Wednesday, 5 December 2012

University of Edinburgh Seventh Century Colloquium: Keynote Speaker Announced

We are pleased to announce that Professor Hugh N. Kennedy of SOAS will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 University of Edinburgh Seventh Century Colloquium.  

Kennedy is the author of numerous books on our period, including The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates, 600–1050; The Armies of the Caliphs: military and society in the early Islamic State; Mongols, Huns and Vikings: Nomads at War; and The Great Arab Conquests. How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In as well as of numerous articles and translations of texts from the period.  Though the bulk of his scholarship has been focussed on the Islamic early middle ages, he has written extensively on the connections of the period with Late Antiquity and on the connections between East and West across the whole era.

We are delighted to host him and look forward to his participation in the Colloquium.

Please see for more details

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Rune with a View: The Old Norse Inscriptions of Maes Howe, Orkney.

Chris Cooijmans will be speaking on the 22nd of October on the following exciting topic:

'A Rune with a View: The Old Norse Inscriptions of Maes Howe, Orkney'.

Orkney during the 1150s. Scandinavian travellers force their way into the Neolithic passage grave known as Maes Howe. During their stopover(s), a number of them carve a variety of runic inscriptions into the tomb's ancient walls, visible to this day. Some of these messages are eloquent, others cryptic, whilst a minority lack complexity and subtlety altogether. The Maes Howe runes have been and remain the subject of much scholarly debate. Who exactly carved them? What did they write, and why? This paper attempts to place the Maes Howe corpus in a proper socio-historical context, whilst painting a picture of horror, treasure and surprisingly unromantic escapades.

This will take place on Monday 22nd October at 6:15pm in the Geddes Room, Minto House, 20 Chambers Street

See for more details:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Edinburgh University Seventh Century Colloquium 28th-29th May 2013: Call for Papers

For anyone interested in early medieval history, archaeology, linguistics, art-history, place-names etc..., please take a look and pass on to anyone you think would be interested too:

The 2013 Edinburgh University Seventh Century Colloquium
28 – 29 May 2013
Call for papers
We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2013 Edinburgh University Seventh Century Colloquium, 28 – 29 May 2013. 
The colloquium is a two-day interdisciplinary conference for postgraduate students and early career researchers.  The colloquium brings together scholars from different disciplines studying the seventh century in order to promote discussion and the cross-fertilisation of ideas.  We will explore how wider perspectives can be used to formulate new approaches to source material, drawing out fresh perspectives on both the familiar and unfamiliar.
Our general theme will be an examination of whether the seventh century can be studied as a unit across regions or whether the period represents a break in the longue durée.  What was the level of discontinuity between the ‘long sixth’ and ‘long eighth’ centuries? 
We invite those working in archaeology, art history, history, literature, numismatics, and religion, as well as in fields including Byzantine, Celtic, Classics, Islamic, and Late Antique studies to submit abstracts for papers of approximately 15 to 20 minutes that engage with all aspects of the long seventh century.
Possible topics for papers might include, but are by no means limited to:
  • The seventh century ‘world crisis’ and its ramifications 
  • The development of new economic relations in the North Sea
  •  The Christianisation of western Europe 
  • The Transformation of the Byzantine Empire 
  • The Emergence of Islam 
  • The transformation of ancient cities to those of the Middle Ages 
  • Historiography of the seventh century
Additionally, poster presentations will be considered.
Our organisational structure is designed to encourage collaboration and cross-fertilisation of ideas; we will have no parallel sessions as we believe that everything will be useful to all of us.  To build collaboration, we will be adopting an innovative structure for the conference.  The sessions will be structured as follows:
  • Prior to the colloquium, each speaker will be paired with a respondent with experience of either working on similar issues as the speaker, or using similar research methodologies 
  • The respondent will have read a written version of the speaker’s paper in advance and will have prepared a detailed response prior to the colloquium. 
  • After the delivery of the paper, the respondent will give a response before opening the floor to general discussion.
We hope that such methods will not only inspire genuine collaboration between the two scholars involved but will encourage a wider and livelier debate and discussion.  Similarly, we hope that all involved will feel encouraged to debate, discuss, and occasionally disagree.  We believe that through such methods all of us will advance as scholars.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to the organising committee at  
The deadline for submission is 15 January 2013.  Early submissions are encouraged.
Persons interested in attending and serving as respondents only are also encouraged to contact us.
Visit our blog at for updates.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Writing to God? Literacy and the Early Christian Stones of Southern Scotland

