Cuilén (also Culén, Cuilean, anglicized Colin; died 971) 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 (also mac Iduilb, mac Ilduilb etc.[note 1]) 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.
The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful War of Independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, joining Scotland with England in a personal union. In 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. Following the annexation of the Northern Isles from the Kingdom of Norway in 1472 and final capture of the Royal Burgh of Berwick by the Kingdom of England in 1482, the territory of the Kingdom of Scotland corresponded to that of modern-day Scotland, bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.
Ildulb mac Causantín, anglicised as Indulf or Indulph, nicknamed An Ionsaighthigh, "the Aggressor" was king of Alba from 954. He was the son of Constantine II; his mother may have been a daughter of Earl Eadulf I of Bernicia, who was an exile in Scotland.
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, Eochaid, 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, and seems to have been a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde, and could have possibly ruled the Cumbrian Kingdom of Strathclyde at the time of Cuilén's death.
The Britons, also known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh, Cornish and Bretons. They spoke the Common Brittonic language, the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages.
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.
Strathclyde, originally Cumbric: Ystrad Clud or Alclud, was one of the early medieval kingdoms of the Britons in what the Welsh call Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking parts of what is now southern Scotland and northern England. The kingdom developed during the post-Roman period. It is also known as Alt Clut, a Brittonic term for Dumbarton Castle, the medieval capital of the region. It may have had its origins with the Brythonic Damnonii people of Ptolemy's Geography.
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 who was accorded the title King of Alba in Irish sources recording his death at Cináed's hands in 977. Cuilén's son, Custantín, eventually succeeded Cináed as king. There is evidence to suggest that Cuilén had another son, Máel Coluim.
Amlaíb mac Illuilb 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.
Constantine, son of Cuilén, known in most modern regnal lists as Constantine III, was king of Scots from 995 to 997. He was the son of King Cuilén. John of Fordun calls him, in Latin, Constantinus Calvus, which translates to Constantine the Bald. Benjamin Hudson notes that insular authors from Ireland and Scotland typically identified rulers by sobriquets. Noting for example the similarly named Eugenius Calvus, an 11th-century King of Strathclyde.
Cuilén was one of three sons of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba (died 962). The two other sons were Eochaid (died 971) and Amlaíb (died 977). Illulb was in turn a son of 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 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. Likewise, 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, and perhaps a descendant of Amlaíb Cúarán (died 980/981) or Amlaíb mac Gofraid (died 941).
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:
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.
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 "Culenri[n]g". 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, 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.
A ring is a round band, usually of metal, worn as ornamental jewellery. The term "ring" by itself always denotes the finger ring, but when worn as an ornament elsewhere, the body part is always specified, e.g. earrings, neck rings, arm rings, and toe rings. Rings always fit snugly around or in the part of the body they ornament, so bands worn loosely, like a bracelet, are not rings. Rings may be made of almost any hard material: wood, bone, stone, metal, glass, gemstone or plastic. They may be set with gemstones or with other types of stone or glass.
The Alpínid dynasty
Simplified pedigree of two branches of the Alpínid dynasty: Clann Custantín meic Cináeda (highlighted green) and Clann Áeda meic Cináeda (highlighted yellow).
Cuilén and his immediate family were members of the ruling Alpínid dynasty, the patrilineal descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts (died 858). 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—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).[note 2] Cuilén'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 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.
Contested kingship and kin-strife
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).[note 3] Such a chronology is certainly 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 clearly 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. Certainly, this source states that the two battled each other on Dorsum Crup, where Dúnchad, Abbot of Dunkeld (died 965), and Dubdon, satrap of Atholl (died 965) were slain.[note 4] The battle seems to have taken place at Duncrub, possibly 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 states that Dub attained the victory, the same source reports that he was later expelled from the kingdom. The Annals of Ulster reports Dub's death in 967. According to the so-called "X" group of king lists, Dub was killed at Forres and his body was hidden under a bridge at Kinloss during a solar eclipse. The account of Dub's death preserved by the fifteenth-century Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, and Chronica gentis Scotorum also associate the king's fall with an eclipse.[note 5] If these sources are to be believed, Dub would seem to have fallen before the solar eclipse of 20 July 966.
