Constantine I of Scotland

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Causantín mac Cináeda (died 877) was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín. Although tradition makes Causantín a king of Scots, it is clear from the entries in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and the Annals of Ulster, that he was king of the Picts. He became king in 862 on the death of his uncle Domnall mac Ailpín.

In 866, the Chronicle states that Pictland — the Annals of Ulster say Fortriu — was ravaged by Vikings led by Amlaíb Conung. The Chronicle claims that Amlaíb was killed by Causantín that year, but this is either incorrectly dated, or a different Amlaíb (Olaf) is intended as the Irish annals make it clear that Amlaíb Conung was alive long after 866. A date of 874 has been proposed for this event.

In 870, Amlaíb Conung and Ímar captured Alt Clut, chief place of the kingdom of Strathclyde. The king, Artgal of Alt Clut, was among the many captives. The Annals of Ulster say that Artgal was killed "at the instigation of Causantín mac Cináeda" in 872. Artgal's son Run was married to a sister of Causantín.

In 875, the Chronicle and the Annals of Ulster again report a Viking army in Pictland. A battle, fought near Dollar, was a heavy defeat for the Picts; the Annals of Ulster say that "a great slaughter of the Picts resulted". Although there is agreement that Causantín was killed fighting Vikings in 877, it is not clear where this happened. William Forbes Skene read the Chronicle as placing Causantín's death at Inverdovat (by Newport-on-Tay), which appears to match the Prophecy of Berchán. The account in the Chronicle of Melrose names the place as the "Black Cave" and John of Fordun calls it the "Black Den". Causantín was buried on Iona.

Causantín's son Domnall and his descendants represented the main line of the kings of Alba and later Scotland.

[edit] References

  • Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A.D 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8
  • A.A.M. Duncan,The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Smyth, Alfred P., Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80–1000. Edinburgh UP, Edinburgh, 1984. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7

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[edit] See also

Preceded by:
Domnall
King of the Picts
(traditionally King of Scots)

862–877
Succeeded by:
Áed
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