What can be said of the beginnings of literacy in Scotland? The period in question covers quite an extensive length of time, broadly speaking the entire first millennium AD. But you will be happy to know I am mainly confining myself today to the fifth to seventh centuries AD and to a specific group of Christian monuments from what is now southern Scotland below the Forth-Clyde line.
To start with, I thought I would give a brief introduction of the post-Roman and early medieval peoples in northern Britain, so to hopefully clarify what comes after for those of you unfamiliar with this period of Scottish history. What is now modern day Scotland was made up of numerous developing kingdoms and provinces of four main peoples whose identities seem to have coalesced at varying points from the Roman period onwards: the Britons, the Picts, the Scots and the Angles.
Generally, the Britons, who spoke an early form of Welsh, were located in the south and south-west of what is now Scotland below the Forth-Clyde line. It is their Christian monuments I will return to later. Their largest and most studied kingdoms were that of the Gododdin, centred on the Lothians, Rheged, which seems to have possibly spanned southern Dumfries and Galloway and down into Cumbria and Lancashire, and the kingdom of Alt Clut, which was based at Dumbarton Rock. The Picts were to the north of this and spoke a similar P-Celtic language to the Britons. We know the names of a few specific kingdoms that developed amongst these peoples, and there appears to have been some sub-divisions between the northern and southern Picts, with the kingdom of Fortriu emerging in the north as a powerful force in the seventh and eighth centuries. The Scots, who spoke Q-Celtic Old Irish, were located in the west, with the kingdom or collection of sub-kingdoms known as Dal Riata in what is now Argyll and the Inner Hebrides. The Anglian settlement spread into Scotland from the south-east from at least the early seventh century and consisted of the kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, which combined in later periods to form Northumbria. They spoke an embryonic form of the originally Germanic language that I am speaking now: English.
The study of literacy in early medieval Europe has mainly focused on the evidence of manuscripts. There are a few manuscripts from before 1000 AD in Ireland and Wales, such as the sixth or seventh century Cathach of St Columba, and many more survive in England and on the Continent. However, compared to the rest of Britain and Ireland, Scotland is notably lacking in early manuscripts. There are no early Pictish or North British manuscripts that survive at all. From the Gaelic west there is a better survival rate. For example, the Schaffhausen manuscript preserved at St Gall is the oldest surviving copy of Adomnán of Iona's Life of Columba. Most believe it was copied on Iona during or shortly following Adomnán's lifetime in the late seventh or early eighth century and was subsequently taken to the Continent.
Arguably one of the earliest surviving manuscripts from the rest Scotland is the Book of Deer from Old Deer in Aberdeenshire. This is an illuminated Gospel Book which has generally been dated to the end of the ninth century and the beginning decades of the tenth, with later additions from the eleventh century. This is notably later than examples surviving from the rest of the British Isles and Ireland. The question that begs answering is then why are there no surviving manuscripts from before the late ninth/early tenth century? One answer would be that there were no manuscripts in the first place; that this most obvious expression of literacy had not spread so far north until then. Another may be that Pictish and northern British documents were unlikely to have continued to be preserved and copied in the new ‘Scottish’ kingdom of Alba and so are lost to history. There are also the destructive forces of time, Viking raids and the Reformation to contend with. Whatever the case, the result would be the same. For Scotland then the direct study of manuscripts is not suitable in the search for the evidence for the beginnings of literacy or the means to assess its use and impact except for later periods.
We know that there must have been literate people in Scotland in the early medieval period prior to the ninth century. Christianity was reasonably well established in many regions by the seventh century and conversion processes seem to have been in motion in the late Roman period. Although no liturgical or biblical texts survive, it is implausible that they did not exist as the Church could not function without them. Literacy in Scotland may not have been dependant on Christianity, but Christianity as a religion of the book was certainly dependant on literacy by this time. For the Church to function efficiently a considerable amount of writing was required; Psalters, Gospel Books, the Letters of Paul and other books of the Bible were just the start. Jane Stevenson in her work on the St Patrick and Book of Armagh has concisely stated that if Patrick founded a Christian church among the Irish, or was ministering to Christians in the fifth century, he would also have had to found a school of Latin literacy and biblical study if the Church was to survive after his death. The same would have been true for the early churches and Christians in Pictland. We know of no evidence to suggest that the church in Pictland and among the Britons was culturally or intellectually deviant to elsewhere. In his eighth century Historia Ecclesiastica, Bede states that the four peoples of Britain were united in their use of Latin during his time. All four peoples to whom he referred lived in what is now Scotland. Bede even names a literate Pict: king Nechtan mac Der-Ilei had assiduously studied ecclesiastical writings before his consultation by letter with the abbot of Wearmouth-Jarrow. There are depictions of figures holding or reading books and carrying book satchels on Pictish sculpture, such as at Nigg, St Vigeans, Aberlemno and the possible shrine slab from Papil, Shetland.
What then can be said about the beginnings of literacy in Scotland? What was the impact of literacy on the population? How was literacy used in society? How significant was the link with Christianity and Romanitas? What did it actually mean to be literate in this period? Who learnt to read and write? How did they do so and why? My research will hopefully answer these questions and more in due course through a series of case studies. Most previous work in Scotland has been focused on the study of inscriptions, both on monuments of various functions and smaller portable artefacts. This has mainly concerned the content of the inscriptions and centred on epigraphic, palaeographic, art-historical and linguistic studies. Little work has been concerned with the impact of the spread and use of literacy that these inscriptions and other evidence could shed light on. It is hoped that new research will remedy this.
One case-study I am focusing on and will put forth to you here is an examination of the earliest inscribed Christian monuments of southern Scotland and their background. As a whole, these are a group of twelve stone pillars inscribed with Latin, geographically spread from the Solway to the Forth and dating from the fifth to early seventh century. They are the northern branch of a wider cultural tradition of more the 240 monuments known from much of the British speaking regions in the west of Britain surrounding the Irish Sea and which spanned the sub-Roman and early medieval periods. Nearby, there are earlier and contemporary examples from northern England, north-east Ireland and the Isle of Man. I will be looking at a certain number to show what use was made of the skills of literacy in this period.
