Monday, January 11, 2021

Kingdom of Alba (900 – 1286 AD)

Alba, the kingdom formed by the union of the Picts and Scots under Kenneth I MacAlpin in 843. Their territory, ranging from modern Argyll and Bute to Caithness, across much of southern and central Scotland, was one of the few areas in the British Isles to withstand the invasions of the Vikings.

As a result of settlement on the west coast of Alba by the Scoti, the area became known as Scotia Minor. This distinction remained until the Eleventh Century when there was a re-emergence of the name Eire. Alba claimed the name Scotia; Land of the Scoti, to itself.

MacAlpin came to power after a desperate battle against the Vikings in 839 that created a succession crisis. The King of Fortrui, Uen,his brother Bran, Áed mac Boanta and others were killed. MacAlpin promptly killed three other rivals to start his reign in 843, and a fourth in 848.

MacAlpin’s legacy was a royal dynasty that defined the Kingdom of Alba as a territorial precursor to modern Scotland. When his grandson Constantine II (see right) was crowned on the Stone of Destiny, he took the title “King of Alba”.

The Kingdom of Alba, a name which first appears in Constantine's lifetime, was situated in modern-day Scotland. Constantine's grandfather Kenneth I of Scotland (Cináed mac Ailpín) was the first of the family recorded as a king, but as king of the Picts. This change of title, from king of the Picts to king of Alba, is part of a broader transformation of Pictland and the origins of the Kingdom of Alba are traced to Constantine's lifetime. Constantine was succeeded by a cousin, Malcolm I.
Kingdom of Alba (900 – 1286 AD)

The most popular articles

Arts & Culture | Smithsonian