Donald II of Scotland
Domnall mac Causantín, anglicised as Donald II was King of the Picts or King of Alba in the late 9th century. He was the son of Constantine I. Donald is given the epithet Dásachtach, "the Madman", by The Prophecy of Berchán. Donald became king on the death or deposition of Giric, the date of, not known but placed in 889; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports: Doniualdus son of Constantini held the kingdom for 11 years. The Northmen wasted Pictland at this time. In his reign a battle occurred between Scots at Innisibsolian where the Scots had victory, he was killed at Opidum Fother by the Gentiles. It has been suggested that the attack on Dunnottar, rather than being a small raid by a handful of pirates, may be associated with the ravaging of Scotland attributed to Harald Fairhair in the Heimskringla; the Prophecy of Berchán places Donald's death at Dunnottar, but appears to attribute it to Gaels rather than Norsemen. Donald's death is dated to 900 by the Annals of Ulster and the Chronicon Scotorum, where he is called king of Alba, rather than king of the Picts.
He was buried on Iona. Like his father, Constantine, he died a violent death at a premature age; the change from king of the Picts to king of Alba is seen as indicating a step towards the kingdom of the Scots, but historians, while divided as to when this change should be placed, do not attribute it to Donald in view of his epithet. The consensus view is that the key changes occurred in the reign of Constantine II, but the reign of Giric has been proposed; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba has Donald succeeded by his cousin Constantine II. Donald's son Malcolm was king as Malcolm I; the Prophecy of Berchán appears to suggest that another king reigned for a short while between Donald II and Constantine II, saying "half a day will he take sovereignty". Possible confirmation of this exists in the Chronicon Scotorum, where the death of "Ead, king of the Picts" in battle against the Uí Ímair is reported in 904. This, however, is thought to be an error, referring to Ædwulf, the ruler of Bernicia, whose death is reported in 913 by the other Irish annals.
Kingdom of Alba Origins of the Kingdom of Alba 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; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
Malcolm I of Scotland
Máel Coluim mac Domnaill was king of Alba, becoming king when his cousin Constantine II abdicated to become a monk. He was the son of Donald II. Máel Coluim was born during his father's reign. By the 940s, he was no longer a young man, may have become impatient in awaiting the throne. Willingly or not—the 11th-century Prophecy of Berchán, a verse history in the form of a supposed prophecy, states that it was not a voluntary decision that Constantine II abdicated in 943 and entered a monastery, leaving the kingdom to Máel Coluim. Seven years the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says: plundered the English as far as the River Tees, he seized a multitude of people and many herds of cattle: and the Scots called this the raid of Albidosorum, that is, Nainndisi, but others say that Constantine made this raid, asking of the king, that the kingship should be given to him for a week's time, so that he could visit the English. In fact, it was Malcolm who made the raid. Woolf suggests that the association of Constantine with the raid is a late addition, one derived from a now-lost saga or poem.
He died in the shield wall next to his men. Máel Coluim would be the third in his immediate family to die violently, his father Donald II and grandfather Constantine I both having met similar fates 54 years earlier in 900 and 77 years earlier in 877 respectively. In 945, Edmund I of England, having expelled Amlaíb Cuaran from Northumbria, devastated Cumbria and blinded two sons of Domnall mac Eógain, king of Strathclyde, it is said that he "let" or "commended" Strathclyde to Máel Coluim in return for an alliance. What is to be understood by "let" or "commended" is unclear, but it may well mean that Máel Coluim had been the overlord of Strathclyde and that Edmund recognised this while taking lands in southern Cumbria for himself; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Máel Coluim took an army into Moray "and slew Cellach". Cellach is not named in the surviving genealogies of the rulers of Moray, his identity is unknown. Máel Coluim appears to have kept his agreement with the late English king, which may have been renewed with the new king, Edmund having been murdered in 946 and succeeded by his brother Edred.
Eric Bloodaxe, son to King Harald Hairfair of Norway, took York in 948, before being driven out by Edred, when Amlaíb Cuaran again took York in 949–950, Máel Coluim raided Northumbria as far south as the Tees taking "a multitude of people and many herds of cattle" according to the Chronicle. The Annals of Ulster for 952 report a battle between "the men of Alba and the Britons and the English" against the foreigners, i.e. the Northmen or the Norse-Gaels. This battle is not reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it is unclear whether it should be related to the expulsion of Amlaíb Cuaran from York or the return of Eric Bloodaxe; the Annals of Ulster report that Máel Coluim was killed in 954. Other sources place this most in the Mearns, either at Fetteresso following the Chronicle, or at Dunnottar following the Prophecy of Berchán, he was buried on Iona. Máel Coluim's sons Dub and Cináed were kings. For primary sources see External links below. Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A.
