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  #121  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:11 PM
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The Marriage of Richard De Clare & Aoife

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:19 PM
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One of my favourite paintings
Painted by Daniel Maclise in 1854 & it now hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.
(I have a copy at home)
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:41 PM
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A wonderful painting.... Daniel Maclise captured the feel of that day. I collect historic art myself. How are you my friend? I moved up north that is why I have not been around. I am done with unpacking and very happy to be here. Blessings to you....
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ancient Princess View Post
A wonderful painting.... Daniel Maclise captured the feel of that day. I collect historic art myself. How are you my friend? I moved up north that is why I have not been around. I am done with unpacking and very happy to be here. Blessings to you....
He did indeed Ancient Princess.

Its not exactly a happy Wedding painting (if you look closely)

Before the wedding Strongbow & his army sacked Waterford & massacred some of its Gaelic-Norse Population.The Princess of Leinster looks rather sad,she stands infront of her father,King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster.The church is in ruins & smouldering (representing the sack of Waterford).In the foreground there are heaped bodies of the defeated Irish soldiers, as well as the harp (the symbol of Ireland) with its broken strings.Look closely at Strongbow,his foot is crushing a toppled Celtic cross.

Simply a Masterpiece.

I'm very well your grace,thank you for posting my favourite painting.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:38 PM
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Has the artist put the dead and defeated of Waterford in the foreground of the picture? Some of the wedding attendants seem distracted by them. The painting, which was done in the 1850's, evidences a lot of Irish nationalism - which is strongly on the rise today.
Indeed he did,the painting is full of symbolism,see my post below.

Royalty of Scotland and Ireland
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:24 PM
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Ireland's Helen of Troy- Derbforgaill/Dervalla Queen of Bréifne

Derbforgaill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Mor O'Toole ,Queen of Leinster (wife of Diarmait Mac Murchada,mother of Aoife & sister of St.Lawrence O'Toole)

Mor Ui Thuathail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:58 PM
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The Annals of Ulster...All one has to do is read...

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:00 PM
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Annals of the Four Masters...

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:08 PM
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Annals of Clonmacnoise...

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:17 PM
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The Song of King Dermot and the Earl /Chanson du Roi Dermot et du comte

Written in the early 13th century. It tells of the arrival of Strongbow in Ireland in 1170 (the "earl" in the title), and of the subsequent arrival of Henry II of England.

"Of Hugh de Lacy I shall tell you
How he enfeoffed his barons,
Knights, serjeants and retainers.
Castkeknock, in the first place, he gave
To Hugh Tyrell, whom he loved so much;
And Castle Brack according to the writing,
To baron William le Petit,
Magherdernon likewise
And the land of Rathkenny,
The cantred of Ardnorcher then
To Meiller, who was of great worth,
Gave Hugh de Lacy-
To the good Meiler Fitz Henry;
To Gilbert de Nangle, moreover
He gave the whole of Morgallion;
To Jocelin he gave the Naven,
And the lands of Ardbrackan,
(The one was son the other father,
According to the statement of the mother)
To Richard de Tuite likewise
He gave rich fief;
Rathwire he gave moreover
To the baron Robert de Lacy.
To Richard de la Chapell
He gave good and fine land,
To Geoffrey de Constantine Kilbixi
Near to Rathconarty;
And Skryne he gave by charter;
To Adam de Feypo he gave it;
To Gilbert de Nugent,
And likewise to William de Musset,
He gave lands and honours,
In the presence of barons and vavasours."
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:16 AM
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Tara land of the High Kings

