THE PICTISH CHRONICLE

MS. COLB. BIB. IMP. PARIS, 4126.

Translation © by T.H.Weeks
Commentary © by A.Weeks

There are several versions of the Pictish Chronicle. This the so-called “A” text, which is probably the oldest, and also the fullest. It also seems to have fewer errors than other versions.

A facsimile of part of the manuscript, and other information, can be found on this page here belonging to Tony Spurlock.

The text seems to date from the reign of Kenneth II (971-995) (since he is the last king mentioned and the chronicler does not know the length of his reign), and I would say probably from the early part of that reign. The manuscript itself is however a 14th century copy.

It is in three parts:

  1. An account of the origins of the Picts
    Most of this is taken from books 9 and 14 of the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville (560-636). It is rather confused, and mostly quite irrelevant for Scottish history. In ancient times there were two peoples called the Albani and the Iberi who lived in the Caucasus. Later geographers confused the Albani with Albany (i.e. Scotland) and the Iberi with Hibernia.

  2. A list of Pictish kings from the earliest times up until the conquest by Kenneth Mac Alpín in the 9th Century.

  3. Often called "The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba", a list of kings of the combined kingdom of Picts and Scots until the reign of Kenneth II (971-995), with some notes about events during each reign.
It is evident that the latter two sections were originally written in Gaelic, since a few Gaelic words have not been translated into Latin.

The text is based on that of W. F. Skene: Chronicles of the Picts and Scots (1867), but has been adjusted in places. I have gone back to Isidore for parts of the first section.

I have added some notes to explain the text and also added additional information about some of the kings, notably dates, mostly derived from Irish sources (like the Annals of Ulster and Annals of Tigernach)