D 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8 Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000. Reprinted, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 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; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle XML Edition by Tony Jebson and translated at the Medieval and Classical Literature Library
Causantín mac Cináeda
Causantín or Constantín mac Cináeda was a king of the Picts. He is known as Constantine I in reference to his place in modern lists of kings of Scots, but contemporary sources described Causantín only as a Pictish king. A son of Cináed mac Ailpín, he succeeded his uncle Domnall mac Ailpín as Pictish king following the latter's death on 13 April 862, it is that Causantín's reign witnessed increased activity by Vikings, based in Ireland and northern Britain. He died fighting one such invasion. Few records of ninth century events in northern Britain survive; the main local source from the period is the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, a list of kings from Cináed mac Ailpín to Cináed mac Maíl Coluim. The list survives in a thirteenth-century compilation. A list of kings with reign lengths, the other details contained in the Poppleton Manuscript version were added from the tenth century onwards. In addition to this king lists survive; the earliest genealogical records of the descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín may date from the end of the tenth century, but their value lies more in their context, the information they provide about the interests of those for whom they were compiled, than in the unreliable claims they contain.
The Pictish king-lists ended with this Causantín, reckoned the seventieth and last king of the Picts. For narrative history the principal sources are the Irish annals. While Scandinavian sagas describe events in 9th century Britain, their value as sources of historical narrative, rather than documents of social history, is disputed. If the sources for north-eastern Britain, the lands of the kingdom of Northumbria and the former Pictland, are limited and late, those for the areas on the Irish Sea and Atlantic coasts—the modern regions of north-west England and all of northern and western Scotland—are non-existent, archaeology and toponymy are of primary importance. Writing a century before Causantín was born, Bede recorded five languages in Britain. Latin, the common language of the church. By the ninth century a sixth language, Old Norse, had arrived with the Vikings. Viking activity in northern Britain appears to have reached a peak during Causantín's reign. Viking armies were led by a small group of men.
Among those noted by the Irish annals, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are Ívarr—Ímar in Irish sources—who was active from East Anglia to Ireland, Halfdán—Albdann in Irish, Healfdene in Old English— and Amlaíb or Óláfr. As well as these leaders, various others related to them appear in the surviving record. Viking activity in Britain increased in 865 when the Great Heathen Army a part of the forces, active in Francia, landed in East Anglia; the following year, having obtained tribute from the East Anglian King Edmund, the Great Army moved north, seizing York, chief city of the Northumbrians. The Great Army defeated an attack on York by the two rivals for the Northumbrian throne, Osberht and Ælla, who had put aside their differences in the face of a common enemy. Both would-be kings were killed in the failed assault on 21 March 867. Following this, the leaders of the Great Army are said to have installed one Ecgberht as king of the Northumbrians, their next target was Mercia where King Burgred, aided by his brother-in-law King Æthelred of Wessex, drove them off.
While the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria were under attack, other Viking armies were active in the far north. Amlaíb and Auisle, said to be his brother, brought an army to Fortriu and obtained tribute and hostages in 866. Historians disagree as to whether the army returned to Ireland in 866, 867 or in 869. Late sources of uncertain reliability state that Auisle was killed by Amlaíb in 867 in a dispute over Amlaíb's wife, the daughter of Cináed, it is unclear whether, if accurate, this woman should be identified as a daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, thus Causantín's sister, or as a daughter of Cináed mac Conaing, king of Brega. While Amlaíb and Auisle were in north Britain, the Annals of Ulster record that Áed Findliath, High King of Ireland, took advantage of their absence to destroy the longphorts along the northern coasts of Ireland. Áed Findliath was married to Causantín's sister Máel Muire. She married Áed's successor Flann Sinna, her death is recorded in 913. In 870, Amlaíb and Ívarr attacked Dumbarton Rock, where the River Leven meets the River Clyde, the chief place of the kingdom of Alt Clut, south-western neighbour of Pictland.
