August 729 Óengus defeated and killed Drest in battle at Druimm Derg Blathuug, a place which has not been identified. In the 730s, Óengus fought against Dál Riata whose traditional overlords and protectors in Ireland, the Cenél Conaill, were much weakened at this time. A fleet from Dál Riata fought for Flaithbertach mac Loingsig, chief of the Cenél Conaill, in his war with Áed Allán of the Cenél nEógan, suffered heavy losses in 733. Dál Riata was ruled by Eochaid mac Echdach of the Cenél nGabráin who died in 733, the king lists are unclear as to who, if anyone, succeeded him as overking; the Cenél Loairn of north Argyll were ruled by Dúngal mac Selbaig whom Eochaid had deposed as overking of Dál Riata in the 720s. Fighting between the Picts, led by Óengus's son Bridei, the Dál Riata, led by Talorgan mac Congussa, is reco