|Amlaíb mac Illuilb|
|King of Alba|
Amlaíb's name as it appears on folio 33v of Oxford Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 489 (the Annals of Ulster ).
|Predecessor||Cuilén mac Illuilb or Cináed mac Maíl Choluim|
|Father||Illulb mac Custantín|
Amlaíb mac Illuilb (died 977) was a tenth-century King of Alba.He was one of three sons of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba, and a member of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, a branch of the Alpínid dynasty. Amlaíb's paternal grandfather possessed strong connections with the Scandinavian dynasty of Dublin, and there is evidence to suggest that Illulb and Amlaíb bore names of Old Norse origin. If Amlaíb's name indeed represents a Gaelicised Scandinavian name, it could indicate that his mother was a member of the Uí Ímair, and possibly a granddaughter of Amlaíb Cúarán or Amlaíb mac Gofraid.
Vikings invaded the territory around Dublin in the 9th century, establishing the Norse Kingdom of Dublin, the earliest and longest-lasting Norse kingdom in Ireland. Its territory corresponded to most of present-day County Dublin. The Norse referred to the kingdom as Dyflin, which is derived from Irish Dubh Linn, meaning 'black pool'. The first reference to the Vikings comes from the Annals of Ulster and the first entry for 841 AD reads: "Pagans still on Lough Neagh". It is from this date onward that historians get references to ship fortresses or longphorts being established in Ireland. It may be safe to assume that the Vikings first over-wintered in 840–841 AD. The actual location of the longphort of Dublin is still a hotly debated issue. Norse rulers of Dublin were often co-kings, and occasionally also Kings of Jórvík in what is now Yorkshire. Under their rule, Dublin became the biggest slave port in Western Europe.
Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.
The Uí (h)Ímair[iː ˈiːvˠaɾʲ](
Following Illulb's death in 962, the kingship of Alba was taken up by Dub mac Maíl Coluim, a member of Clann Custantín meic Cináeda, a rival branch of the Alpínid dynasty. This king soon faced opposition from Amlaíb's brother, Cuilén, before the latter secured the kingship for himself in 966. Cuilén and another son of Illulb were slain in 971, after which the kingship was taken up by Dub's brother, Cináed mac Maíl Choluim. According to Irish sources, the latter slew Amlaíb in 997. The fact that these sources style Amlaíb as a king, and fail to accord a royal title to Cináed, suggests that Amlaíb was successful in seizing the kingship from his rival. Amlaíb's short reign appears to date to 971/976–977.
The Kingdom of Alba refers to the Kingdom of Scotland between the deaths of Donald II in 900 and of Alexander III in 1286, which then led indirectly to the Scottish Wars of Independence. The name is one of convenience, as throughout this period the elite and populace of the Kingdom were predominantly Pictish-Gaels or later Pictish-Gaels and Scoto-Norman, and differs markedly from the period of the Stuarts, in which the elite of the kingdom were speakers of Middle English, which later evolved and came to be called Lowland Scots. There is no precise Gaelic equivalent for the English terminology "Kingdom of Alba", as the Gaelic term Rìoghachd na h-Alba means 'Kingdom of Scotland'. English-speaking scholars adapted the Gaelic name for Scotland to apply to a particular political period in Scottish history during the High Middle Ages.
Cuilén was an early King of Alba (Scotland). 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 eventually expelled and slain in 966/967. Whether Cuilén was responsible for his death is uncertain.
Amlaíb was one of three sons of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba (died 962).Amlaíb's paternal grandfather was Custantín mac Áeda, King of Alba (died 952), a man who possessed strong connections with the Scandinavian dynasty of Dublin. There is evidence to suggest that some of Custantín's descendants bore Scandinavian names. For instance, Illulb's name could be a Gaelicised form of the Old English personal name Eadwulf , or else a Gaelicised form of the Old Norse personal name Hildulfr.
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.