Literacy and Christianity can be traced into the late-Roman period in northern Britain. The work of Mark Handley has shown that the early inscribed stones of Scotland share many features with the late Roman inscriptions of Britain and should be seen as part of a larger pattern of epigraphic practice also indicated in Spain, Italy, France and North Africa during late antiquity and into the early medieval period. It is important to include the late- and sub-Roman material as the sculptural phenomenon was part of a longer tradition of commemoration. The evidence may help us to see how the function of such monuments might have changed over time and so how literacy was mobilised in different ways to fulfil certain needs. Katherine Forsyth has shown that the early stones are not one discrete school of monumental practise, but rather they are reflections of continuing contacts with the south and the Irish Sea world over a long time. It is my belief that these contacts were very much rooted in the late Roman period and earlier. We know the Romans erected inscribed stone monuments and memorials. There are plenty of examples from all over Roman Britain. Charles Thomas has reminded us that there was also in Britain and much of the Atlantic west of Europe a long tradition of stone monuments in prehistory, including the use of stone orthostats. The inscribed monuments of Scotland may be best seen as dynamic reuse of a monument tradition already known to Britain and incorporating creative native responses to the availability of new material culture from long term contact with the Roman Empire and the rest of Britain and Europe.
In terms of the Roman influence, the most recent research into the Romans in Scotland no longer points to a short-lived military intervention. There is recognition that Scotland was an active participant in the world of late Roman Britain and that Roman influence was not likely to have been linear and diffusionist. The evidence is for continued and constantly changing contact with the Romans from the second century onwards. This active participation with Roman Britain with its various tones of adaptation, resistance and accommodation mean we must allow for the possibility that Scotland participated in Roman religious practices as well. This is confirmed by two rare Roman alters found in 2010 in Musselburgh, one bearing a carved inscription dedicating the altar to the god Mithras. Excavation along the line of Hadrian’s Wall suggests that along this frontier zone dramatic changes occurred from the fourth century. There appears to have been a change in frontier strategy with the replacement of the standing Roman army with locally recruited and hereditary limitanei troops and the head-quarters of several forts were remodelled as aristocratic residences. Evidence such as this helps our understanding of the interaction between the peoples of northern Britain. We know there was a considerable amount of Roman material culture in circulation in Scotland from the second century and its distribution is best explained by a high level of negotiation with Roman officials with the giving and receiving of diplomatic gifts and ‘bribes’ to buy peace. In this situation there would have been movement both ways and some cultural similarities might be expected to exist on either side of the official frontier. As it happens, we have such evidence: these are the early Christian inscribed monuments of southern Scotland and their counterparts in northern England.
One of the most famous of these monuments is the Latinus Stone from Whithorn in Dumfries and Galloway, the site traditionally associated with the early British saint, Ninian. This is an unworked stone orthostat dates from the fifth century and displays a relatively long Latin inscription in Roman capitals reading: ‘We praise the Lord. Latinus, aged 35 years and his daughter aged 4 years. The grandson of Barrovadus set up this memorial’. This stone draws on two monumental traditions, Roman memorials and prehistoric tradition of unworked stone orthostats. The stone is inscribed with an early Chi-Ro monogram of Constantinian form, a form found mostly in Romano-British contexts. The inscription is in Latin and uses Roman capitals, the language and script of Christianity and the Empire, in a classically-inspired horizontal layout. We also have here an unambiguously Christian dedication, an explicit reference of praise to God. We also have a conspicuously Latin name as well as specific mention of a British name and line of descent. We do not know where this memorial was set up originally, it was found in a secondary context. Conceivably the Latinus Stone could have stood in an early inhumation cemetery or perhaps beside an early church.  It also may have been moved to Whithorn from elsewhere. Katherine Forsyth draws attention to a stone on the Isle of Whithorn just to the south which looks out onto the Solway and directly towards Maryport on the Cumbrian coast, site of a Roman fort and probably the garrison of the Solway fleet. Was this more like the original site of the Latinus Stone?
The Catstane from Kirkliston, West Lothian, is a similar early Latin inscribed stone, dedicated to Vetta son/daughter of Victricius. The text in Latin using Roman capitals, it is laid out horizontally, expresses Christian sentiment, mentions a Latin name and details familial links. The memorial is also an unworked stone orthostat. It is believed the Catstane is in its original position, marking a special grave in a cemetery containing a short cist with a cremation as well as oriented long-cist inhumations. The site is beside an old road close to where it crossed the boundary of a medieval parish and a crossing of the River Almond, which flows into the sea about 5km to the north guarded by the former Roman coastal fort of Cramond. This Roman site shows activity into the fourth century, and later became the centre of the medieval parish. The place-name Kirkliston is made up partially of the early British cognate of Welsh llys, ‘court or hall’, and Gaelic lios, ‘domestic enclosure’. It appears that this place-name element in eastern Scotland indicated an important administrative centre and aristocratic residence. It is believed the parish was based on an earlier secular administration unit. If this is so, the Catstane and the cemetery would have been the first thing a traveller saw going west along the river entering the estate.
These two monuments, the Catstane and the Latinus Stone, seem to be linked with a group of around twelve so-called ‘extended Latinate’ inscriptions from western Britain dated on paleographical grounds to the fifth century. A nearby example would be the Brigomaglos Stone from Chesterholm in Northumberland, found in the late-Roman fort of Vindolanda. These share the classically-inspired horizontal layout, early forms of Roman capital script, the use of Roman influenced names and relatively lengthy texts of similar but unique compositions. They are also overtly Christian and detail lines of descent. These stones seem to be a sub-group of the wider collection of fifth to seventh century stones and appear to all have had a more secular, proprietorial function. Analogies from further south seem to indicate that this earliest group marked special graves at or near secular power centres. The ‘extended Latinate’ inscriptions from elsewhere in Britain frequently show strong Roman connections and often stand at important points on the Roman road systems as well as on or near later medieval parish boundaries. It is increasingly clear that medieval parish boundaries date back to earlier secular administration units. This can be arguably said of the Latinus stone and especially of the Brigomaglos and Catstane stones. The stones also express the lineage and kin associations of those named.
As well as the Catstane and Latinus Stone, there are a number of other Latin inscribed stones dated to the sixth century. This includes the Yarrow Stone and Coninie/Manor Water Stone in the Scottish Borders, and a stone from Brox in Liddesdale. These stones are not so overtly Christian; the assertion of faith as seen on the Latinus Stone is not a primary motivation, indicating a society where Christianity was more widespread. There is still emphasis on the lineage of the named individuals and the settings of the stones that can be reconstructed to show they were located at important points in the secular landscape and used to mark special or family graves. The monuments seem less like individual commemorations and more like communal monuments, expressions of control in the landscape.
