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Conceiving a NationScotland to 900 AD$
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Gilbert Márkus

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678983

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678983.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. 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 April 2020

‘Gird your sword upon your thigh’ (Psalm 44: 3)

‘Gird your sword upon your thigh’ (Psalm 44: 3)

Vikings and the Formation of Scotia

Chapter:
(p.228) 6 ‘Gird your sword upon your thigh’ (Psalm 44: 3)
Source:
Conceiving a Nation
Author(s):

Gilbert Márkus

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678983.003.0006

This chapter traces developments of the ninth century. We examine the Viking raids, and subsequent Norse occupation and settlement in some parts of the country. This process happened in different ways in different places, and archaeology, place-names and historical sources can help us to see some of the finer detail. An argument is made for a mid-ninth century turn to Christianity by some Norse settlers, along with their Gaelicisation in some areas and their alliances with native rulers in Scotland and Ireland. Other Norse polities – in Scotland, Ireland and northern England – remained a serious threat. Following destruction of the British kingdom of Alclud (Dumbarton) by the Dublin Norse, the re-location of Strathclyde power to Govan may witness a new British-Norse cohabitation and possible alliance. Meanwhile, the Gaelicisation of Pictland continued throughout the Viking period, until by the end of the ninth century ‘Pictland’ had become the Gaelic-speaking kingdom of Alba/Scotia – a re-branding exercise rather than a conquest. The implications of this new Gaelic identity are discussed through new readings of the sources for the ninth century (especially Pictish king lists and the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba).

Keywords:   vikings, Norse settlement, Gall-goídil, Dumbarton and Strathclyde, Gaelicising Pictland, Norse Christianity, formation of Alba/Scotia, Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, Pictish king-lists

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