Eadwulf is an Anglo-Saxon male name. Notable people with the name include:
Evidence of Scandinavian influence on the Scottish court may be a possible epithet accorded to Amlaíb's brother, Cuilén (died 971), by the ninth–twelfth-century Chronicle of the Kings of Alba . In one instance, this source records Cuilén's name as "Culenrīg". The bar above the letter "i" in this word appears to indicate that rīg should be expanded to "ring". Whilst it is possible that this word represents the Old Norse hringr, meaning "ring" or "ring-giver", the name may be corrupted from a scribal error, and the word itself might refer to something else.
An epithet is a byname, or a descriptive term, accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It can also be a descriptive title: for example, Pallas Athena, Alfred the Great, Suleiman the Magnificent or Władysław I the Elbow-high.
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, or Scottish Chronicle, is a short written chronicle of the Kings of Alba, covering the period from the time of Kenneth MacAlpin until the reign of Kenneth II. W.F. Skene called it the Chronicle of the Kings of Scots, and some have called it the Older Scottish Chronicle, but Chronicle of the Kings of Alba is emerging as the standard scholarly name.
I is the ninth letter and the third vowel in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
Other possible evidence of Scandinavian influence upon Custantín's family may be Amlaíb's own name. Although his name may represent a 'modernised' form of the Gaelic personal name Amalgaid , —perhaps the Uí Ímair —and conceivably a descendant of Amlaíb Cúarán (died 980/981) or Amlaíb mac Gofraid (died 941). Certainly, members of Gaelic dynasties were accorded Scandinavian names by the end of the century, just as members of insular Scandinavian dynasties began to bear Gaelic names. If Amlaíb's name is indeed Scandinavian in origin, he would be one of the first figures to bear such a cross-ethnic personal name.a name often confused with Amlaíb in mediaeval sources, the latter name usually represents a Gaelicised form of the Old Norse personal name Óláfr . In fact, Amlaíb's name could indicate that his mother was a member of a Scandinavian kindred
|Simplified pedigree of two branches of the Alpínid dynasty: Clann Custantín meic Cináeda (highlighted green) and Clann Áeda meic Cináeda (highlighted yellow).|
Amlaíb and his immediate family were members of the ruling Alpínid dynasty, the patrilineal descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts (died 858). —a member of the Clann Áeda meic Cináeda branch of the dynasty—succeeded Domnall mac Causantín (died 900)—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 (died 954). Amlaíb's father succeeded to the kingship following Máel Coluim's demise, and 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, and 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, however, the Alpínids seem to have struggled amongst themselves.The root of this kindred's remarkable early success laid in its ability to successfully rotate the royal succession amongst its members. For example, Illulb's father
There is some uncertainty regarding the succession after Illulb's demise. On one hand, he may well have been succeeded by Máel Coluim's son, Dub (died 966/967).On the other hand, there is reason to suspect that the kingship was temporarily shared by Dub and Cuilén, and 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 clearly erupted in the years that followed. Dub appears to have spent much of his reign contending with Cuilén, Certainly, the two battled each other in 965. Dub was expelled from the kingship in the following year, and is recorded to have been slain in 966/967. Cuilén's undisputed reign seems to have spanned from 966 to 971. As far as surviving sources record, Cuilén's reign appears to have been relatively uneventful. His death in 971 is noted by several sources. According to the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, Cuilén and his brother, Eochaid (died 971), were killed by Britons. There is reason to suspect that Cuilén's killer, a certain Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal (fl. 971), was a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde (died 975).