The 6th century stone from Liddesdale could help us understand the early medieval political landscape and the use of literacy in the articulation of power. The Brox Stone commemorates one Carantius son of Cupitanus. The stone is located near Brox in the valley of the Liddel, running south-west from the hills above Upper Tweeddale to join the Esk near Carlisle. It is clear that Carantius belonged to a local Christian elite. The family was powerful and wealthy enough to commission the stone and place it in a prominent location in the landscape. The inscription was meant to be seen and read and its meaning understood on all levels: “Carantius is buried here. His father was Cupitanus. This is the land of their kin. You are crossing into their land. They are rich and powerful enough to erect this monument for all time. They are Britons. They are Christians. They have been here for years. They will continue to rule here…” Those who commemorated Carantius son of Cupitanus on this stone, and others such as those who memorialised Vetta son/daughter of Victricius on the Catstane, wanted people to know these people were honoured and not forgotten. The stones were also statements of social class and power. The local elite were displaying their status by erecting monuments partly inspired by ‘Roman’ models and carved in the style and language of the imperial past, that known and adopted by Britons south of the wall, and espousing the religion of the emperors and their fellows Britons to the south.
The sixth century Brox Stone from Liddesdale must have be erected by an elite family. From the medieval Welsh Annals and Literature we know of a king who probably ruled a large part of Eskdale and Liddesdale from a core territory which included the medieval parish of Arthuret and Carwinley in the second half of the 6th century. This was Gwenddoleu, who gave his name to Carwinley from the older Brittonic Caer Gwenddoleu “fort of Gwenddoleu”.   The Welsh Annals recorded a battle here in 573: “the battle of Arthuret between the sons of Eliffer and Gwenddoleu the son of Ceidio in which battle Gwenddoleu was slain. Merlin became mad.” In later Welsh literature and history of the ninth century the battle was remembered as one of the most infamous battles of the Old North. The main motivation behind this battle was most likely to have been plunder, conquest and enhancement of personal reputation. In this period, success in war enhanced status and reputations and provider plunder to distribute to followers, so they kept following you! A man’s status would be much enhanced by taking on a famous and mighty warlord, such as Gwenddoleu seems to have been.
Gwenndoleu’s core territory may have corresponded in some way to the later English barony of Liddel, an administrative unit established by the Normans after conquest of Cumberland in 1090s. In many areas it has been shown that Anglo-Saxon estates, later Norman baronies and medieval parishes were created out of pre-existing administrative and territorial divisions, consisting of agricultural estates and power centres. Among these units were divisions of great antiquity which can be traced back into the post-Roman and early medieval period; for this region from before the Anglian takeover in seventh century. It could be that the Barony of Liddel was part of one such unit.  The focus of power in the eleventh century was definitely at the junction of two the important rivers, the Esk and the Liddel, and perhaps overlay an earlier stronghold near a Roman fort. The later Scottish barony of Liddesdale eventually mirrored this unit across the Anglo-Scottish border.
In the sixth century, before the modern border, perhaps the area of the two later baronies formed the core unit of Gwenddoleu’s kingdom. From what can be reconstructed, he ruled from somewhere near Carwinley and the confluence of the Rivers Esk and Liddel. The valleys of Eskdale and Liddesdale most likely lay under his control as he controlled their confluence. Likely he was a well-known and renowned warrior king; his patronage and protection was probably sought by other lords. If Liddesdale was part of Gwenddoleu and his family’s kingdom or perhaps a sub-kingdom or a greater network, then it is likely that those who set up the Brox Stone were part of the ruling elite of this region.
These Britons of Liddesdale chose to articulate their power, control of land, religion, and difference from other groups by erecting funerary monuments inscribed in Latin. They used literacy as a useful skill to record and commemorate and as an expression of Christian devotion. But it also seems power was articulated in this northern British zone through the medium literacy and the use of funerary epigraphy. The emergence of inscribed monuments in the fifth century was part of a wider trend occurring on both sides of the former Roman frontier, making dynamic use of existing prehistoric monumental practices and the new technology of literacy. We should think of this literate monumental tradition as a technology of differentiation, which developed and changed over time. The native peoples manipulated the available material culture with strong links to both the indigenous and Roman/Christian/Latinate past in order to create new identities in the early medieval period and to articulate their power. The inscribed stone monuments were all about kin group and control of land. The stones were not only erected to commemorate the dead but were also expressions of how powerful those named and their families were. They were used to mark boundaries and land units, indicating the importance of literacy and its use in the expression of power and control of land.
These groups of early Christian stones provide tantalising hints that although literacy was linked with Christianity and the church, in the centuries immediately following the removal of the Legions, literacy and the prestige and associations which accompanied it were utilised by the emerging military elites to forge new landowning aristocratic identities.  Latinus Stone and Catstane reflect emerging elites in the post-Roman period forming new landed aristocratic identities that drew their prestige from lingering ideas of Romanitas. They expressed this by a fondness for Latin names and continued adherence to or adoption of the imperial religion of Christianity. The elites seem to have been drawing prestige from association with the old imperial religion and its tradition of literate commemoration. This has important implications for the status of literacy amongst the elite and the possible continuance of schools catering to the education of aristocrats. These stones are evidence for a vibrant literate Latinate culture still existing between the Antonine Wall and Hadrian’s Wall in the fifth to seventh centuries, with influences tracing back into the late Roman period.
It seems power was articulated in this northern British zone through the medium of funerary epigraphy. The inscribed stone monuments are all about kin group and control of land. The stones were not only erected to commemorate the dead but were also expressions of how powerful those named and their families were. Latinus Stone and Catstane reflect emerging elites in the post-Roman period forming new landed aristocratic identities that drew their prestige from lingering ideas of Romanitas. They expressed this by a fondness for Latin names and continued adherence to or adoption of the imperial religion of Christianity. There were Christians in the south of what is now Scotland and across Hadrian’s Wall into northern England from the fourth and fifth centuries. Indeed, these stones are evidence for a vibrant Latinate culture still existing between the Antonine Wall and Hadrian’s Wall in the fifth to seventh centuries, with influences tracing back into the late Roman period. The emergence of inscribed monuments in the fifth century was part of a wider trend occurring on both sides of the former Roman frontier, making dynamic use of existing prehistoric monumental practices. The distribution of a new monumental tradition across such a wide area precludes an ethnic or religious affiliation. The native peoples manipulated the available material culture with strong links to both the indigenous and Roman/Christian/Latinate past in order to create new identities in the early medieval period. We should think of the monumental tradition as a technology of differentiation, which developed and changed over time. 

(This paper was first presented at the History of Christianity post-graduate conference at the University of Edinburgh on 1st May 2012.)

Friday, 5 October 2012

What does a close comparison of Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata with Míniugud senchasa fher nAlban reveal about these two tracts as sources of information?

These two genealogical tractates have suffered from a great deal of reuse, misuse and confusion, both in the past, by those such as the genealogists of the medieval kings of Scotland, and in modern-day scholarship. Traditionally, the differences between Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata and Míniugud senchasa fher nAlban have been explained away to favour a centralist view of early medieval kingship[1]. The texts seem to date from approximately the same period of the seventh and early eighth centuries AD and yet, whilst containing a great deal of information about contemporary politics, they differ greatly in how they portray concurrent political situation. The differing political view point in Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata has been dismissed in some cases as less reliable than Míniugud senchasa fher nAlba. Nevertheless, some more recent scholarship has tended to focus on the highly political nature of royal genealogies[2], such as these two texts, and the potential that these differences are not so much about accurate information as opposed to inaccuracies, but rather about the competing political perspectives as conceived by competing political groups[3]. As such, they reveal a pronounced deal more than they purport to do about the internal and external dynamics of the Dál Riata in the period in question. Thus, comparing the two tracts can reveal much about them as sources for information.

We should start with a brief description of the texts and what they purport to tell us on the surface. Míniugud senchasa fher nAlba[4] or ‘The explanation of the history of the men of Alba’ dates in some measure from the mid-seventh century. It consists of two major parts: a genealogy of Dal Riata, incorporating an origin legend of the coming of the men of Dal Riata to what is now Scotland, and a military survey of the hosting strength of Dal Riata. There is debate surrounding the dating of the original text as it survives only in later documents, it is written in Middle Irish of the tenth century and its opening line refers to ‘Alba’, a term which did not come into use to mean Scotland until the tenth century[5]. However, Bannerman and others have successfully situated the content of the text securely in the mid- to late-seventh century, and Anderson suggests MsfnA contains two assessments of the Dál Riata, from the second half of the seventh century and early eighth century, put together a later date.[6]

MsfnA begins with an origin legend concerning the arrival of the Dál Riata in Britain; in its surviving form it states that six sons of Erc, son of Eochaid Munremair, ‘took Alba’. These were Loarn Bec, Loarn Mór, Mac Nisse Bec, Mac Nisse Mór, Fergus Bec and Fergus Mór. Six other sons remained in Ireland, but the descendent of one of these, Óengus, went to Alba[7]. It goes on to say that Mac Nisse Mór is another name for Fergus Mór son of Erc[8]. Quite noticeably there are inconsistencies here. The text then details the descendants of Fergus Mór through his two grandsons, Comgall and Gabrán, sons of Domangart, the eponymous ancestors of Cenél Comgall and Cenél nGabráin (see figure 1)[9]. It then goes on to state that Fergus Bec was killed by his brother, but he had one son, from whom Cenél Conchride in Islay are descended[10]. Following this is the genealogy of Óengus son of Erc’s descendants in Islay[11]. The text then continues with the controversial military survey, detailing the hosting forces of the three thirds of the Dál Riata: Cenél nÓengusa[12], Cenél nGabráin[13] and a more detailed section for Cenél Loairn[14]. Cenél Comgall does not seem to be included in the survey.

Moving on to our second text, Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata[15] or the ‘Four Principle Kindreds of Dal Riata’ is a tract detailing a different version of the genealogies of four kindreds of Dal Riata. From internal dating evidence, corroborated and expanded by other sources, the text seems to date from the early eighth century, even though it too only survives in later manuscripts, the earliest being compilations from the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries[16]. It begins with the statement that there were four chief kindreds of the Dál Riata: Cenél nGabráin, Cenél Loairn Mór, Cenél nOengusa and Cenél Comgaill, and that Gabrán and Comgall were two sons of Domangart. It also links the two back through their mother to their Uí Néill grandfather Eochu Muigmedón[17]. It then gives the genealogies of Cenél nGabráin, Cenél Loairn Mór, Cenél Comgaill and Cenél nOengusa (see Figure 2)[18].

With a close comparison with Míniugud senchasa fher nAlba, what Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata tells us throws up some similarities and some major differences. Firstly, MsfnA stresses the common ancestry of the three thirds of Dál Riata from Erc son of Eochaid Munremair. Cenél Loairn and Cenél nÓengusa take their eponyms from two sons or Erc but Cenél nGabráin takes its name from a great-grandson. The traditional interpretation of MsfnA is that Cenél nGabráin was the chief kindred of Dál Riata from whom the kings of Dál Riata were taken. This is based on a reading of Adomnán’s Vita Columbae in which the descentants of Echdach Buide son of Aedan mac Gabrain were the genus regium[19]. Nieke and Duncan suggest that the division into three related thirds reflects a manipulation of the evidence to justify the rule of a single king[20].Dumville disagrees: he believes that MsfnA ‘can have no political meaning if one rejects the equality of fundamental status that the author gave to the three cenéla’[21]. The emphasis on descent from Erc seems to mean that the cenéla we all competitors for kingship, not just Cenél nGabráin.

This is what appears to be the case in CpDR. It also stresses the common descent of the Dál Riata kindreds, but refers to four chief ones, not three. The order in which the author lists the kindreds of Dal Riata in CpDR at the outset of the text could be a reflection of the order of importance of the cenéla. The text starts with the Cenél nGabráin who, we know from other sources such as the ‘Iona Chronicle’ and the Dal Riata regnal list, dominated Dal Riata from the late sixth century until the late seventh century[22]. Cenél Loairn is placed second, and we know that under the leadership of Ferchar Fota and his descendants, specifically the Cenél nEchdach, they replaced Cenél nGabráin as the dominant power in the late seventh century until the mid-eighth century[23]. Cenél nÓengusa and Cenél Comgaill are placed third and fourth respectively in the beginning of the text, but are reversed in the main body. To Dumville, it is difficult to see which one of these two sequences reflects a perception of the relative importance of the two kindreds[24]. We could see the order of the cenéla as reflecting the past dominance of Cenél nGabráin, as seen in the earlier MsfnA, and the contemporary dominance of Cenél Loairn, as portrayed in CpDR.

Secondly, if we compare CpDR to what is contained in MsfnA, from the first line this text implies there were more than four kindreds in Dal Riata and that it only refers to the four chief kindreds. In MsfnA we only have the three thirds of Dál Riata, and the implication that any other kindreds mentioned are only septs of these. In light of the phrasing in CpDR and the evidence of the chronicles we can look more closely at MsfnA and see that it also alludes to there being other kindreds in the region. It contains a section on Fergus Bec’s descendants in Islay, hinting that the author knew of even more kindreds and chose not to include them. The authors of MsfnA and CpDR seem to have been purposely emphasising certain political positions: that is one dominant dynasty as opposed to many competing cenéla. These rival schools of thought appear to be in order to promote rival affliations[25].

