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
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
Áed mac Cináeda
Áed mac Cináeda was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín. He became king of the Picts in 877, he was nicknamed Áed of the wing-footed or the white-foot. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says of Áed: "Edus held the same for one year; the shortness of his reign has bequeathed nothing memorable to history. He was slain in the civitas of Nrurim." Nrurim is unidentified. The Annals of Ulster say that in 878: "Áed mac Cináeda, king of the Picts, was killed by his associates." Tradition, reported by George Chalmers in his Caledonia, by the New Statistical Account, has it that the early-historic mound of the Cunninghillock by Inverurie is the burial place of Áed. This is based on reading Nrurim as Inruriu. A longer account is interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland; this says that Áed reigned one year and was killed by his successor Giric in Strathallan and other king lists have the same report. It is uncertain. William Forbes Skene presumed that the following verses referred to Áed:129.
Another king will take. Alas for Scotland thenceforward, his name will be the Furious.130. He will be but a short time over Scotland; the will be no unplundered. Alas for Scotland, through the youth, he will be nine years in the kingdom. I shall tell you—it will be a tale of truth—he dies without bell, with communion, at evening, in a fatal pass. Áed's son, Constantín mac Áeda, became king in 900. Kingdom of Alba 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 Anderson, Marjorie Ogilvie and Kingship in Early Scotland. Scottish Academic Press, revised edition 1980. ISBN 0-7011-1604-8 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. E. J. Arnold, London, 1984. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba Friends of Grampian Stones - history of Inverurie Second Statistical Account
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
Domnall mac Ailpín
Domnall mac Ailpín. He followed; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Domnall reigned for four years, matching the notices in the Annals of Ulster of his brother's death in February 858 and his own in April 862. The Chronicle notes: In his time the Gaels with their king made the rights and laws of the kingdom, of Aed, Eochaid's son, in Forteviot; the laws of Áed Find are lost, but it has been assumed that, like the laws attributed to Giric and Constantine II, these related to the church and in particular to granting the privileges and immunities common elsewhere. The significance of Forteviot as the site of this law-making, along with Kenneth's death there and Constantine's gathering at nearby Scone, may point to this as being the heartland of the sons of Alpín's support; the Chronicle of Melrose says of Domnall, "in war he was a vigorous soldier... he is said to have been assassinated at Scone." No other source reports Domnall's death by violence. The Prophecy of Berchán may refer to Domnall in stanzas 123–124: Evil will be Scotland's lot because of.
A long while till the king takes, the wanton son of the foreign wife. He will be three years in the kingdom, three months, his tomb-stone will be above Loch Awe. He dies of disease. Although Domnall is supposed to have been childless, it has been suggested that Giric was a son of Domnall, reading his patronym as mac Domnaill rather than the supposed mac Dúngail. This, however, is not accepted. Domnall died, either at Rathinveralmond, he was buried on Iona. Kingdom of Alba Origins of the Kingdom of Alba Annals of Ulster, part 1, at CELT The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
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