Although the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports that Dub's brother, Cináed mac Maíl Choluim (died 995), was the next King of Alba, —such as royal genealogies, the fourteenth-century Annals of Tigernach and the fifteenth–sixteenth-century Annals of Ulster—appear to reveal that Amlaíb possessed the kingship before his death at Cináed's hands. Whilst Cináed may well have initially succeeded to the kingship, it seems that Amlaíb was able to mount a successful—if only temporary—bid for the throne. Certainly, the aforesaid annal-entries style Amlaíb a king and accord Cináed a mere patronymic name. Although there is no specific evidence that Amlaíb and Cináed had constantly fought after Cuilén's demise, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba ends its account at about 973, and the twelfth-century Prophecy of Berchán —an important source for the hostilities between Dub and Cuilén—suffers from a lacuna in its account of Cináed's reign. One possibility is that the kingship had been shared between Amlaíb and Cináed until the former's elimination.Irish sources
Amlaíb's reign is not attested by any Scottish king-list, –977. In the midst of this interval, the ninth–twelfth-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reveals that Edgar, King of the English (died 975) assembled a massive naval force and met with six kings at Chester in 975. Although later sources corroborate the event, the reliability of the names accorded to the assembled kings is less certain. Two of the named kings appear to be the aforesaid Dyfnwal and Cináed. Considering the fact that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle numbers the kings at six, if Cináed was indeed present, it is unlikely that Amlaíb was in attendance as well. Although the chronology concerning the reigns of Cináed and Amlaíb is uncertain—with Cináed's reign perhaps dating from 971/977–995 —the part played by the particular King of Alba at the assembly could well have concerned the frontier of his realm. One of the other named kings seems to have been Maccus mac Arailt (fl. 974), whilst another could been this man's brother, Gofraid (died 989). These two Islesmen may have been regarded a threats by the Scots and Cumbrians. Maccus and Gofraid are recorded to have devastated Anglesey at the beginning of the decade, which could indicate that Edgar's assembly was undertaken as a means to counter the menace posed by these energetic siblings. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that, as a consequence of the assembly at Chester, the brothers may have turned their attention from the British mainland westwards towards Ireland, and that Gofraid ceased his operations in Wales until the next decade. Whatever the case, within two years both Dyfnwal and Edgar were dead. Contemporary English sources described the period after Edgar's demise as a time of "dissension", "trouble", "sedition", and "most unhappy times". In fact, the upheaval caused by the deaths of these men may well have contributed to Cináed's elimination of Amlaíb.and it would appear that his regime was indeed brief, perhaps dating from 971/976
According to the twelfth-century De primo Saxonum adventu , at some point Edgar granted Lothian to Cináed in return for his recognition of English overlordship. If correct, one possibility is that the transaction dates to the 960s/970s, and was entended to assist Cináed's opposition against Amlaíb.The revolving succession within the Alpínid dynasty reveals that the inter-dynastic struggle between Cuilén and Dub was continued by their respective brothers. As for Cuilén's other brother, Eochaid, this man's death with Cuilén seems to be evidence of his prominent position within the kingdom. The fact that Amlaíb reigned after his brother's death likewise appears to indicate that he too played an important part in Cuilén's regime. One of Cináed's first acts as king was evidently an invasion of the kingdom of the Cumbrians. Although this campaign may well have been a retaliatory response to Cuilén's killing, it may be more likely that Cináed carried out this enterprise in the context of crushing a British affront to Scottish authority rather than as a means of avenging the death of his kinsman. In any event, Cináed's invasion ended in defeat, a fact which coupled with Cuilén's killing reveals that the Kingdom of Strathclyde was indeed a power to be reckoned with.
Causantín or Constantín mac Cináeda was a king of the Picts. He is often 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 likely that Causantín's reign witnessed increased activity by Vikings, based in Ireland, Northumbria and northern Britain. He died fighting one such invasion.
Constantine, son of Áed was an early King of Scotland, known then by the Gaelic name Alba. The Kingdom of Alba, a name which first appears in Constantine's lifetime, was situated in modern-day Scotland. The core of the kingdom was formed by the lands around the River Tay. Its southern limit was the River Forth, northwards it extended towards the Moray Firth and perhaps to Caithness, while its western limits are uncertain. Constantine's grandfather Kenneth I of Scotland was the first of the family recorded as a king, but as king of the Picts. This change of title, from king of the Picts to king of Alba, is part of a broader transformation of Pictland and the origins of the Kingdom of Alba are traced to Constantine's lifetime.