Thirdly, in contrast to MsfnA, in CpDR it appears Cenel Loairn is the most important to the author. Cenél Loairn is the only kindred that the compiler gives two linages for. Both lines are said to descend from Baetán a great-grandson of Loarn Mór, the eponymous ancestor of Cenél Loairn. The first linage ends with Ainbcellach son of Ferchar Fota. This is important as it gives valuable dating evidence for when the text was first compiled. Ainbchellach became King of Dal Riata after the death of his father in 697. According to the Annals of Ulster in 698 Dunollie, the proposed seat of the chief Cenél Loairn kindred the Cenél nEchdach, was burnt and Ainbchellach expelled from the kingship, bound and carried off to Ireland[26]. His brother Selbach was then king according to the Dalriadan regnal list and Ainbcellach died in 719[27]. This gives a date of composition to Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata of c.697-719 when Cenél Loairn was the dominant force in Dal Riata politics and Ainbcellach was either king or still had claim to the kingship[28]. The emphasis and the amount of detail concerning Cenél Loairn fits with the context traceable in the annals where Cenél nGabráin were on the back foot: the Cenél nGabráin dynasts Eochu aue Domnaill and Fíannamail aue Donnchado were killed in 697 and 700 respectively and Donnchad Becc was described in 721 as the king of Kintyre only[29]. In contrast the annals record the dominance of Selbach of Cenél Loairn, even over the other lineages of Cenél Loairn[30].

All this is important as it affects how we see the internal dynamics of Dál Riata as an early medieval kingdom. Instead of following the centralist thesis of one king for the one kingdom, which seems to have been the view promoted in Adomnán’s Vita, with a particular Cenél nGabráin dynasty ruling, we can see Dál Riata in a new light as a kingdom made up of a number of differing lineages all competing for kingship and power, but who all claimed kinship with each other, correctly or not. In short, these texts reveal that Dál Riata was a heterogeneous kingdom dominated by kinship ties, and indeed the separate cenéla seem to be complex polities within themselves with power at the local level, ‘as we should expect’ for the period[31].

With this in mind, we are able to use MsfnA and CpDR to establish a new theory concerning the politics of early medieval Dál Riata. Details contained within them which have previously be ignored or glossed over can come now into prominence. Firstly, MsfnA details more Cenél nGabráin lineages than the two given prominence in Adomnán’s Vita Columbae. The Vita stresses descent from Echdach Buide and his two sons, and seems to have regarded his line as the sole dynasty or genus regium[32]. Fraser believes this is not just due to the ‘undoubted importance of this powerful Argyll kindred’, which we can see in the Dalriadic regnal list, but also due to the ‘perceived special relationship’ between this dynasty and Iona articulated in Vita Columbae[33]. It is mainly from Adomnán’s Vita that proponents of a centralist thesis propose that the only seventh century kings of Dál Riata were these specific Cenél nGabráin dynasts[34]. Traditionally this has affected how historians have interpreted our two texts. However, if we look closer at MsfnA and compare it with CpDR, it allows us to trace in the annals two additional lineages descended from Áedán mac Gabráin sons Conaing and Túathal, which are not mentioned in Vita Columbae[35]. Indeed, we only know of Túathal mac Áedáin from MsfnA[36]. In light of this, MsfnA allows us to trace others kings of Dál Riata who were not of the lines detailed in the Vita[37].

Linked to this, Cenél Comgaill does not seem of any importance to the author of MsfnA; Cenél Comgaill is basically ignored by the text. Cenél Comgaill along with Cenél nGabráin appear to have been members of the Corcu Reiti, that is descendants of one Reti, who Bede describes in his eighth century Historia Ecclesiastica and who features in a number of Irish origin legends concerning Dál Riata differing from the one proposed by MsfnA and CpDR[38]. Conventionally historians have followed Adomnán and MsfnA and dismissed Cenél Comgaill.

However, from other sources, including CpDR, we can see that Cenél Comgaill were in fact deeply involved in the politics of early medieval Scotland. So much so that they may have been a major contributing factor in the unusual survival of the British kingdom of Strathclyde[39]. In contrast to MsfnA, CpDR seems to imply that Cenél Comgaill were the more important of the Corcu Reti in the politics of time. The dynasty it records was related to king of Picts and had strong links with the kingdom of Strathclyde[40]. CpDR also specifically records this kindred all the way back to Erc son of Eochu Muinremar, whereas only implying Cenél nGabráin’s descent[41]. From this we can infer that the author of CpDR either believed Cenel Comgaill to be the more important kindred at the time or wished to show this for political reasons. In the words of Dumville, there is definitely ‘more than a hint that the author was elevating the descendants of Comgall above those of Gabrán’[42].

This importance of Cenél Comgaill may be the very reason it is dismissed in MsfnA. We can see in other sources, including the Dalriadic regnal list, that Cenél Comgaill seem ‘to have maintained credibility as rivals for the kingship of Dál Riata throughout the sixth century… and on into at least the middle decades of the seventh century’[43]. Also, the interest shown of Finguine Fota, of Cenél Comgaill, and his descendants in the annals suggest that the kindred were at least serious competitors for the kingship of Dál Riata into the late seventh century[44]. The kindred was also in conflict with Selbach in the early 700s[45]. Fraser suggests that Cenél Comgaill, rather than holding allegiance to the church at Iona, were in fact under the auspices of the bishop of Kingarth on Bute[46]. This would account for the relatively scant attention paid by the annals, derived from the ‘Iona Chronicle’, compared with that of the interest shown in Cenél nGabráin, and why Adomnán of Iona ignored them in his Vita Columbae. The reason Cenél Comgaill received such little attention in MsnfA, specifically not being included in the survey, could be because at the time whoever commissioned the assessment ‘did not have the capacity to call upon the fighting strength of the men of Cowal’[47]. It would seem that from what MsfnA does not say and what CpDR does say, Cenél Comgaill maintained a prominent position in the politics of Dál Riata throughout the sixth, seventh and into the eighth centuries.