TARA

Tara, which attained the climax of its fame under Cormac, is said to have been rounded by the Firbolgs, and been the seat of kings thenceforth. Ollam Fodla first gave it historic fame by founding the Feis or Triennial Parliament, there, seven or eight centuries before Christ. It is said it was under, or after, Eremon, the first Milesian high king that it, one of the three pleasantest hills in Ireland, came to be named Tara - a corruption of the genitive form of the compound word, Tea Mur - meaning "the burial place of Tea" the wife of Eremon, and daughter of a king of Jerusalem. Tara must have been impressive. The great, beautiful hill was dotted with seven duns, and in every dun were many buildings - all of them, of course, of wood, in those days - or of wood and metal. The greatest structure was the Mi Cuarta, the great banqueting hall, which was on the Ard Righ’s own dun. Each of the provincial kings had, on Tara, a house that was set aside for him when he came up to attend the great Parliament. There was a Grianan (sun house) for the provincial queens, and their attendants. The great Feis was held at Samain (Hallowday). It lasted for three days before Samain and three days after. But the Aonach or great fair, the assembly of the people in general, which was a most important accompaniment of the Feis, seems to have begun much earlier. At this Feis the ancient laws were recited and confirmed, new laws were enacted, disputes were settled, grievances adjusted, wrongs righted. And in accordance with the usual form at all such assemblies, the ancient history of the land was recited, probably by the high king’s seanachie, who had the many other critical seanachies attending to his every word, and who, accordingly, dare not seriously distort or prevaricate. This highly efficient method of recording and transmitting the country’s history, in verse, too, which was practised for a thousand years before the introduction of writing, and the introduction of Christianity and which continued to be practised for long centuries after these events was a highly practical method, which effectively preserved for us the large facts of our country’s history throughout a thousand of the years of dim antiquity when the history of most other countries is a dreary blank.

As from the great heart and centre of the Irish Kingdom, five great arteries or roads radiated from Tara to the various parts of the country the Slighe Cualann, which ran toward the present County Wicklow, the Slighe Mor, the great Western road, which ran via Dublin to Galway, the Slight Asail which ran near the present Mullingar, the Slighe Dala which ran southwest, and the Slighe Midluachra, the Northern road. "Great, noble and beautiful truly was our Tara of the Kings."


FIONN AND THE FIAN

It is only recently that we have realised the all important part played by legendary lore in forming and stamping a nation’s character. A people’s character and a people’s heritage of tradition act and react upon each other, down the ages, the outstanding qualities of both getting ever more and more alike - so long as their racial traditions are cherished as an intimate part of their life. Of all the great bodies of ancient Irish Legendary lore, none other, with the possible exception of the Red Branch cycle, has had such developing, uplifting, and educational effect upon the Irish people, through the ages, as the wonderful body of Fenian tales in both prose and verse, rich in quality and rich in quantity. Fionn MacCumail, leader of the Fian (Fenians), in the time of Cormac MacArt, is the great central figure of these tales. The man Fionn lived and died in the third century of the Christian Era. It was in the reign of Conn, at the very end of the second century, that was founded the Fian - a great standing army of picked and specially trained, daring warriors, whose duty was to carry out the mandates of the high king - "To uphold justice and put down injustice, on the part of the kings and lords of Ireland - and to guard the harbors from foreign invaders". From this latter we might conjecture that an expected Roman invasion first called the Fian into existence. They prevented robberies, exacted fines and tributes, put down public enemies and every kind of evil that might afflict the country. Moreover they moved about from place to place all over the island. Fionn, being a chieftain himself in his own right, had a residence on the hill of Allen in Kildare. The Fianna (bodies of the Fian) recruited at Tara, Uisnech and Taillte fairs. The greatest discrimination was used in choosing the eligible ones from amongst the candidate throng - which throng included in plenty sons of chieftains and princes. Many and hard were the tests for him who sought to be one of this noble body. One of the first tests was literary for no candidate was possible who had not mastered the twelve books of poetry. So skilful must he be in wood running, and so agile, that in the flight no single braid of his hair is losed by a hanging branch. His step must be so light that underfoot he breaks no withered branch. In facing the greatest odds the weapon must not shake in his hand . When a candidate had passed these tests and was approved as fit for his heroic band, there were also vows to be taken as the final condition of his admission. There were three cathas (battalions) of the Fian - three thousand in each catha. This was in time of peace. In time of war the quota was seven cathas. Although the Fianna were supposed to uphold the power of the Ard Righ, their oath of fealty was not to him, but to their own chief, Fionn. The best stories of the Fian are preserved to us in the poems of Oisin, the son of Fionn, the chief bard of the fian, in the Agallamh na Seanorach (Colloquy of the Ancients) of olden time. This is by far the finest collection of Fenian tales, and is supposed to be an account of the Fian’s great doings, given in to Patrick by Oisin and Caoilte, another of Fionn’s trusted lieutenants, more than 150 years after. After the overthrow of the Fian, in the battle of Gabra in the year 280 A.D.,Caoilte is supposed to have lived with the Tuatha de Dannann, under the hills - until the coming of St. Patrick. Oisin had been carried away to the Land of mortal existence, and to Ireland, when Patrick is in the land, winning it from Crom Cruach to Christ.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:59 PM
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The Great O'Brians of Ireland