The siege lasted four months before the fortress fell to the Vikings who returned to Ireland with many prisoners, "Angles and Picts", in 871. Archaeological evidence suggests that Dumbarton Rock was abandoned and that Govan replaced it as the chief place of the kingdom of Strathclyde, as Alt Clut was known. King Artgal of Alt Clut did not long survive these events, being killed "at the instigation" of Causantín son of Cináed two years later. Artgal's son and successor Run was married to a sister of Causantín. Amlaíb disappears from Irish annals after his return to Ireland in 871. According to the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba he was killed by Causantín either in 871 or 872 when he returned to Pictland to collect further tribute, his ally Ívarr died in 873. In 875, the Chronicle and the Annals of Ulster again report a Viking army in Pictland. A bat
King Bridei III was king of the Picts from 672 until 693. Bridei may have been born as early as 616, but no than the year 628, he was the son of King of Alt Clut. His claim to the Fortrean Kingship came through King Nechtan of the Picts. Nennius' Historia Brittonum tells us that Bridei was King Ecgfrith's fratruelis, i.e. maternal first cousin. Bridei's mother was a daughter of King Edwin of Deira. Bridei was one of the more active of Fortrean monarchs, he attacked Dunnottar in 680/681, campaigned against the Orcadian sub-kingdom in 682, a campaign so violent that the Annals of Ulster said that the Orkney Islands were "destroyed" by Bridei. It is recorded that, in the following year, in 683, War broke out between the Scots of Dál Riata under Máel Dúin mac Conaill and Bridei's Picts; the Scots attacked Dundurn in Strathearn. Dundurn was Bridei's main powerbase in a great ` nuclear' hilltop fortress; the Scots did not take Dundurn, Bridei backed up with an attack on Dunadd, the capital of Dal Riata.
We do not know if Bridei took Dunadd, but the presence of Pictish-style carvings of that time period in Dunadd may mean that he took and occupied Dunadd. The lack of reputable contemporary sources of this conflict means that not much is known about the Scottish-Pict war of 683, but it is clear that, from his base in Fortriu, Bridei was establishing his overlordship of the lands to the north, those to the south putting himself in a position to attack the Anglian possessions which existed in the far south. It is possible that Bridei was regarded by Ecgfrith as his sub-king; the traditional interpretation is that Bridei severed this relationship, causing the invervention of Ecgfrith. This led to the famous Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685, in which the Anglo-Saxon army of Ecgfrith was annihilated. One Irish source reports that Bridei was "fighting for his grandfather's inheritance", suggesting that either Ecgfrith was challenging Bridei's kingship, or more given Bridei's earlier campaigns, that Bridei was seeking to recover the territories ruled by his grandfather in Fife and Circinn, but since taken by the English.
The consequences of this battle were the expulsion of Northumbrians from southern Pictland and permanent Fortrean domination of the southern Pictish zone. Bridei's death is recorded by both the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Tigernach under the year 693. Traditions attributed a surviving lament for Bridei's death to Saint Adomnán, abbot of Iona. Annals of Tigernach Annals of Ulster Historia Brittonum
Dub, King of Scotland
Dub mac Maíl Coluim, sometimes anglicised as Duff MacMalcolm, called Dén, "the Vehement" and Niger, "the Black" was king of Alba. He was son of Malcolm I and succeeded to the throne when Indulf was killed in 962. While chroniclers such as John of Fordun supplied a great deal of information on Dub's life and reign, including tales of witchcraft and treason all of them are rejected by modern historians. There are few sources for the reign of Dub, of which the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and a single entry in the Annals of Ulster are the closest to contemporary; the Chronicle records that during Dub's reign bishop Fothach, most bishop of St Andrews or of Dunkeld, died. The remaining report is of son of king Ildulb. Dub won the battle, fought "upon the ridge of Crup", in which Duchad, abbot of Dunkeld, sometimes supposed to be an ancestor of Crínán of Dunkeld, Dubdon, the mormaer of Atholl, died; the various accounts differ on. The Chronicle claims; the Latin material interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykl states that he was murdered at Forres, links this to an eclipse of the sun which can be dated to 20 July 966.
The Annals of Ulster report only: "Dub mac Maíl Coluim, king of Alba, was killed by the Scots themselves". It has been suggested that Sueno's Stone, near Forres, may be a monument to Dub, erected by his brother Kenneth II, it is presumed that Dub was killed or driven out by Cuilén, who became king after Dub's death, or by his supporters. It is related that his body was hidden under the bridge of Kinloss, the sun did not shine till it was found and buried. An eclipse on 10 July 967 may have confirmed this story. Dub left at least one son, Kenneth III. Although his descendants did not compete for the kingship of Alba after Cináed was killed in 1005, they did hold the mormaerdom of Fife; the MacDuib held the mormaerdom, earldom, until 1371. Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80–1000. Edinburgh UP, Edinburgh, 1984. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 Annals of Ulster, part 1, at CELT The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
Cuilén was an early King of Alba. He was a son of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba, after whom he is known by the patronymic mac Illuilb of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, a branch of the Alpínid dynasty. During the 10th century, the Alpínids rotated the kingship of Alba between two main dynastic branches. Dub mac Maíl Choluim, a member of a rival branch of the kindred, seems to have succeeded after Illulb's death in 962. Cuilén soon after challenged him but was defeated in 965. Dub was expelled and slain in 966/967. Whether Cuilén was responsible for his death is uncertain. Following Dub's fall, Cuilén appears to have ruled as undisputed king from 966–971. Little is known of Cuilén's short reign other than his own death in 971. According to various sources, he and his brother, were slain by Britons; some sources identify Cuilén's killer as Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal, a man whose daughter had been abducted and raped by the king. Rhydderch was evidently a man of eminent standing, seems to have been a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde, could have ruled the Cumbrian Kingdom of Strathclyde at the time of Cuilén's death.