Furthermore, the Cenél nGabráin lineage mentioned in CpDR is not the one found in MsfnA. It details the lineage of one Congus son of Conamail from Áedán mac Gabráin. This lineage has been identified as belonging to the Cenél nGartnait who were active in Skye in the 690s fighting a number of grandsons of Áedán mac Gabráin and in Argyll in the 730s[48]. The lineage is also suspiciously short. There are questions to be asked of this. Was this a hitherto unknown branch of Cenél nGabráin which was friendly with Cenél Loairn or a completely different kindred not related to Cenél nGabráin who just wanted to bolster their claim to territory claimed by Cenél nGabráin? From the evidence in the annals, it seems that this Gartnait was alive in 649 and his father was not Aedan mac Gabrain[49].  Dumville has put forward the notion that Cenél nGartnait was ‘reigning in some part of the territory of Cenél nGabráin at the time’ when CpDR was composed[50]. As such, the compliers of the ‘Iona Chronicle’ do not seem to have recognised the claims of Cenél nGartnait put forward in CpDR, and instead favoured Cenél nGabráin. This hints at then political tensions between differing partisans of the chief kindreds of Dál Riata at a time when Cenél Loairn was posing a threat ‘to the security and prosperity of Iona’s traditional friends in Kintyre’[51].

In summary, the authors of CpDR and MsfnA appear to have had very different political outlooks on Dál Riata. The author of MsfnA appears to have been a partisan of Cenél nGabráin and the author of CpDR a sympathiser of Cenél Loairn[52]. MsfnA details a political context when Cenél nGabráin were dominant and seem to have controlled in some way other the kindreds of Dál Riata. From the internal evidence of MsfnA and other sources this appears to have been the mid-seventh century. In contrast, the internal detail of CpDR: the prominence given to Cenél Loairn, the competing branch of ‘Cenél nGabráin’, and importance of Cenel Comgaill, compared to that in MsfnA all point to a tract dating from when these cenéla are politically important and Cenél nGabráin had lost its prominence. If we look at the annals and Dalriadic regnal list we can see this context in the early 700s. This was when Ferchar Fota’s descendants were ‘kings of Dal Riata’, Cenél nGabráin were only ‘kings of Kintyre’, Cenel nGartnait were pursuing ambitions in Argyll against Cenél nGabráin, and Cenél Comgaill were prominent in both the internal and external politics of Dál Riata.

This leads us to conclude that the two genealogical tractates Cethri príchenéla Dáil Riata and Míniugud senchasa fher nAlba are both important and complimentary sources for information about the political make-up of seventh and early eighth century Dal Riata, despite their obvious difference in detail. Indeed, comparisons of the differences between the two tracts mean that used in tandem and alongside the ‘Iona Chronicle’ and ‘Dal Riata king-list’ we have a much fuller picture of the internal and external dynamics of Dal Riata. Thus, the sources reveal to us that instead of the traditional centralist ‘predilection for big government which Oxonian historians have displayed since Geoffrey of Monmouth showed the way’[53], they in fact lead us to conclude that Dal Riata was dynamic and heterogeneous in character in the seventh and early eighth centuries, made up of a number of inter- and intra-competing lineages. It appears the kings of Dál Riata in the seventh century were not solely drawn from a particular Cenél nGabráin line, nor were Cenél Comgaill ‘consigned to oblivion at an early date’[54]. For this view we have to thank, among others, Míniugud senchasa fher nAlban and Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata.

Primary Sources:
Vita Columbae; R. Sharpe, trans., Adomnán of Iona: Life of St Columba (London, 1995)
Annals of Tigernach; W. Stokes, ed., The Annals of Tigernach, vol. I (Llanerch, 1993)
Annals of Ulster; S. Mac Airt and G. Mac Niocaill, eds., The Annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131) (Dublin, 1983)
Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata; D. N. Dumville, Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata, Scottish Gaelic Studies (2000), 175-83
Míniugud senchasa fher nAlban; D. N. Dumville, ‘Ireland and North Britain’ (Aberdeen, 2002), 201-3
Anderson, M. O., Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland (Edinburgh and London, 1973)
Bannerman, J., Studies in the History of Dalriada (Edinburgh and London, 1974)
Dumville, D. N., ‘Kingship, Genealogies and Regnal Lists’, in Early Medieval Kingship, eds. P. H. Sawyer and I. N. Wood (Leeds, 1977), pp. 72-10
Dumville, D. N., ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, Scottish Gaelic Studies 20 (2000), pp.170-91
Dumville, D. N., ‘Ireland and North Britain in the Earlier Middle Ages: contexts for Míniugud Senchasa Fher nAlban’ in Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2000, eds. C. Ó Baoill and N. R. McGuire (Aberdeen, 2002), pp.185-211
Fraser, J. E., ‘The Iona Chronicle, the Descendants of Áedán mac Gabráin, and the “Principle Kindreds of Dáil Riata”’, Northern Studies 38 (2004), 77-96
Fraser, J. E., ‘Strangers on the Clyde: Cenél Comgaill, Clyde Rock and the Bishops of Kingarth’, Innes Review 56 (2005), pp. 102-20
Fraser, J. E., ‘Dux Reuda and the Corcu Réti’ in Cànan & Cultar/Language and Cultrure: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 3, eds. W. McLeod et al (Edinburgh, 2006), pp.1-9
Fraser, J. E., From Caledonia to Pictland. Scotland to 795 (Edinburgh, 2009)
Lane, A., and Campbell, E., Dunadd: an early Dalriadic capital (Oxford, 2000)
Nieke, M. R., and Duncan, H. B., ‘Dalriada: the establishment and maintenance of an Early Historic Kingdom in northern Britain’ in Power and Politics in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland, eds. S. T. Driscoll and M. R. Nieke (Edinburgh, 1988)
Sharpe, R., ‘The Thriving of Dalriada’ in Kings, Clerics and Chronicles in Scotland 500-1297: essays in honour of Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, ed. S. Taylor (Dublin, 2000), pp.46-61

[1] For a good example see R. Sharpe, ‘The Thriving of Dalriada’ in Kings, Clerics and Chronicles in Scotland 500-1297: essays in honour of Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, ed. S. Taylor (Dublin, 2000), pp.46-61; A. Lane and E. Campbell, Dunadd: an early Dalriadic capital (Oxford, 2000) pp.31-4;
[2] See D. N. Dumville, ‘Kingship, Genealogies and Regnal Lists’, in Early Medieval Kingship , eds. P. H. Sawyer and I. N. Wood (Leeds, 1977), pp. 72-10
[3] For example see D. N. Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, Scottish Gaelic Studies 20 (2000), pp.170-91, especially p.172, and J. E. Fraser, ‘Strangers on the Clyde: Cenél Comgaill, Clyde Rock and the Bishops of Kingarth’, Innes Review 56 (2005), pp. 102-20
[4] From here onwards ‘MsfnA’.
[5] Fraser, J. E., From Caledonia to Pictland. Scotland to 795 (Edinburgh, 2009), p. 48
[6] That is the earlier assessment, containing the genealogical sections in §§6-31, 39-49  and 32-38, is dated to the period 660-672 and the later assessment, §§50-53, a generation later. See M. O. Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland (Edinburgh and London, 1973), pp.159-60; J. Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada (Edinburgh and London, 1974), pp. 68-70; 103-7; 154-6; D. N. Dumville, ‘Ireland and North Britain in the Earlier Middle Ages: contexts for Míniugud Senchasa Fher nAlban’ in Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2000, eds. C. Ó Baoill and N. R. McGuire (Aberdeen, 2002), p.199
[7] Míniugud senchasa fher nAlban; D. N. Dumville, ‘Ireland and North Britain’ (Aberdeen, 2002), 201-3, §§2-4; see Dumville, ‘Ireland and North Britain’, p.205
[8] MsfnA §6
[9] MsfnA §§7-17
[10] MsfnA §§18-19
[11] MsfnA §§21-30
[12] MsfnA §§32-35
[13] MsfnA §§36-37
[14] MsfnA §§38-48; this section seems to also contain a genealogy of Cenél Loairn and separates the kindred into three thirds: Cenél Fergusa/Shalaig, Cenél Cathbach and Cenél nEchdach.
[15] From now on ‘CpDR’.
[16] Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada, pp. 108-10; Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.170; 186
[17]Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata; D. N. Dumville, Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata, Scottish Gaelic Studies (2000), 175-83, § 1; see Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.184
[18] CpDR §§2-5
[19]Vita Columbae; R. Sharpe, trans., Adomnán of Iona: Life of St Columba (London, 1995), II.22
[20] M. R. Nieke and H. B. Duncan, ‘Dalriada: the establishment and maintenance of an Early Historic Kingdom in northern Britain’ in Power and Politics in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland, eds. S. T. Driscoll and M. R. Nieke (Edinburgh, 1988), p.10
[21] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.172
[22] Fraser, From Caledonia to Pictland. Scotland to 795, pp.143, 155-64
[23] J. E. Fraser, ‘Dux Reuda and the Corcu Réti’ in Cànan & Cultar/Language and Cultrure: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 3, eds. W. McLeod et al (Edinburgh, 2006), p.6
[24] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.184
[25] See Dumville, ‘Kingships, Genealogies and Regnal Lists’, pp.72-104
[26] Annals of Ulster; S. Mac Airt and G. Mac Niocaill, eds., The Annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131) (Dublin, 1983), 697.2; Annals of Tigernach; W. Stokes, ed., The Annals of Tigernach, vol. I (Llanerch, 1993) 697.2; AU 698 Burning of Dunollie and expulsion of Ainbcellach.
[27] Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland, pp. 228-29; AU 719.
[28] Anderson, Kings and Kingship, p.161; Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada, p.110; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p. 34; n.37; Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, pp.186-90
[29] AU 687; 700; 721
[30] AU 698; 701; 712; 714; 719; 727; Fraser, ‘Strangers on the Clyde’, pp103-4
[31] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.188
[32] VC II.22; J. E. Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle, the Descendants of Áedán mac Gabráin, and the “Principle Kindreds of Dáil Riata”’, Northern Studies 38 (2004), pp.79-82
[33] Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.82; M. O. Anderson, Kings and Kingship, pp. 44-76; 228-91.
[34] Sharpe, ‘The thriving of Dalriada’, pp.47-61, 55; Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada, p. 104; Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.172, 189; D. N. Dumville, ‘Ireland and North Britain in the Earlier Middle Ages: contexts for Míniugud Senchasa Fher nAlban’ in Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2000, eds. C. Ó Baoill and N. R. McGuire (Aberdeen, 2002), p.199; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, pp.77-8.
[35] It must be pointed out, as Fraser does, that these lineages are still rather obscure and uncertain and remain a working hypothesis. See Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, pp. 82-6
[36]MsfnA ¶12; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, pp.84-5
[37]AU 673.2; Anderson, Kings and Kingship, pp.228-9; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.77; 78; 81: 82; 82-4; 90
[38] J. E. Fraser, ‘Dux Reuda and the Corcu Réti’, pp.1-9
[39] J. E. Fraser, ‘Strangers on the Clyde’, pp. 102-20. The other northern British kingdoms had succumbed to Northumbrian expansion by the mid- to late- seventh century; whereas Strathclyde survived until the eleventh.
[40] Fraser, ‘Strangers on the Clyde’, p. 104; n.10; 106; 109; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, pp.94-5
[41] CpDR §4; 2.
[42] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.186
[43] Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.91; Anderson, King and Kingship, pp.228-9
[44] AU 686.3; 690.3; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.91
[45] Fraser, ‘Strangers of the Clyde’, p.104
[46] Fraser, ‘Strangers on the Clyde’, p.111
[47] Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.95
[48] AU 649.4; 668.3; 701.7
[49] AU 649.4; Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.87; n. 37
[50] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.187
[51] Fraser, ‘The Iona Chronicle’, p.88
[52] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.186; 189; MsfnA
[53] Dumville, ‘Cethri prímchenéla Dáil Riata’, p.172
[54] Sharpe, ‘The Thriving of Dalriada’, p.59