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.
Cináed mac Maíl Coluim was King of Scots (Alba). The son of Malcolm I, he succeeded King Cuilén on the latter's death at the hands of Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal in 971.
Eochaid was a ninth-century Briton who may have ruled as King of Strathclyde and/or King of the Picts. He was a son of Rhun ab Arthgal, King of Strathclyde, and descended from a long line of British kings. Eochaid's mother is recorded to have been a daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts. This maternal descent from the royal Alpínid dynasty may well account for the record of Eochaid reigning over the Pictish realm after the death of Cináed's son, Áed, in 878. According to various sources, Áed was slain by Giric, a man of uncertain ancestry, who is also accorded kingship after Áed's demise.
Amlaíb mac Sitric, commonly called Amlaíb Cuarán, in Old Norse: Óláfr kváran, was a 10th-century Norse-Gael who was King of Northumbria and Dublin. His byname, cuarán, is usually translated as "sandal". His name appears in a variety of anglicized forms, including Olaf Cuaran and Olaf Sihtricson, particularly in relation to his short-lived rule in York. He was the last of the Uí Ímair to play a major part in the politics of the British Isles.
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill was a dominant figure in the eleventh-century Irish Sea region. At his height, he reigned as king over Dublin, the Isles, and perhaps the Rhinns of Galloway. The precise identity of Echmarcach's father, Ragnall, is uncertain. One possibility is that this man was one of two eleventh-century rulers of Waterford. Another possibility is that Echmarcach's father was an early eleventh-century ruler of the Isles. If any of these identifications are correct, Echmarcach may have been a member of the Uí Ímair kindred.
Suibne mac Cináeda was an eleventh-century ruler of the Gall Gaidheil, a population of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic ethnicity. There is little known of Suibne as he is only attested in three sources that record the year of his death. He seems to have ruled in a region where Gall Gaidheil are known to have dwelt: either the Hebrides, the Firth of Clyde region, or somewhere along the south-western coast of Scotland from the Firth of Clyde southwards into Galloway.
Arthgal ap Dyfnwal was a ninth-century King of Alt Clut. He descended from a long line of rulers of the British Kingdom of Alt Clut. Either he or his father, Dyfnwal ap Rhydderch, King of Alt Clut, may have reigned when the Britons are recorded to have burned Pictish ecclesiastical site of Dunblane in 849.
Rhun ab Arthgal was a ninth-century King of Strathclyde. He is the only known son of Arthgal ap Dyfnwal, King of Alt Clut. In 870, during the latter's reign, the fortress of Alt Clut was captured by Vikings, after which the Arthgal and his family may have been amongst the mass of prisoners taken back to Ireland. Two years later Arthgal is recorded to have been slain at the behest of Causantín mac Cináeda, King of the Picts. The circumstances surrounding this regicide are unknown. The fact that Rhun seems to have been Causantín's brother-in-law could account for Causantín's interference in the kingship of Alt Clut.
Dyfnwal was King of Strathclyde. Although his parentage is unknown, he was probably a member of the Cumbrian dynasty that is recorded to have ruled the Kingdom of Strathclyde immediately before him. Dyfnwal is attested by only one source, a mediaeval chronicle that places his death between the years 908 and 915.
Owain ap Dyfnwal was an early tenth-century King of Strathclyde. He was probably a son of Dyfnwal, King of Strathclyde, who may have been related to previous rulers of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Originally centred in the valley of the River Clyde, this realm appears to have undergone considerable southward expansion in the ninth or tenth century, after which it increasing came to be known as the Kingdom of Cumbria.