The O'Brien dynasty (Irish: Uí Briain or Ua Briain; Modern: Ó Briain) are a royal and noble house founded in the 10th century by Brian Boru of the Dál gCais or Dalcassians. After becoming King of Munster, through conquest he established himself as High King of Ireland. Brian's descendants thus carried the name O'Brien, continuing to rule the Kingdom of Munster until the 12th century where their territory had shrunk to the Kingdom of Thomond which they would hold for just under five centuries.
In total, four O'Briens ruled in Munster, and two held the High Kingship of Ireland (with opposition). After the partition of Munster into Thomond and the MacCarthy Kingdom of Desmond by Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair in the 12th century, the dynasty would go on to provide around thirty monarchs of Thomond until 1542. During part of this period in the late 13th century they had a rivalry with the Norman de Clare house, disputing the throne of Thomond. The last O'Brien to reign in Thomond was Murrough O'Brien who surrendered his sovereignty to the new Kingdom of Ireland under Henry VIII of the House of Tudor, becoming instead Earl of Thomond and maintaining a role in governance. Today the head carries the title of Prince of Thomond, and depending on succession sometimes also Baron Inchiquin.
Throughout the time that the O'Briens ruled in medieval Ireland, the system of tanistry was used to decide succession, rather than primogeniture used by much of feudal Europe. The system in effect was a dynastic monarchy but family-elected and aristocratic, in the sense that the royal family chose the most suitable male candidate from close paternal relations—roydammna (those of kingly material) rather than the crown automatically passing to the eldest son. This sometimes led to bitter quarrels and in-family warring. Since 1542, the head of the O'Brien house adopted primogeniture to decide succession of noble titles instead.




It was during this century that the race annexed to Munster the area today known as Clare and made it their home. Taken from the weakened Uí Fiachrach Aidhne it had previously been part of Connacht but was renamed Thomond (Tuamhain, meaning North Munster). After gaining influence over other tribes in the area such as the Corcu Mruad and Corcu Baiscinn, the Dalcassians were able to crown Cennétig mac Lorcáin as King of Thomond, he died in 951.[4] His son Mathgamain mac Cennétig was to expand their territory further according to the Annals of Ulster; capturing the Rock of Cashel capital of the Eoghanachta, the Dalcassians became Kings of Cashel and Munster over their previous overlords for the first time in history.[2]
Mathgamain along with his younger brother Brian Boru began military campaigns such as the Battle of Sulcoit, against the Norse Vikings of the settlement Limerick, ruled by Ivar.


Tadc mac Briain, assassinated by Donnchad in 1023Earls of ThomondEarls of InchiquinMarquesses of ThomondEarly Barons InchiquinViscounts ClareO'Brien's of Aran
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:46 PM
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The Great O'Neill of Ireland