Notes:-

Bibliography:-

Some Links:-


CHRONICA DE ORIGINE ANTIQUORUM PICTORUM

Picti propria lingua nomen habent a picto corpore; eo quod, aculeis ferreis cum atramento, variarum figurarum sti(n)gmate annotantur. Scotti qui nunc corrupte vocantur Hiberniensis quasi Sciti, quia a Scithia regione venerunt, et inde originem duxerunt; siue a Scotta filia Pharaonis regis Egypti, quae fuit ut fertur regina Scottorum. Sciendum vero est quod Britones in tertia mundi aetate ad Britanniam venerunt. Scitae autem, id est, Scotti, in quarta aetate Scociam, siue Hiberniam obtinuerunt. The Picts take their name in their own tongue from their painted bodies; this is because, using sharp iron tools and ink, they are marked by tattoos of various shapes. The Scots, who now are incorrectly called Irish, are {as it were} Sciti, because they came from the Scythian region, and had their origin there; or else they take their name from Scotta the daughter of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, who as the story goes was the queen of the Scots. It is known for a fact that the Britons arrived in Britain in the third age of the world1. However the Sciti, that is, the Scots took possession of Scocia, or Ireland, in the fourth age2.
Gentes Scitiae albo crine nascuntur ab assiduis nivibus; et ipsius capilli color genti nomen dedit, et inde dicuntur Albani: de quibus originem duxerunt Scoti et Picti. Horum glauca oculis, id est, picta inest pupilla, adeo ut nocte plusquam die cernant. Albani autem vicini Amazonibus fuerunt. Gothi a Magog filio Japheth nominati putantur, de similitudine ultimae sillabae; quos veteres Graeci magis Gethas, quam Gothos, vocaverunt. Gens fortis et potentissima, corporum mole ardua, armorum genere terribilis. De quibus Lucanus, The Scythian people are born with white hair due to the continuous snow; and the colour of that same hair gives a name to the people, and hence they are called Albani: from them the Scots and Picts trace their origin. In their eyes, there is a bright, that is coloured, pupil, to such an extent that they can see better at night than by day. Moreover the Albani3 were neighbours to the Amazons. The Goths are thought to be named after Magog the son of Japheth4, from the similarity of the final syllable; they whom the ancient Greeks called Getae5, rather than Goths. They were a courageous and most powerful race, lofty, with massive bodies and striking terror with their kind of armour. About them Lucan6 wrote:
Hinc Dacus premat, inde Gethi (in)occurrant Hiberis. Let the Dacian press from this side, let the Gethi attack the Spanish on that side.
Daci autem Gottorum soboles fuerunt: et dictos putant Dacos quasi Dagos, quia de Gottorum stirpe creati sunt: de quibus ille, The Dacians however were offspring of the Goths: and it is thought they are called Dacians or perhaps Dagians, because they were created from the stock of the Goths: he7 wrote about them:
Ibis arctos procul usque Dacos. You will go north all the way to the Dacians.
  1. The third age was from Abraham to David
  2. The fourth age was from David to Daniel
  3. The ancient Albani lived in what is now Azerbaijan
  4. Genesis 10:2
  5. In fact there is no connection between the Getae (a Dacian tribe) and the Goths, this has confused countless ancient historians.
  6. Civil War: 2:54. This is from a poem about the war between Caesar and Pompey.
  7. Although the context suggests this too is from Lucan, it isn't.
Scithae et Gothi a Magog originem traxerunt. Scithia, quoque et Gothia, ab eodem Magog filio Japhet fertur congnominata: cujus terra olim ingens fuit; nam ab oriente Indie, a septentrione, per paludes Meotidas, inter Danubium et oceanum, usque ad Germaniae fines porrigebatur. Postea minor effecta est a dextra orientis parte qua(i) oceanus Sericus (co)tenditur, usque ad mare Caspium, quod est ad occasum. De hinc a meridie usque ad Caucasi jugum deducta est; cui subjacet Hircania ab occasu: habens pariter gentes multas, propter terrarum infecunditatem, late vagantes, ex quibus quaedam agros incolunt; quaedam portent(u)osae ac truces, carnibus humanis, et eorum sanguine, vivunt. The Scythians and Goths derive their origin from Magog. Scythia, and also Gothia, is said to be named from that same Magog son of Japheth: its land was once vast; for it stretched from India in the East, to the North, through the marshlands of Meotidas1, between the Danube and the Ocean, as far as the borders of Germany. Afterwards it became smaller from the part of the East where the Siricus Ocean starts, as far as the Caspian Sea, which is to the West. From thence on the South there was removed a region right up to the Caucasian Range; which Hircania2 lies beneath in the West: it had at the same time many tribes, who, because of the infertility of the land, wandered far afield, of whom some cultivated the land; while others lived unnaturally and as savages, on the flesh and blood of humans.
Scithiae plures terrae sunt locupletes, inhabitabiles tamen(tum) plures. Nam(que) dum in plerisque locis auro et gemmis affluant; griphorum immanitate accessus hominum rarus est. Smaragdis autem optimis haec patria est. Cianeus quoque lapis, et cristallus purissimus Scithiae est. Habent et flumina magna, Oscorim, Phasiden, et Araxen. Prima Europae regio Scithia inferior(um), quae a(e) Meotidis paludibus incipiens inter Danubium et oceanum septentrionalem, usque ad Germaniam porrigitur: quae terra generaliter propter barbaras gentes quibus inhabitatur(a) barbarica dicitur. Hujus pars prima Alania est, quae ad Meotidas paludes pertingit. Post hanc Dacia, ubi et Gothia. Deinde Germania, ubi plurimam partem Suevi incoluerunt. In partes Asiaticae Scithiae (sunt) gentes quae posteros se Jasonis credunt: albo crine nascuntur ab assiduis nivibus. De his ista sufficiunt. Many regions of Scythia are opulent, many are however uninhabitable. For while in most places gold and gems are abundant; but because of the frightfulness of the griffins people rarely go there. However this is source of the very best emeralds. Scythia also has Cyaneus stones3, and the purest of crystals. There are also great rivers, the Oscorim4, Phasis5, and Araxes6. Lower Scythia is the first region of Europe, which stretches from the marshes of Meotidis beginning between the Danube and the Northern Ocean, as far as Germany: this land is generally said to be barbaric, on account of the savage tribes inhabiting it. The first part of it is Alania7, which extends to the Meotidas marshes. After that comes Dacia, where there is also Gothia. Then Germany, where the Suevi8 inhabit a very large region. In some regions of Asiatic Scythia there are people who believe they are descendants of Jason: they are born with white hair due to the continuous snow. This is enough about these things.
  1. The Sea of Azov
  2. Southern end of the Caspian
  3. Dark blue gems. (lapis-lazuli ??)
  4. Isidore has Moschorum here, which I cannot find on the map, but the Moschi were a tribe living in Georgia.
  5. In Georgia
  6. On the border between Iran and Azerbaijan.
  7. The Alans lived between the Volga/Don and the Caucasus
  8. The Suevi were a German tribe (who gave ther name to Swabia), although some of them had migrated to Spain, where Isidore lived.

List of Kings of the Picts

Cruidne filius Cinge, pater Pictorum habitantium in hac insula, c. annis regnavit. Vij. filios habuit. Haec sunt nomina eorum: Fib, Fidach, Floclaid, Fortrenn, Got, Ce, Circinn. Cruidne1 the son of Cinge, father of the Picts living in this island, ruled for 100 years. He had 7 sons. These are their names2: Fib, Fidach, Floclaid, Fortrenn, Got, Ce, Circinn.
  1. Cruidne (or rather Cruithne) is the Gaelic for “Pict”.
  2. These are in fact the names of 7 provinces of the Picts.
Circin lx. regnavit.
Fidach xl.
Fortrenn lxx.
Floclaid xxx.
Got xij.
Ce xv.
Fibaid xxiiij.
Circin reigned 40
Fidach 40
Fortrenn 70
Floclaid 30
Got 12
Ce 15
Fibaid 24
Gede olgudach lxxx.
Denbecan c.
Olfinecta lx.
Guidid gaed brechach l.
Gest gurcich xl.
Wurgest xxx.
Gede olgudach 80
Denbecan (or Oenbecan) 100
Olfinecta 60
Guidid gaed brechach 50
Gest gurcich 40
Wurgest 30
Brude bont, a quo xxx. Brude regnaverunt Hiberniam et Albaniam per centum l. annorum spacium, xlviij. annis regnavit. Id est Brude bont, from whom 30 Brudes ruled Ireland and Albany for the space of 150 years, himself ruled for 48 years. They were:
Brude pant.Brude urpant.Brude leo.Brude uleo.
Brude gant.Brude urgant.Brude gnith.Brude urgnith.
Brude fecir.Brude urfecir.Brude cal.Brude urcal.
Brude cint.Brude urcint.Brude fet.Brude urfet.
Brude ru.Brude eru. Brude gart et urgart.
Brude cinid.Brude urcnid.Brude uip.Brude uruip.
Brude grid.Brude urgrid.Brude mund.Brude urmund.

It will be observed that there are 28, not 30, Brudes.


Gilgidi c. l. annis regnavit. Gilgidi ruled for 150 years.
Tharain c.
Morleo xv.
Deocilunon xl.
Cimoiod filius Arcois vij.
Deoord l.
Bliesblituth v.
Dectotr'ic frater Diu xl.
Usconbuts xxx.
Carvorst xl.
Deo ardivois xx.
Vist l.
Ru c.
Tharain 100 years
Morleo 15
Deocilunon 40
Cimoiod son of Arcois 7
Deoord 50
Bliesbltituth 5
Dectotric brother of Diu 40
Usconbuts 30
Carvorst 40
Deo Ardivois 20
Vist 50
Ru 100
Gartnaith loc, a quo Garnart iii. regnavere, ix annis regnavit. Gartnaith loc, from whom 3 Garnarts ruled, himself ruled for 9 years.
Breth filius Buthut vij.
Vipoig namet xxx. annis regnavit.
Canutulachama iiij. annis regnavit.
Wradech uecla ii. annis regnavit.
Gartnaich diuberr lx. annis regnavit.
Talore filius Achivir lxxv. annis regnavit.
Breth son of Buthut 7
Vipoig namet reigned 30 years
Canutulachama reigned 4 years
Vuradech vecla reigned 2 years
Gartnait diuberr reigned 40 years
Talorc son of Achivir reigned 75 years
Drust filius Erp c. annis regnavit et c. bella peregit; ix decimo anno regni ejus Patricius episcopus sanctus ad Hiberniam pervenit insulam. Drust the son of Erp ruled for 100 years and fought 100 battles; in the 19th year of his rule Saint Patrick the Bishop arrived in the island of Ireland.
St. Patrick arrived in 432.
Talore filius Aniel iiij. annis regnavit. Talorc son of Aniel reigned 4 years
Necton morbet filius Erip xxiiij. regnavit. Tertio anno regni ejus Darlugdach abbatissa Cilledara de Hibernia exulat pro Christo ad Britanniam. Secundo anno adventus sui immolavit Nectonius Aburnethige Deo et Sanctae Brigidae presente Diarlugdach quae cantavit alleluia super istam hostiam. Necton morbet the son of Erip reigned for 24 years. In the third year of his rule Darlugdach the abbess of Kildare went into exile from Ireland to Britain for the sake of Christ. In the second year after her arrival Necton consecrated Abernethy to God and Saint Brigid in the presence of Darlugdach who sang alleluia over that offering.
Optulit igitur Nectonius magnus filius Wirp, rex omnium provinciarum Pictorum, Apurnethige Sanctae Brigidae, usque ad diem judicii, cum suis finibus, quae positae sunt a lapide in Apurfeirt usque ad lapidem juxta Ceirfuill, id est, Lethfoss, et inde in altum usque ad Athan. Causa autem oblationis haec est. Nectonius in vita exilii (julie) vivens fratre suo Drusto expulsante se usque ad Hiberniam Brigidam sanctam petivit ut postulasset Deum pro se. Orans autem pro illo dixit: Si pervenies ad patriam tuam Dominus miserebitur tui: regnum Pictorum in pace possidebis. And so Necton the great, son of Wirp, king of all the Pictish provinces, offered Abernethy to Saint Brigid, until the day of judgement, together with its territories, which are positioned from the stone in Apurfeirt as far as the stone near to Ceirfuill, that is, Lethfoss, and from there onto the high ground as far as Athan. This is the reason for his gift. Necton living in a life of exile, when his brother Drust expelled him, went all the way to Ireland and beseeched Saint Brigid to make a request to God on his behalf. However, as she prayed for him she said: If you return to your homeland the Lord will have pity on you: you will take over the kingdom of the Picts in peace.

This whole story is chronologically impossible, since counting the reign lengths back puts it before the time of St. Brigid. Probably it happened to a later Nechtan (see below). The fact that this story has been put into the chronicle suggests it was originally written at Abernethy.

Drest Gurthinmoch xxx. annis regnavit. Drest Gurthinmoch reigned 30 years
Galanan erilich xij. annis regnavit. Galanan Erilich reigned 12 years
Da Drest, id est, Drest filius Gyrom, id est, Drest filius Vudrost v. annis conregnaverunt. Two Drests, that is, Drest the son of Girom and Drest the son of Vudrost co-ruled for 5 years.
Drest filius Girom solus v. annis regnavit. Drest the son of Girom ruled on his own for 5 years.
Garthnach filius Girom vij. annis regnavit. Gartnart son of Girom reigned 7 years
Cailtram filius Girom uno anno regnavit. Cailtram son of Girom reigned 1 year
Talorg filius Muircholaich xi. annis regnavit. Talorc son of Muircholaich reigned 11 years
Drest filius Munait uno anno regnavit. Drest son of Munait reigned 1 year
Galam cennaleph uno anno regnavit. Galam cennaleph reigned 1 year
"Cennalaph" is reported as dying in 580.[U580.3]
Cum Briduo i. anno. With Brude 1 year
Bridei filius Mailcon xxx. annis regnavit. In octavo anno regni eius baptizatus est sancto a Columba. Brude the son of Mailcon ruled for 30 years. In the eighth year of his rule he was baptised by Saint Columba.
According to Bede Columba arrived in Scotland in 565, this being the 9th year of Brude's reign.
Mailcon may be the Maelgwn who was the ruler of Gwynedd condemned by Gildas and who died in 547.
Brude died 584. [U584.3]
Gartnart filius Dolmech xi. annis regnavit. Gartnart son of Dolmech reigned 11 years
Died circa 597 [T597.2]
Nectu nepos Uerb xx. annis regnavit. Nechtan grandson of Uerb reigned 20 years
Possibly the Nechtan son of Cano who died in 621. [T621.3].
Cinioch filius Lutrin xix. annis regnavit. Kenneth son of Lutrin reigned 19 years
Died 634 [T634.2]
Garnard filius Wid iiij. annis regnavit. Gartnart son of Wid reigned 4 years
Died 635 [U635.6]
Breidei filius Wid v. annis regnavit. Brude son of Wid reigned 5 years
Died 642 [T642.2]
Talore frater eorum xii. annis regnavit. Talorc, their brother reigned 12 years
Died 653 [U653.1]
Tallorcen filius Enfret iiij. annis regnavit. Talorcan son of Eanfrith reigned 4 years
Fought against Dál Riata in 654. [T654.4]
Died 657 [U657.3].
Eanfrith was King of Bernicia 632-3.
Gartnait filius Donnel vj. annis regnavit et dimidium. Gartnait the son of Donald ruled for 6½ years.
Died 663 [U663.3]
Drest frater ejus vij. annis regnavit. Drest his brother reigned 7 years
Expelled in 672 [U672.6]
Bredei filius Bili xxi. annis regnavit. Brude son of Beli reigned 21 years
He attacked the Orkneys in 682 [U682.4] and defeated a Northumbrian invasion led by Ecgfrith at Nechtanesmere (near Forfar) on 20th May 685. [U686.1]
Beli is said to have been the king of Strathclyde
Brude died in 693 [U693.1].
Taran filius Entifidich iiij. annis regnavit. Tarain son of Entfidich reigned 4 years
Expelled in 697 [U697.1] and went to Ireland
Bredei filius Derelei xi. annis regnavit. Brude son of Derelei reigned 11 years
Died 706 [U706.2]
Necthon filius Derelei xv. annis regnavit. Nechtan son of Derelei reigned 15 years
Other lists give a reign length of 18 years, which is a better fit. Abdicated to enter a monastery in 724 [T724.2]. Imprisoned by Drest 726 [U726.1], returned (see below) in 728 and died in 732 [T732.7].
Drest et Elpin con(g)regnaverunt v. annis. Drest and Alpín reigned together 5 years
According to the Irish Annals, Drest reigned 724-726, when he was expelled and replaced by Alpín [T726.4]. In 727 Drest attempted to regain the crown, fomenting a civil war between himself, Alpín, Óengus (below) and Nechtan. [U728.4]. Óengus was victorious in 729 [U729.2], Drest being killed in battle [U729.3].
Onnist filius Urguist xxx. annis regnavit. Óengus son of Fergus reigned 30 years
In 736 with his brother Talorcan, he invaded Dál Riata [U736.1 & U736.2] and in 741 conquered it [U741.10]. He attacked Strathclyde in 744. However in 750 he lost another battle against Strathclyde, in which his brother Talorcan and his son were killed [T750.4]. After this he seems to have lost control of Dál Riata.
Óengus died in 761. [U761.4]
Bredei filius Vuirguist ij. annis regnavit. Brude son of Fergus reigned 2 years
Died in 763 [U763.10]
Ciniod filius Vuredech xij. annis regnavit. Kenneth son of Vuredech reigned 12 years
In 768 Pictavia was attacked by Áed Find of Dál Riata [U768.7].
Died in 775 [U775.1].
Elpin filius Vuroid iij. annis regnavit et dimidium. Elpin son of Vuroid reigned 3½ years
Died in 780 probably, the Annals of Ulster call him King of Saxons, although no Saxon king of this name is known. [U780.5]
Drest filius Talorgen iiij. vel v. annis regnavit. Drest son of Talorcan reigned 4 or 5 years
Other lists give Drest 1 year, and add after him a Talorcan son of Drest, who reigned 4 or 5 years. A Dub Tholarg (i.e. Black Talorc), King of Picts is reported to have died in 782.[U782.1]
Talorgen filius Onnist ij. annis et dimidium regnavit. Talorcan son of Óengus reigned 2½ years
Canaul filius Tarl'a v. annis regnavit. Conall son of Tarla reigned 5 years
Probably the same as the Conall son of Tadg who fled after losing a battle against Constantine in 789 [U789.11]. He later became King of Dál Riata and was killed by Conall son of Áedán in 807. [U807.3]
Castantin filius Vurguist xxxv. annis regnavit. Constantine son of Fergus reigned 35 years
He was probably the son of Fergus who ruled Dál Riata from 778 to 781.
In 811 Constantine himself succeeded to Dál Riata.
Died 820 [U820.3].
Unuist filius Vurguist xij. annis regnavit. Óengus son of Fergus reigned 12 years
Also King of Dál Riata. Died 834 [U834.1].
Drest filius Constantini, et Talorgen filius Vuthoil iij annis con(g)regnaverunt. Drest son of Constantine and Talorcan son of Vuthoil reigned together 3 years
Uven filius Unuist iij. annis regnavit. Owen son of Óengus reigned 3 years
Killed in a great battle against the Vikings in 839 [U839.9].
Vurad filius Bargoit iii. et, Bred uno anno regnaverunt. Vurad son of Bargoit reigned 3 years and Bred one year.

Other lists add 3 more kings:

  • Kenneth son of Vurad - 1 year
  • Brude son of Vuthoil - 2 years
  • Drust son of Vurad - 3 years

It would appear that Kenneth Mac Alpín conquered most of Pictavia around 843, but these 3 ruled some areas for a few more years until finally defeated.


The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba


Kenneth I 843-858
Kinadius igitur filius Alpini, primus Scottorum, rexit feliciter istam annis xvi. Pictaviam. Pictavia autem a Pictis est nominata; quos, ut diximus, Cinadius delevit. Deus enim eos pro merito suae malitiae alienos ac otiosos hereditate dignitatus est facere: quia illi non solum Domini missam ac preceptum spreverunt; sed et in jure aequitatis aliis aequi parari (n)voluerunt. Iste vero, biennio antequam veniret Pictaviam, Dalrietae regnum suscepit. Septimo anno regni sui, reliquias Sancti Columbae transportavit ad ecclesiam quam construxit, et invasit sexies Saxoniam; et concremavit Dunbarre atque Marlos usurpata. Britanni autem concremaverunt Dubblain, atque Danari vastaverunt Pictaviam, ad Cluanan et Duncalden. Mortuus est tandem tumore ante diem ? idus Februarii feria tertia in palacio Fothuirtabaicht. And so Kenneth1, the son of Alpín, the foremost of the Scots, ruled that Pictavia successfully for 16 years. However Pictavia was named after the Picts; whom, as we said2, Kenneth destroyed. For God, to punish them for the fault of their malice, deigned to make them estranged and indifferent to their heritage: because they not only scorned the Lord's mass and injunctions; but also were unwilling to be reckoned equal to others in the law of impartiality. Indeed, two years before he came to Pictavia, he took over the kingdom of Dál Riata. In the seventh year of his rule, he transferred the remains of Saint Columba to the church which he built, and he attacked Saxonia six times; and he burnt down Dunbar and captured Melrose. However the Britons3 burnt down Dunblane, and the Danes laid waste to Pictavia, as far as Clunie and Dunkeld. He finally died of a tumour, before the Ides of February on the third day of the week4 in the palace of Forteviot.
  1. Or Cináed
  2. No he didn't actually. Perhaps part of the chronicle has been lost.
  3. of Strathclyde
  4. Kenneth died in 858 [U858.2], probably 8th February.
Kenneth probably ruled Dál Riata from 839 (or perhaps slightly later) and Pictavia from 842 or 843. It is sometimes said that Kenneth was the heir to Pictavia by its matrilineal rules, but there is no real evidence for this.

Donald I 858-862
Dunevaldus, frater ejus, tenuit idem regnum iiii. annis. In hujus tempore, jura ac leges regni Edi filii Ecdach fecerunt Goedeli cum rege suo in Fothiurthabaicth. Obiit in palacio Cinn Belachior idus Aprilis. Donald1, his brother, held the same kingdom for 4 years. In his time, the Gaels established the rights and laws of the kingdom of Áed the son of Eochaid2, with their own king at Forteviot. He died in the palace of Cinn Belachior 3 on the Ides of April4.