Dyfnwal ab Owain was a tenth-century King of Strathclyde. He was a son of Owain ap Dyfnwal, King of Strathclyde, and seems to have been a member of the royal dynasty of Strathclyde. At some point in the ninth- or tenth century, the Kingdom of Strathclyde expanded substantially southwards. As a result of this extension far beyond the valley of the River Clyde, the realm became known as the Kingdom of Cumbria. By 927, the kingdom seems to have reached as far south as the River Eamont.
Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal was an eminent tenth-century Cumbrian who slew Cuilén mac Illuilb, King of Alba in 971. Rhydderch was possibly a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde, and could have ruled as King of Strathclyde. Rhydderch appears on record in about 971, when he is said to have killed Cuilén mac Illuilb, King of Alba, a man said to have abducted and raped Rhydderch's daughter. Following Cuilén's death, the Cumbrian Kingdom of Strathclyde endured an invasion by Cuilén's successor, Cináed mac Maíl Choluim, King of Alba. This Scottish attack could have been a retaliatory raid for Rhydderch's actions, and may have been undertaken in the context of restoring Scottish authority over the Cumbrian realm. If Rhydderch ever ruled as king it must have been before 973, when Dyfnwal's son, Máel Coluim, is accorded the title king.
Máel Coluim was a tenth-century King of Strathclyde. He was a younger son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde, and thus a member of the Cumbrian dynasty that had ruled the kingdom for generations. Máel Coluim's Gaelic name could indicate that he was born during either an era of amiable relations with the Scots, or else during a period of Scottish overlordship. In 945, the Edmund I, King of the English invaded the kingdom, and appears to have granted the Scots permission to dominate the Cumbrians. The English king is further reported to have blinded several of Máel Coluim's brothers in an act that could have been an attempt to deprive Dyfnwal of an heir.
Owain Foel, also known as Owain Moel, Owain the Bald, Owen the Bald, and Eugenius Calvus, was an eleventh-century King of Strathclyde. He may have been a son of Máel Coluim, son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, two other rulers of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Owain Foel is recorded to have supported the Scots at the Battle of Carham in 1018. Although it is possible that he died in the conflict, no source states as much, and it is uncertain when he died. Owain Foel may be an ancestor—perhaps the father—of a certain Máel Coluim who is described as the "son of the king of the Cumbrians" in the 1050s.
Amlaíb Conung was a Viking leader in Ireland and Scotland in the mid-late ninth century. He was the son of the king of Lochlann, identified in the non-contemporary Fragmentary Annals of Ireland as Gofraid, and brother of Auisle and Ímar, the latter of whom founded the Uí Ímair dynasty, and whose descendants would go on to dominate the Irish Sea region for several centuries. Another Viking leader, Halfdan Ragnarsson, is considered by some scholars to be another brother. The Irish Annals title Amlaíb, Ímar and Auisle "kings of the foreigners". Modern scholars use the title "kings of Dublin" after the Viking settlement which formed the base of their power. The epithet "Conung" is derived from the Old Norse konungr and simply means "king". Some scholars consider Amlaíb to be identical to Olaf the White, a Viking sea-king who features in the Landnámabók and other Icelandic sagas.
Ragnall mac Gofraid was King of the Isles and likely a member of the Uí Ímair kindred. He was a son of Gofraid mac Arailt, King of the Isles. Ragnall and Gofraid flourished at a time when the Kingdom of the Isles seems to have suffered from Orcadian encroachment at the hands of Sigurðr Hlǫðvisson, Earl of Orkney. Gofraid died in 989. Although Ragnall is accorded the kingship upon his own death in 1004 or 1005, the succession after his father's death is uncertain.
Domnall mac Áeda, also known as Domnall Dabaill, was a King of Ailech. He was a son of Áed Findliath mac Néill, High King of Ireland. Domnall was a half-brother of Niall Glúndub mac Áeda, a man with whom he shared the kingship of Ailech.
Amlaíb mac Illuilb
Clann Áeda meic Cináeda
Cadet branch of the Alpínid dynastyDied: 977
| King of Alba |