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PortmahomackMonastery of the Picts$
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Martin Carver

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624416

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624416.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 07 March 2021

Serving new masters

Serving new masters

(p.136) Chapter 7 Serving new masters

Martin Carver

Edinburgh University Press

In about 800 AD the monastery of Portmahomack was attacked in a Viking raid. The vellum workshops were incinerated and Christian sculpture broken up with sledge hammers. Several monks were found to have died from blade wounds. Then, curiously, the northern workshops revived, but now as a metal-working area. The same techniques were employed as before, with moulds and crucibles, but the smiths were now making more secular objects. These events are placed in the history of the area: the Norse conquest and domination of Orkney and Caithness; their struggle against the men of Ross and Moray and the triumph of MacBeth the Christian Scottish leader. The new masters were most likely the Scots of Moray, who held the Moray Firth against the Norse invaders for a century or more.

Keywords:   Viking raid, metal-workers, MacBeth

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