There is reason to suspect that the inscriptions displayed upon Sueno's Stone, alongside the Kinloss road at Forres, commemorate the final defeat and death of Dub. One of the panels of this remarkable monument appears to show corpses and heads lying under an arch which may well represent a bridge. One of the heads is framed which turn may be that of Dub himself. Although the stone does not appear to make reference to an eclipse, it is possible that such an event was inserted into the traditional account as a means to improve the tale. If so, the aforesaid date recorded by the Annals of Ulster may well be correct. The chronology of Dub's death could be evidence that his downfall came after Cuilén's consolidation of the kingship. Although it is conceivable that Dub was slain in favour of his successor, this may not necessarily have been the case—certainly Cuilén is not stated to have been responsible for his death—and it is possible that events transpired without Cuilén's interference.
Reign and death
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. The Annals of Ulster also reports that Cuilén fell in battle against Britons, whilst the twelfth-century Chronicon Scotorum specifies that Britons killed him within a burning house. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba locates Cuilén's fall to "Ybandonia". Although this might refer to Abington in South Lanarkshire, a more likely location may be preserved by the twelfth–thirteenth-century Chronicle of Melrose. This source states that Cuilén was killed at "Loinas", a placename which seems to refer to either Lothian or the Lennox, both plausible locations for an outbreak of hostilities between Scots and Britons. In fact, "Ybandonia" itself could well refer to Lothian, or the Lennox. The account of Cuilén's demise preserved by the Prophecy of Berchán is somewhat different. According to this source, Cuilén met his end whilst "seeking a foreign land", which could indicate that he was attempting to lift taxes from the Cumbrians. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports that Cuilén's killer was a certain Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal (fl. 971), a man who slew Cuilén for the sake of his own daughter. The thirteenth-century Verse Chronicle, the Chronicle of Melrose, and Chronica gentis Scotorum likewise identify Cuilén's killer as Rhydderch, the father of an abducted daughter raped by the king.
There is reason to suspect that Cuilén's killer was a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde (died 975). Although there is no specific evidence that Rhydderch was himself a king, the fact that Cuilén was involved with his daughter, coupled with the fact that his warband was evidently strong enough to overcome that of Cuilén, suggests that Rhydderch must have been a man of eminent standing. At about the time of Cuilén's demise, a granddaughter of Dyfnwal could well have been in her teens or twenties, and it is possible that the recorded events refer to a visit by the King of Alba to the court of the King of Strathclyde. Such a visit may have taken place in the context of Cuilén exercising his lordship over the Britons. His dramatic death suggests that the Scots severely overstepped the bounds of hospitality, and could indicate that Rhydderch was compelled to fire his own hall. Certainly, such killings are not unknown in Icelandic and Irish sources. The Lothian placename of West Linton appears as Lyntun Ruderic in the twelfth century. The fact that the place name seems to refer to a man named Rhydderch could indicate that this was the place where Cuilén and Eochaid met their end. Another way in which Cuilén may have met his end concerns the record of his father's earlier seizure of Edinburgh preserved by the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. The fact that this conquest would have likely included at least part of Lothian, coupled with the evidence locating Cuilén's demise to the same area, could indicate that Cuilén was slain in the midst of exercising overlordship of this contested territory. If so, the records that link Rhydderch with the regicide could reveal that this wronged father exploited Cuilén's vulnerable position in the region, and that Rhydderch seized the opportunity to avenge his daughter.
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, Irish sources—such as royal genealogies, the fourteenth-century Annals of Tigernach, and the 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.[note 6] Amlaíb's tenure is not attested by any Scottish king list, and it would appear that his reign was indeed brief, perhaps dating from 971/976–977. One possibility is that the kingship had been shared between Amlaíb and Cináed until the former's death.