After Cuilén's assassination, the kingship of Alba may have been assumed by another member of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, Cináed mac Maíl Choluim, a man who appears to have launched a retaliatory raid against the Cumbrians. There is evidence indicating that Cináed faced considerable opposition from Cuilén's brother, Amlaíb, a man, accorded the title King of Alba in Irish sources recording his death at Cináed's hands in 977. Cuilén's son, Custantín succeeded Cináed as king. There is evidence to suggest that Cuilén had Máel Coluim. Cuilén was one of three sons of King of Alba; the two other sons were Amlaíb. Illulb was in turn a son of Custantín mac Áeda, King of Alba, a man who possessed strong connections with the Scandinavian dynasty of Dublin. There is evidence to suggest. For instance, Illulb's name could be either a Gaelicised form of the Old English personal name Eadwulf, or a Gaelicised form of the Old Norse personal name Hildulfr. If the latter possibility is indeed correct, Illulb's name could indicate that his mother was a member of a Scandinavian kindred.
Amlaíb's name could represent a form of the Gaelic personal name Amalgaid, or else a Gaelicised form of an Old Norse personal name Óláfr. Therefore, Amlaíb's name could indicate that his mother was a member of a Scandinavian kindred as well, a descendant of Amlaíb Cúarán or Amlaíb mac Gofraid. Further evidence of Scandinavian influence on the contemporary Scottish court may be a possible epithet accorded to Cuilén by the ninth–twelfth-century Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. In one instance, this source records Cuilén's name as "Culenrig". Whilst it is possible that this word represents the Old Norse hringr, meaning "ring" or "ring-giver", the name instead may be corrupted from a scribal error, the word itself might refer to something else. Cuilén and his immediate family were members of the ruling Alpínid dynasty, the patrilineal descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts; the root of this kindred's remarkable early success laid in its ability to rotate the royal succession amongst its members.
For example, Illulb's father—a member of the Clann Áeda meic Cináeda branch of the dynasty—succeeded Domnall mac Causantín —a member of the Clann Custantín meic Cináeda branch—and following a remarkable reign of forty years resigned the kingship to this man's son, Máel Coluim mac Domnaill. Cuilén's father succeeded to the kingship following Máel Coluim's demise, ruled as king until his own death in 962; the record of Illulb's fall at the hands of an invading Scandinavian host is the last time Irish and Scottish sources note Viking encroachment into the kingdom. The Scandinavian Kingdom of York had collapsed by the 950s, the warbands of the kings of Dublin seem to have ceased their overseas adventures during this period as well. Unlike English monarchs who had to endure Viking depredations from the 980s to the 1010s, the kings of Alba were left in relative peace from about the time of Illulb's fall. Free from such outside threats, the Alpínids seem to have struggled amongst themselves. There is some uncertainty regarding the succession after Illulb's demise.
On one hand, he may well have been succeeded by Dub. Such a chronology is evinced by the fourteenth-century Chronica gentis Scotorum and various king lists; the twelfth-century Prophecy of Berchán, on the other hand, states that the kingship was temporarily shared by Dub and Cuilén. If correct, this source could indicate that neither man had been strong enough to displace the other in the immediate aftermath of Illulb's passing. Although the Alpínid branches represented by Illulb and Dub seem to have maintained peace throughout Illulb's reign, inter-dynastic conflict erupted in the years that followed; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba may indicate that Dub spent much of his reign contending with Cuilén. This source states that the two battled each other on Dorsum Crup, where Dúnchad, Abbot of Dunkeld, Dubdon, satrap of Atholl were slain; the battle seems to have taken place at Duncrub the same site as first-century Battle of Mons Graupius. The conflict itself is attested by the fifteenth–sixteenth-century Annals of Ulster in 965, in an entry recording Dúnchad's fall in a clash between the men of Alba.
Although the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba state