Sunday, 19 February 2017

Scottish Kings: Constantine I, Áed mac Cináeda, Eochaid

Constantine I ( 863 - 877 )
870 - Alt Clut, Dumbarton Rock, captured by the Norse-Gael or Viking leaders Amlaíb Conung and Ímar after six month's of siege.
Constantine I
AEDH (877 - 878 AD)
Áed mac Cináeda (born c. 840 - died 878) was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín ("Kenneth MacAlpin"). He became king of the Picts in 877, when he succeeded his brother Constantine I. He was nicknamed Áed of the White Flowers, the wing-footed (Latin: alipes) or the white-foot (Latin: albipes).
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says of Áed: "Edus [Áed] held the same [i.e. the kingdom] 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 (1807), and by the New Statistical Account (1834–1845), 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 which, if any, of the Prophecy of Berchán's kings should be taken to be Áed. William Forbes Skene presumed that the following verses referred to Áed:
Áed mac Cináeda or Donald I

129. Another king will take [sovereignty]; small is the profit that he does not divide. Alas for Scotland thenceforward. His name will be the Furious.
130. He will be but a short time over Scotland. The will be no [word uncertain] unplundered. Alas for Scotland, through the youth; alas for their books, alas for their bequests.
131. 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. The idea that Domnall II of Strathclyde was a son of Áed, based on a confusing entry in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, is contested.

EOCHAID ( 879 - 889 )
Eochaid mac Run, (born c. 860 – died after 889) known in English simply as Eochaid, may have been king of the Picts from 878 to 889. He was a son of Run, King of Strathclyde, and his mother may have been a daughter of Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín). His kingship is usually portrayed as some form of joint rule with Giric. The evidence for Eochaid's rule as king of the Picts rests on the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, where it is written:

And Eochodius son of Run king of the Britons, grandson of Kenneth by his daughter, reigned for 11 years; although others say that Ciricium (Giric) son of another reigned at this time, because he became Eochaid's foster-father and guardian. And in his second year Aed son of Niall [Aed Finliath] died. And in his ninth year, on the very day of St. Cirici (Cyrus), an eclipse of the sun occurred. Eochaid and his foster father was now expelled from the kingdom.

This is the record of Eochaid's reign, such as it is. The death of Aed Finliath son of Niall Caille is dated to 20 November 879, and the solar eclipse to 16 June 885. The chronicler's "although others say" shows that the confusion concerning Eochaid is nothing new.

Some variants of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba king lists do not include Eochaid. The Duan Albanach omits both Eochaid and Giric, jumping from "Aodh, of the white flowers" (King Áed mac Cináeda) to "Domhnal, son of Cusaintin the fair" (Donald II, son of Constantine I (Domnall mac Causantín)). The Duan also omits earlier kings, such as Selbach mac Ferchair, although whether these omissions are by accident or design is unknowable. David Dumville's suggestion that the surviving record may be corrupted by cases of damnatio memoriae is unprovable, but should be borne in mind. Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykl of Scotland (c. 1420) and George Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1579) know of Giric, but not of Eochaid.

American Celticist Benjamin Hudson, relying on the Prophecy of Berchán in his 1996 book of the same name, is confident that Eochaid can be identified and that he was indeed a Scottish or Pictish king. The Prophecy is not without its critics, and the entry which is assumed to identify Eochaid, calling him the Briton of the Clyde, refers to his mother as "the woman of Dún Guaire (Bamburgh)", which raises unanswered questions.

David Dumville, relying on the Chronicle alone, appears to accept that Eochaid was king, while Archie Duncan, arguing from the same source, flatly rejects the idea that Eochaid was king and attributes the supposed joint reign to Giric, and to Giric alone. There is evidence independent of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and the related king lists which may argue for Giric's kingship, but none for Eochaid. The quoted Chronicle entry could have Eochaid removed, and still be readable, whereas it would not remain so without Giric, whose name day is mentioned as the date of the solar eclipse. In short, there is no consensus as to whether Eochaid was king of the Picts or king of Strathclyde or no king at all.
889 - Death of Eochaid; Donald II grandson of Kenneth becomes king.

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