This revolving succession within the Alpínid dynasty reveals that the inter-dynastic struggle between Cuilén and Dub was continued by their respective brothers.[note 7] 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 Strathclyde. This campaign could well have been a retaliatory response to Cuilén's killing, carried out in the context of crushing a British affront to Scottish authority.[note 8] 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.
Interment and offspring
Cuilén appears to have been buried at St Andrews, the site of his father's burial. According to the Prophecy of Berchán, he was laid to rest "above the edge of the wave", a location which seems to refer to St Andrews. In other sources, he is sometimes stated to have been buried on Iona. After an apparent two decade lull in the aforesaid Alpínid kin-strife, Cuilén's son, Custantín (died 997), eventually became king after Cináed's assassination in 995.[note 9]
Custantín had no known male offspring. He was the last of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda to hold the kingship, or even appear on record. There is a possibility that Cuilén had another son, a certain Máel Coluim mac Cuiléin who appears in a note preserved in the ninth–twelfth-century Book of Deer detailing donors to the monastery of Deer. Certainly, Cuilén was a relatively rare personal name. However, none of the names that precede his in the note can be linked to known historical personages, making such an identification questionable. Nevertheless, the names that are recorded immediately after this man are certainly identifiable with known royal figures: Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (died 1034), Máel Coluim mac Maíl Brigte (died 1029), and Máel Snechta mac Lulaig (died 1085).[note 10] If Máel Coluim mac Cuiléin was indeed a son of Cuilén, this attestation could reveal that he represented Clann Áeda meic Cináeda for a time during the Cináed's reign (971–995).
Clann Áeda meic Cináeda power centre
The remarkable rotating succession of the Alpínid dynasty was similar to that practiced in Ireland by the Cenél nEógain and Clann Cholmáin branches of the Uí Néill, a dominant Irish kindred that monopolised the kingship of Tara between the eighth- and tenth centuries. This alternation amongst the Uí Néill was facilitated by the considerable distance between the two segments. The inability of either branch to dominate the other, and therefore reduce their rivals from key resources, enabled such a rotating scheme to succeed.
The similarities between the regulated Irish and Scottish successions suggest that the power centres of the two Alpínid branches were also separated. By the early eleventh century, after the final fall of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, the opposing Clann Custantín meic Cináeda branch faced challenges to the kingship from the Moravian-based Clann Ruaidrí.[note 11] This could indicate that Clann Áeda meic Cináeda was similarly seated north of the Mounth in Moray, with the power base of Clann Custantín meic Cináeda situated in the south. Evidence that the latter kindred was hostile to the men of the north may be evidenced by the record of Máel Coluim mac Domnaill's invasion of Moray preserved by the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. Furthermore, both this dynast and his son, Dub, are stated by Chronica gentis Scotorum to have been killed by Moravians. In contrast to these records of conflict, there is no evidence of hostility between Clann Áeda meic Cináeda and the men of Moray.
On the other hand, the fact that king lists locate Dub's demise to Forres might indicate that Clann Custantín meic Cináeda was instead based in the north. Moreover, the fact that the Prophecy of Berchán records that Custantín mac Áeda retired to St Andrews, a site where his descendants, Illulb and Cuilén, are also said to have been buried, coupled with the location of Cuilén's death in the south against the Cumbrians, could reveal that Clann Áeda meic Cináeda was centred south of the Mounth. Such a location may also be evidenced by the aforesaid deaths of the Abbot of Dunkeld and the satrap of Atholl, men who seem to have fallen supporting the cause of Cuilén against Dub.
↑ Since the 1990s, academics have accorded Cuilén various patronymic names in English secondary sources: Cuilén mac Iduilb,Cuilén mac Iduilf,Cuilén mac Ilduilb,Cuilén mac Illduilb,Cuilén mac Illuilb,Cuilén Ring mac Illuilb,Culen mac Idulb,Culén mac Illduilb, and Culén mac Illuilb. Likewise, since the 1990s academics have accorded Cuilén various epithets in English secondary sources: Cuilén Hringr,Cuilén Ring mac Illuilb,Culen Hringr, and Culen Ring.