  1. Or Domnall
  2. Áed Find son of Eochaid was king of Dál Riata approximately 750-778. The meaning of this seems to be that the laws of Dál Riata were now to be enforced in Pictavia.
  3. Probably Scone, or near there.
  4. Died 13th April 862. [U862.1]

Constantine I 862-877
Constantinus filius Cinadi regnavit annis xvi. Primo ejus anno Maelsechnaill rex Hibernensium obiit; et Aed filius Niel tenuit regnum; ac post duos annos vastavit Amlaib, cum gentibus suis, Pictaviam, et habitauit eam, a kalendis Januarii usque ad festum Sancti Patricii. Tercio iterum anno Amlaib, trahens cens(t)um, a Constantino occisus est. Paulo post ab eo bello in xiiij. ejus facto in Dolair inter Danarios et Scottos, occisi sunt Scoti co Achcochlam. Normanni annum integrum degerunt in Pictavia. Constantine the son of Kenneth ruled for 16 years. During his first year Máel Sechnaill1 the king of the Irish died; and Áed the son of Niall2 took over his kingdom; and after two years Olaf3, with his foreigners4, laid waste to Pictavia, and dwelt there, from the Kalends of January until the feast of Saint Patrick. Again in the third5 year Olaf, while collecting tribute, was killed by Constantine. In his 14th year, {A little while after a battle was fought} at Dollar between the Danes and the Scots, the Scots were annihilated at Atholl6. The Norsemen spent a whole year in Pictavia.
  1. Máel Sechnaill, High-King, died in 862 [U862.5].
  2. Áed Findliath, King of Ailech (see later)
  3. Olaf son of Guthfrith, King of Dublin 856-871 [U866.1]
  4. By “foreigners”, Vikings are usually meant.
  5. or perhaps 13th
  6. In 875
Constantine died in 877, according to version “D” of the chronicle he was killed by Vikings at Inverdovat or the “Black Cave”.

Áed 877-878
Edus tenuit idem i. anno. Ejus etiam brevitas nil historiae memorabile commendavit; sed in civitate Nrurim est occisus. Áed held the throne for 1 year. The shortness of his rule has left nothing memorable to history; but he was killed1 in the town of Nrurim2.
  1. in battle against Giric in 878.
  2. The location of Nrurim is uncertain, but was probably in Strathallan (north of Stirling). Version “D” of the chronicle says Áed was killed in battle with Giric (see next entry).
  3. Also see [U878.2]

Eochaid & Giric 878-889
Eochodius autem filius Run regis Britannorum, nepos Cinadei ex filia, regnavit annis xi. Licet Ciricium filium alii dicunt hic regnasse; eo quod alum(p)nus ordinatorque Eochodio fiebat. Cujus secundo anno Aed filius Neil moritur; ac in ix. ejus anno, in ipso die Cirici, eclipsis solis facta est. Eochodius, cum alum(p)no suo, expulsus est nunc de regno. On the other hand Eochaid the son of Rhun the king of the Britons1, grandson of Kenneth by his daughter 2, ruled for 11 years. Admittedly others say that Giric the son of ?3 ruled at that time; because he became teacher4 and "prime minister"5 to Eochaid. In his second year Áed the son of Niall died 6; and in his 9th., on the very day of St. Ciricius, there was an eclipse of the sun7. Eochaid, with his "foster-son", was then thrown out of the kingdom.
  1. i.e. of Strathclyde.
  2. Her name is unknown
  3. Name omitted, but we know from other sources that Giric's father was called Dungal, or perhaps Donald.
  4. “alumnus” could here mean “tutor” or “guardian”
  5. “ordinator” is probably the translation of the gaelic “taoiseach”
  6. Áed Findliath son of Niall Caille, High-King of Ireland, in 879 [U879.1]
  7. 16th June 885
Other versions of the chronicles ignore Eochaid and say that Giric was king. Possibly Giric was not of royal blood, so he used Eochaid as a puppet.

Donald II 889-900
Donivaldus filius Constantini tenuit regnum xi. annos. Normanni tunc vastaverunt Pictaviam. In hujus regno bellum est factum Innisibsolian, inter Danarios et Scottos: Scotti habuerunt victoriam. Oppidum Fother occisum est a gentibus. Donald the son of Constantine held the throne for 11 years. At that time the Norsemen laid waste to Pictavia. During his rule a battle was fought at Innisibsolian, between the Danes and the Scots: the Scots were the winners. Dunottar 1 was destroyed by the foreigners.
  1. Dunottar is just south of Stonehaven. The author translates the Gaelic "dun" into the Latin "oppidum" even within placenames.

Donald died in in Forres in 900. [U900.6]


Constantine II 900-943
Constantinus filius Edii tenuit regnum xl. annos. Cujus tertio anno Normanni praedaverunt Duncalden, omnemque Albaniam. In sequenti utique anno occisi sunt in Sraith Herenn Normanni, ac in vi. anno Constantinus rex, et Celachus episcopus, leges disciplinasque fidei, atque jura ecclesiarum ewangeliorumque, pariter cum Scottis in colle credulitatis, prope regali civitati Scoan devoverunt custodiri. Ab hoc die collis hoc meruit nomen, id est, collis credulitatis. Et in suo octavo anno cecidit excelsissimus rex Hibernensium et archiepiscopus, apud Laignechos, id est, Cormace filius Culennan. Et mortui sunt in tempore hujus, Doneualdus rex Britannorum, et Duuenaldus filius Ede rex elig(itur); et Flann filius Maelsethnaill, et Niall filius Ede, qui regnavit tribus annis post Flann, etc. Constantine the son of Áed held the throne for 40 years. In his third year the Norsemen raided Dunkeld, and all of Albany 1. Certainly in the following year the Norsemen were beaten in Strathearn2, and in his 6th. year king Constantine, and bishop Cellach, vowed that the laws and teachings of the faith, and the rights of the churches and gospels, to be protected equally with the Scots on the hill of Credulity, near to the royal city of Scone. From that day the hill earned its name, that is, the Hill of Credulity. And in his eighth year there perished the most excellent King and Archbishop of the Irish, among the Laigin, that is, Cormac the son of Cuilennán 3. There also died during his rule Donald the king of the Britons, and Donald the son of Áed king of Ailech4; and Flann the son of Máel Sechnaill 5 died, and Niall the son of Áed 6, who ruled for three years after Flann, etc.
  1. In 903
  2. In 904 [U904.4]
  3. Cormac, King of Munster was killed fighting in Leinster on 13th September 908 [U908.3]
  4. Domnall son of Áed Findliath, King of Ailech in Ireland, died 915 [U915.2]
  5. Flann Sinna, High-King of Ireland, died 25th May 916. [U916.1]
  6. Niall Glúndub, son of Áed Findliath, High-King of Ireland, killed 15 September 919 [U919.3]
Bellum Tinemore factum est in xviii. anno inter Constantinum et Regnall, et Scotti habuerunt victoriam. Et bellum Duinbrunde in xxxiiij. ejus anno ubi cecidit filius Constantini. Et post unum annum mortuus est Dubucan filius Indrechtaig, mormair Oengusa. Adalstan filius Advar rig Saxan, et Eochaid filius Alpini, mortui sunt. Et in senectute decrepitus baculum cepit, et Domino servivit: et regnum mandavit Maelcolaim filio Domnail. In his 18th. year a battle was fought at Tinemore between Constantine and Rægnald 7, and the Scots won. There was also the battle of Duinbrunde in his 34th8 year when the son of Constantine fell. And after one year Dubucan the son of Indrechtaig died, mormaer of Angus. Æthelstan the son of Edward King of Saxons 9, and Eochaid the son of Alpín, died. And infirm in his old age he took the staff 10, and was devoted to the Lord: and he entrusted the kingdom to Malcolm the son of Donald11.
  1. In 918, Rægnald was a Viking chief, later king of York 919-921
  2. If this was the famous battle of Brunanburgh, it was in 937, i.e. the 37th year.
  3. In 939
  4. i.e. entered a monastery (in fact St. Andrews)
  5. The year of Constantine's abdication is unknown, 943 seems probable. He died in 952. [U952.1]

Malcolm I 943-954
Maelcolaim filius Domnaill xi. annis regnavit. Cum exercitu suo Maelcolaim perrexit in Moreb, et occidit Cellach. In vii. anno regni sui praedavit Anglicos ad amnem Thesis, et multitudinem rapuit hominum, et multa armenta pecorum: quam praedam vocaverunt Scotti praedam Albidosorum idem Nainndisi. Alii autem dicunt Constantinum fecisse hanc praedam quaerens a rege, id est, Maelcolaim, regnum dari sibi ad tempus hebdomadis, ut visitaret Anglicos. Verum tamen non Maelcolam fecit praedam, sed instigavit eum Constantinus, ut dixi. Mortuus est autem Constantinus in x. ejus anno sub corona penitenti in senectute bona. Et occiderunt viri na Moerne Malcolaim in Fodresach id est in Claideom. Malcolm1, the son of Donald ruled for 112 years. With his army Malcolm proceeded to Moray, and slew Cellach. In the seventh year of his rule he raided the English as far as the River Tees 3, and siezed a great number of men, and many herds of cattle: The Scots called that plunder the plunder of the Albidi or the Nainndisi. However others say that Constantine had made that raid, demanding of the king, that is, Malcolm, that he should give command of the army to him for a week, so he could visit the English. For all that, the truth is that it was not Malcolm who made the raid, but Constantine instigated it, as I said. However Constantine died in the tenth year of the rule (of Malcolm) under the crown of repentance in good old age. And men of Mearns killed Malcolm in Fodresach4, that is in Claideom.
  1. Or Máel Coluim
  2. The other king lists all say 9 years, but 11 is more likely to be correct.
  3. In 945 Edmund of Wessex conquered Strathclyde and handed it over to Malcolm in exchange for an alliance against the Vikings, who at that time ruled Northumbria. These raids may have been connected with this alliance.
  4. Fodresach is Fetteresso near Stonehaven. This was in 954. [U954.2]

Indulf 954-962
Indulfus tenuit regnum viii. annis. In hujus tempore oppidum Eden vacuatum est, ac relictum est Scottis usque in hodiernum diem. Classis Somarlidiorum occisi sunt in Buchain. Indulf 1 held the throne for 8 years. In his time Edinburgh was evacuated, and abandoned to the Scots right up to the present day. A Viking fleet was destroyed off Buchan.
  1. son of Constantine son of Áed

Indulf was killed by Vikings at Invercullen in 962. [CS962] (called Illulbh)


Dubh 962-966
Niger filius Maelcolaim regnavit v. annis. Fothach episcopus pausavit. Bellum inter Nigerum et Caniculum super Dorsum Crup, in quo Niger habuit victoriam: ubi cecidit Duchaid abbas Duncalden et Dubdon satrapas Athochlach. Expulsus est Niger de regno, et tenuit Caniculus brevi tempore. Domnal filius Cairill mortuus est. Niger 1 the son of Malcolm ruled for 5 years. Bishop Fothach 2 was laid to rest. There was a battle between Niger and Caniculus 3 above Crup ridge 4, in which Niger had the victory: at which Duncan the abbot of Dunkeld and Dubdon the governor of Atholl both fell. Niger was driven from the throne, and Caniculus held it for a short time. Donald the son of Cairill died.
  1. i.e. Dubh or Duff, which is the Gaelic for black.
  2. Bishop of the Hebrides, died in 963
  3. "Small Dog", i.e. Cuilén, his successor
  4. at Duncrub in Perthshire. This battle took place in 965 [U965.4]

Dubh was killed at Forres on 20th July 966, when there was a solar eclipse. [U967.1]


Cuilén 966-971
Culen(ring) v. annis regnavit. Marcan filius Breodalaig occisus est in ecclesia Sancti Michaelis. Leot et Sluagadach exierunt ad Romam. Maelbrigde episcopus pausavit. Cellach filius Ferdalaig regnavit. Maelbrigde filius Dubican obiit. Culen et frater ejus Eochodius occisi sunt a Britonibus. Cuilén1 ruled for 5 years. Marcan the son of Breodalaig was killed in the Church of Saint Michael. Leot and Sluagadach left for Rome. Bishop Máel Brigte 2 rested. Cellach the son of Ferdalaig ruled 3. Máel Brigte the son of Dubican died. Cuilén and his brother Eochaid were killed by the Britons4.
  1. son of Indulf
  2. Bishop of St. Andrews
  3. i.e. succeeded him as bishop. This was in 970.
  4. Apparently Cuilén had carried off the daughter of a British noble named Rhydderch, and was killed by them in revenge. This was in 971. [U971.1]

Kenneth II 971-995
Cinadius filius Maelcolaim regnavit      annis. Statim praedavit Britanniam ex parte. Pedestres Cinadi occisi sunt maxima caede in Moin Vacornar. Scotti praedaverunt Saxoniam ad Stanmoir, et ad Cluiam, et ad Stangna Deranni. Cinadius autem vallavit ripas vadorum Forthin. Post annum perrexit Cinadius, et praedavit Saxoniam, et traduxit filium regis Saxonum. Hic est qui tribuit magnam civitatem Brechne Domino. Kenneth the son of Malcolm ruled for     1 years. He regularly raided Britain2 in part. Kenneth's infantry were killed with the greatest of carnage at Moin Vacornar. The Scots plundered Saxonia as far as Stainmore, and Cluiam, and Stangna Dera'm 3. Kenneth however fortified the banks of the shallows at Forthin 4. After a year Kenneth went forth, and raided Saxonia, and brought back as a prisoner5 the son of the King of the Saxons. He it was who yielded up the great city of Brechin to the Lord.
  1. There is a gap in the manuscript, so that the chronicler could enter in the reign length when Kenneth died, but he never did. Kenneth in fact reigned for 24 years.
  2. Britain here means Strathclyde
  3. Derwentwater
  4. Possibly the crossings of the river Forth
  5. Or perhaps received as an hostage during Kenneth's visit to Edgar, King of Wessex, in 973, when he was said to have been one of 8 kings who rowed Edgar across the Dee at Chester.

In 995 Kenneth was lured to a house in Fettercairn by Finella (daughter of Cunthar, mormaer of Angus) and there killed in fantastic fashion, in revenge for the death of her son. [U995.1]