Early life

O'Neill came from a line of the O'Neill dynasty - derbfine - authorities recognized as the legitimate successors to the chieftainship of the O'Neills and to the title of Earl of Tyrone. He was the second son of Matthew, reputed illegitimate son of Conn, 1st Earl of Tyrone. Shane O'Neill (Seán an Díomais) a much younger son of Conn opportunistically pushed the issue of Matthew's illegitimacy even though it made little or no difference in terms of the Irish legal system. Once Matthew was accepted by Conn as his son, he was as entitled to the O'Neill lordship as Shane.In the ensuing conflict for the succession Matthew (also known in Irish as Fear Dorcha or "Dark Man"), was killed by followers of Shane and Conn fled his territory placing Hugh in a very precarious situation. His main support came from the English administration in Dublin, which was anxious to reduce the independent power of the Gaelic clans and to bring them within the English system by the policy of surrender and regrant.
O'Neill succeeded his brother, Brian, as baron of Dungannon, when the latter was murdered by Shane O'Neill in 1562. He was brought up in the Pale, by the Hoveneden family, not in England as has been erroneously claimed in various histories, but after the death of Shane he returned to Ulster in 1567 under the protection of Sir Henry Sidney, lord deputy of Ireland. In Tyrone, Hugh's cousin, Turlough Luineach O'Neill had succeeded Shane O'Neill as The O'Neill, or chieftain, but was not recognized by the English as the legitimate Earl of Tyrone. The crown therefore supported Hugh O'Neill as the rightful claimant and as an ally in Gaelic controlled Ulster. During the Second Desmond Rebellion in Munster, he fought in 1580 with the English forces against Gerald Fitzgerald, 15th Earl of Desmond, and assisted Sir John Perrot against the Scots of Ulster in 1584. In the following year he was summonsed to attend Parliament in Dublin as Earl of Tyrone and, in 1587 after a visit to the Court in England, he was awarded a patent to the lands of his grandfather, the first earl, Conn O'Neill. His constant disputes with Turlough were fomented by the English with a view to weakening the power of the O'Neills, but with the growing power of Hugh, the two came to some agreement and Turlough abdicated in 1595. Hugh was subsequently inaugurated as The O'Neill at Tullahogue in the style of the former Gaelic kings, and became the most powerful lord in Ulster.

Nine Years War (Ireland)
O'Neill followed Shane's policy of arming the people, rather than rely mostly upon mercenary soldiers, such as redshanks and bonnaught. This policy allowed him to field an impressive force, with cavilers and gunpowder supplied from Spain and Scotland, and in 1595 he gave the crown authorities a shock by ambushing and routing a small English army at the Battle of Clontibret. He and other clan chiefs then offered the crown of Ireland to Philip II of Spain who refused it.
In spite of the traditional enmity between his people and the O'Donnells, O'Neill allied himself with Hugh Roe O'Donnell, son of Shane's former ally and enemy Hugh O'Donnell, and the two chieftains opened communications with King Philip II of Spain. In some of their letters to the king - intercepted by the lord deputy, Sir William Russell - they were shown to have promoted themselves as champions of the Roman Catholic Church, claiming liberty of conscience as well as political liberty for the native inhabitants of Ireland.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:01 PM
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Dunadda Fort where Ard Righ Pictish Kings reigned from in Scotland....

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Old 09-08-2011, 08:45 PM
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The Great O'Tooles of Ireland



The O'Tooles of Leinster, one of the leading families of that province, are descended from Tuathal mac Augaire, King of Leinster (d. 958), who belonged to the Uí Dúnlainge dynasty. The name is an anglicization of the Irish O'Tuathail.
Their original territory comprised the southern part of the present County Kildare but they were driven from it during the Anglo Norman invasion and settled in the mountains of what is now County Wicklow around Glendalough.
Here, with their kinsmen the O'Byrne family, they were noted for their resistance to English domination for four centuries.
At the start of the sixteenth century there were five great houses, all, owing allegiance to "The O'Toole of Powerscourt" as the recognized chief:[1]
  • O'Toole of Castle Ruddery, residing in Glen Imaile.
  • O'Toole of O'Toole's Castle, Ballymacledy, (now Talbotstown), Glen Imaile.
  • O'Toole of Carnew Castle.
  • Art Oge O'Toole of Castle Kevin, Fertie.
  • Tirlogh O'Toole of Powerscourt, Feracualan.
  • O'Toole of Omey, Iar Connaught, with other minor houses of the family such as OToole of Ballineddan and Brittas, in the Glen Imaile; O'Toole of Toolestown, near Dunlavin; O'Toole of Glengap, or Glen of the Downs (as it is now called); and a few others.
At the start of the sixteenth century, the leading branches of the clan were to a certain extent independent of each other; they were all bound to protect themselves; but in external matters affecting the whole clan they were bound to obey the head of the sept.[2]
Throughout their history the family were famous as soldiers, from fighting the English in the glens of Wicklow to serving in the armies of other European countries in the 18th century.
A branch of the O'Tooles are also settled in counties Galway and Mayo.