↑ These two branches of the Alpínid dynasty are not attested by contemporary records, but rather deduced as a result of the succession itself.
↑ The account of Dub and Cuilén identifies these men as Niger and Caniculus respectively. These are literal Latinisations of their names which in turn meaning "black" and "little dog". The chronicler's employment of such Latinisations, including the term satrap, seems to be an example of pride in his volubility with Latin. The latter term appears to refer to a mormaer. The Prophecy of Berchán identifies Cuilén and Dub in Gaelic as fionn and dubh, meaning "white" and black".
↑ The account preserved by Chronica gentis Scotorum relates that Dub was murdered in his bed, and is seemingly the inspiration behind the fictive murder of Duncan by Macbeth, portrayed in the second act of Macbeth, an early modern tragedy composed by the English playwright William Shakespeare (died 1616).
↑ The Annals of Ulster misidentifies Cináed's father as Domnall, a name which is that of his grandfather.
↑ If Sueno's Stone indeed commemorates Dub, it is likely that its erection dates to Cináed's reign.
↑ Cináed's strike into Cumbrian territory could have been the last conflict of Dyfnwal's reign.
↑ Custantín is the first Scottish king for which a pedigree survives. This genealogy stretches back to Cináed mac Ailpín and beyond, revealing that the dynasty claimed to be patrilineally descended from the kings of Dál Riata. Whether this was indeed the case is uncertain. The pedigree certainly reveals that the Alpínids wished to be regarded as Gaels by the end of the tenth century.
↑ Máel Coluim mac Cináeda was a member of the Clann Custantín meic Cináeda branch of the Alpínids. Máel Coluim mac Maíl Brigte and Máel Snechta were members of Clann Ruaidrí, a kindred that contested the kingship with the Alpínids after the extinction of the Clann Áeda meic Cináeda branch.
↑ It is possible that Clann Ruaidrí possessed a matrilineal link with Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, a familial connection with the Alpínids that may have enabled members of Clann Ruaidrí to launch bids for the kingship. The first certain member of this kindred to appear on record is Findláech mac Ruaidrí in 1020. It is possible that this man's father—the eponymous Ruaidrí—or grandfather married a member of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda.
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.
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.
Cináed mac Duib anglicised as Kenneth III, and nicknamed An Donn, "the Chief" or "the Brown", was King of Scots from 997 to 1005. He was the son of Dub. Many of the Scots sources refer to him as Giric son of Kenneth son of Dub, which is taken to be an error. An alternate explanation is that Kenneth had a son, Giric, who ruled jointly with his father
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.
The House of Alpin, also known as the Alpínid dynasty, Clann Chináeda, and Clann Chinaeda meic Ailpín, was the kin-group which ruled in Pictland and then the kingdom of Alba from the advent of Kenneth MacAlpin in the 840s until the death of Malcolm II in 1034.
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.
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.
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.
Owain ap Dyfnwal may have been an eleventh-century ruler of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. He seems to have been a son of Dyfnwal ab Owain, King of Strathclyde, and may well have succeeded Dyfnwal's son, Máel Coluim, King of Strathclyde. During Owain's reign, he would have faced a massive invasion by Æthelræd II, King of the English. Owain's death is recorded in 1015, and seems to have been succeeded by Owain Foel, a man who may have been his nephew.
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.
Máel Coluim was an eleventh-century magnate who seems to have been established as either King of Alba or King of Strathclyde. In 1055, Siward, Earl of Northumbria defeated Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, the reigning ruler of the Kingdom of Alba. As a result of this military success against the Scots, several sources assert that Siward established Máel Coluim as king. It is uncertain whether this concerned the kingship of Alba or the kingship of Strathclyde.
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