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Old 09-08-2011, 09:15 PM
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Sacred Isle of Iona

Iona (Scottish Gaelic: Ì Chaluim Chille) is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination. Its modern Gaelic name means "Iona of (Saint) Columba" (formerly anglicised "Icolmkill").

Etymology

The Hebrides have been occupied by the speakers of several languages since the Iron Age, and as a result many of the names of these islands have more than one possible meaning.Nonetheless few, if any, can have accumulated so many different names over the centuries as the island now known in English as "Iona".
The earliest forms of the name enabled place-name scholar William J. Watson to show that the name originally meant something like "yew-place".The element Ivo-, denoting "yew", occurs in Ogham inscriptions (Iva-cattos [genitive], Iva-geni [genitive]) and in Gaulish names (Ivo-rix, Ivo-magus) and may form the basis of early Gaelic names like Eogan (ogham: Ivo-genos).It is possible that the name is related to the mythological figure, Fer hÍ mac Eogabail, foster-son of Manannan, the forename meaning "man of the yew".
Mac an Tàilleir (2003) lists the more recent Gaelic names of Ì,Ì Chaluim Chille and Eilean Idhe noting that the first named is "generally lengthened to avoid confusion" to the second, which means "Calum's (i.e. in latinised form "Columba's") Iona" or "island of Calum's monastery".The possible confusion results from "ì", despite its original etymology, becoming a Gaelic noun (now obsolete) meaning simply "island".Eilean Idhe means "the isle of Iona", also known as Ì nam ban bòidheach ("the isle of beautiful women"). The modern English name comes from an 18th century misreading of yet another variant, Ioua,which was either just Adomnán's attempt to make the Gaelic name fit Latin grammar or else a genuine derivative from Ivova ("yew place").Ioua's change to Iona results from a transcription mistake resulting from the similarity of "n" and "u" in Insular Minuscule.
Despite the continuity of forms in Gaelic between the pre-Norse and post-Norse eras, Haswell-Smith (2004) speculates that the name may have a Norse connection, Hiōe meaning "island of the den of the brown bear", "island of the den of the fox", or just "island of the cave".The medieval English language version was "Icolmkill" (and variants thereof).
Table of earliest forms (incomplete)FormSourceLanguageNotesIoua insulaAdomnán's Vita Columbae (c. 700)LatinAdomnán calls Eigg Egea insula and Skye Scia insulaHii, HyBede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis AnglorumLatinEoa, Iae, Ie,
I Cholaim ChilleAnnals of UlsterIrish, LatinU563 Nauigatio Coluim Chille ad Insolam Iae
"The journey of St Columba to Í"
U716 Pascha comotatur in Eoa ciuitate
"The date of Easter is changed in the monastery of Í") U717 Expulsio familie Ie
"The expulsion of the community of Í"
U778 Niall...a nn-I Cholaim Chille
"Niall... in Í Cholaim Chille"Hi, EuLebor na hUidreIrishHi con ilur a mmartra
"Hi with the multitude of its relics"
in tan conucaib a chill hi tosuċ .i. Eu
"the time he raised his church first i.e. Eu"EoWalafrid Strabo (c. 831)LatinInsula Pictorum quaedam monstratur in oris fluctivago suspensa salo, cognominis Eo
"On the coasts of the Picts is pointed out an isle poised in the rolling sea, whose name is Eo"Euea insulaLife of St Cathróe of MetzLatin
Folk etymology

Murray (1966) claims that the "ancient" Gaelic name was Innis nan Druinich (the isle of Druidic hermits") and repeats a Gaelic story (which he admits is apocryphal) that as Columba's coracle first drew close to the island one of his companions cried out "Chì mi i" meaning "I see her" and that Columba's response was "Henceforth we shall call her Ì".

Ancient Stones of Iona - YouTube

On the Sacred Isle of Iona stands the church of St Columba. Next to the Church is the Ancient Royal Burial Ground of Kings of some Ard Righ Kings of Ireland, Ard Righ Kings of Pictland, Norweigen Kings and King Alpin and his two sons King Kenneth I of Alpin and King Donald I of Alpin and their descendents of Kenneths line going to MacBeth and from Donalds line which includes some of my ancestors named MacKinnon.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:25 PM
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The Kirkyard on Isle of Iona Reilig Oghrain...

The ancient burial ground, called the Rèilig Odhrain (Eng: Oran's "burial place" or "cemetery"), contains the 12th century chapel of St Odhrán (said to be Columba's uncle), restored at the same time as the Abbey itself. It contains a number of medieval grave monuments. The abbey graveyard contains the graves of many early Pictish & Scottish Kings and their direct ancestors, as well as kings from Ireland, Norway. Iona became the burial site for the kings of Dál Riata or Dalraida Pictland and their successors. Notable burials there include:In 1549 an inventory of 48 Scottish, 8 Norwegian and 4 Irish kings was recorded. Saint Baithin and Saint Failbhe may also be buried on the island. The Abbey graveyard is also the final resting place of John Smith, the former Labour Party leader, who loved Iona. His grave is marked with an epitaph quoting Alexander Pope: "An honest man's the noblest work of God".
Other early Christian and medieval monuments have been removed for preservation to the cloister arcade of the Abbey, and the Abbey museum (in the medieval infirmary). The ancient buildings of Iona Abbey are now cared for by Historic Scotland .
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:20 PM
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Oxford History of Scotland early Pictish Kings into the end of the House of Alpin

Skara Brae: c.2500 BC

In the extreme north of Scotland, in the Orkneys, a small neolithic community builds a village in about 2500 BC on a site already occupied for many generations. There is no wood on the island, so the walls of the one-room dwellings are of stone. So is the built-in furniture. There are stone beds and shelves and recessed cupboards, with a hearth in each hut. Low covered passages lead from one dwelling to another. Earth is piled up around to give shelter from the wind. There is even a drain from each of the seven or eight houses, leading to a common sewer.

A sudden disaster of some kind causes Skara Brae to be abandoned. Rapidly covered by sand, it is preserved intact until unearthed in 1850.

Pre-Roman Scotland: to the 1st century AD

In the neolithic period Scotland shares with the Atlantic coast of Europe the tradition of massive stone architecture, of which Skara Brae is a rare domestic example. The isle of Lewis provides a magnificent example of standing stones at Callanish, where the stone circle is in use as a temple of some kind well into the bronze age (until about 1200 BC).


Like the rest of the Scotlands Isles, the region is subject to successive waves of immigrants from the continent of Europe. The most significant are the Beaker people and the Celts. The first written accounts of Scotland are by the Romans after their invasion. They list several tribes, of which the Caledonii are the most important.

Picts and Scots: 3rd - 9th century AD

With the frontier of the Roman empire established along the line of Hadrian's Wall, the tribes to the north are free to engage in their own power struggles largely undisturbed by Roman interference.

Gradually a new tribal group establishes a dominant position. They are the Picts, first mentioned in a Roman document of the 3rd century as the Picti. This may be a version of their own name for themselves, or it may mean that they tattoo their bodies (picti, Latin for 'painted people'). Theirs seems not to have been an Indo-European language, so they may have been indigenous people asserting themselves over the Celtic intruders.

The Picts, in their turn, are subdued by Celts - not from within Scotland but from overseas. In the 5th century a Celtic tribe from northern Ireland begins to settle on the west coast of Scotland. They are the Scots. (The original Scots are northern Irish) and are considered the Ard Righ Kings of Dalraida.

The Scots establish a kingdom, by the name of Dalriada, on both sides of the water. By the 9th century Dalriada in Ireland has succumbed to raids by Vikings. But from within Dalriada in Scotland there emerges the first Scottish dynasty of Alpin. The kings of this line establish themselves, over two centuries, against constant Viking pressure from all sides.

The Vikings and the Scottish Isles: 9th - 10th century AD

The coasts of the Scottish isles are now dotted with monasteries, not yet rich by the standards of medieval monasticism but with sufficient wealth to attract Viking marauders. One of the most famous islands, Iona, is raided three times in a decade (in 795, 802 and 805). Even monasteries which seem secure, pleasantly sited on inland rivers, fall victim to Viking longships rowing upstream. But gradually, during the 9th century, the raiders settle.

Soon all the Scottish islands and the Isle of Man are in Viking hands, and the intruders are even seizing territory on the mainland of both Britain and Ireland. In 838 Norwegians capture Dublin and establish a Norse kingdom in Ireland.

At this time the territory securely in the hands of the Scots and Picts extends only from the great rift of Loch Ness down to the firths of Clyde and Forth. North of this central region, the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetlands, together with much of the mainland, are in the hands of Vikings from Norway. In the southwest the border region of Strathclyde is often under threat from the Norwegian Vikings of Dublin. In the southeast Lothian is another border region of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria whose capital city is York.

But at least by now, in the mid-9th century, there is a recognizable Scottish kingdom.

The Alpin dynasty: AD 843-1057

The love of early historians for precise turning points has caused the year 843 to be selected as the starting date of the Scottish kingdom. It is said to be the year in which Kenneth Alpin, already king of the Scots (since 840), is accepted also as king of the Picts and his only brother becomes King after Kenneths death. In reality the merging of the two kingdoms seems to have been a gradual process throughout the 9th century.

The significant fact is that Kenneth's male descendants provide kings in Scotland for the period until Macbeths death; and during the early part of that period a separate Pictish kingdom fades from view. The name of Kenneth's father is said to be Alpin. So he and his descendants are known as Alpin. Alpins sons were Kenneth and Donald that served as Kings.

An indication of the conscious merging of the Picts and Scots under one rule is the use of Scone as the royal site of the Alpin dynasty. Situated in the east of Scotland (by contrast with the western base of the Scots in Dalriada), it has been strongly associated with the Pictish kings. Tradition maintains that as a gesture of unified rule Kenneth of Alpin brings to Scone the sacred coronation stone, known now as the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny.

The Alpin kings win no territory from the Vikings on their northern borders. But they do significantly extend the boundaries of Scotland in the south.

During the Alpin dynasty the border regions of Strathclyde and Lothian are firmly established as Scottish.

Duncan and Macbeth: AD 1034-1057

The death of Malcolm II in 1034 causes a succession crisis in the Alpin dynasty and a civil war in Scotland. He has only a daughter, Bethoc, whose son Duncan succeeds to the throne. But Duncan is challenged by Macbeth, also descended in the female line from the royal family.

Contrary to Shakespeare's version of the story, Duncan is a young man - probably younger than Macbeth - and Macbeth may have an equally good claim to the throne (there is no precedent in the dynasty for inheritance through a female line). Nor does Macbeth murder Duncan in his bed; he kills him in battle near Elgin in 1040.

Macbeth reigns seventeen years as the king of Scotland (or king of Scots, in the more authentic phrase), and on the whole he rules well. Indeed the kingdom is calm enough for him to go on pilgrimage in 1050 to Rome, where he is said to have demonstrated his status by 'scattering money like seed'.

Duncan's son, Malcolm, eventually rises against Macbeth and kills him, in a battle at Lumphanan in 1057. Both men are members of the Alpin dynasty, and the fact that Macbeth is buried in the holy island of Iona suggests that his contemporaries do not consider him a usurper. Macbeth is immediately succeeded by his stepson, Lulach.

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Old 09-10-2011, 11:36 AM
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What a great reference this thread has become, Ancient Princess. I feel like I need a quiz or something to make some things stick in my mind (was it tanistry that was the earlier system? I need to go back and check - need to know the word for that).
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:27 PM
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To Dear Princess Kaimi about Tanistry and what the future change may bring...

Tanistry was a Gaelic system for passing on titles and lands. In this system the Tanist (Irish Tánaiste; Scottish Gaelic Tànaiste; Manx Tanishtagh) was the office of heir-apparent, or second-in-command, among the (royal) Gaelic patrilineal dynasties of Ireland, Scotland and Man, to succeed to the chieftainship or to the kingship, However; there are rules that are being looked at that may change the old rules of Tanistry in the United Kingdom. There is also differant rules on being a descendent of a Royal line that is currently being used in the efforts to have my mother recognized as the legitimate Heir of Kilmorie Mishnish McKinnon line. I bid you a grand day my friend.
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