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[history, celtic]
[ dahl-ree-ahda ]

There are two Dalriadas: that of northwest Ireland, and that of western Scotland.

Dalridia is the Gaelic kingdom that, at least from the 5th century AD, extended on both sides of the North Channel and composed the northern part of the present County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and part of the Inner Hebrides and Argyll, in Scotland.

In earlier times, Argyll had received extensive immigration from the Irish of Northern Ireland (known as "Scoti"), and had become an Irish (i.e., "Scottish") area. In the latter half of the 5th century, the ruling family of Irish Dalriada crossed into Scottish Dalriada and made Dunadd and Dunolly its chief strongholds. Irish Dalriada gradually declined; and after the Viking invasions early in the 9th century, it lost all political identity.

The political history of the Dalriada in Britain is traced from the time of Fergus Mor (d. 501), who moved the seat of the royal dynasty of Dalriada
from Ireland to northern Britain. Scottish Dalriada was confined to the western coast of modern Scotland, including Arran, Jura, Islay, Mull, and
numerous other smaller islands, with its seat at Dunadd in Argyll. From 574 to 606/8, Dalriada was ruled by one of its most dynamic and successful kings,
Aedan mac Gabran.

Despite heavy onslaughts from the Picts, the Dalriada of the Scottish mainland continued to expand. In the mid-9th century its king Kenneth I MacAlpin brought the Picts permanently under Dalriadic rule, and thereafter the whole country was known as Scotland.

Knowledge of the early Scottish kings, until Malcolm II, is primarily legendary.

Kenneth 1

Also called KENNETH MACALPIN (d. c. 858, Forteviot, Scot.).

MacAlpin was considered the first king of the united Scots of Dalriada and the Picts, and so of Scotland north of a line between the Forth and Clyde rivers. Ancient Gaelic-speaking people of northern Ireland who settled in Scotland sometime in the 5th century AD. Originally (until the 10th
century) "Scotia" denoted Ireland, and the inhabitants of Scotia were Scotti.

The area of Argyll and Bute, where the migrant Scots settled, became known as the kingdom of Dalriada, the counterpart to Dalriada in Ireland.

St. Columba inaugurated Christianity among them and helped raise Aidan to the kingship of Scottish Dalriada in 574. The Scots then expanded eastward into what came to be known as the Forest of Atholl and Strath Earn (valley of the River Earn) and northward into the area of Elgin. The union of the lands of modern Scotland began in 843, when Kenneth I MacAlpin, king of the Scots (Dalriada), became also king of the Picts and, within a few years, joined "Pict-land" to "Scot-land" to form the kingdom of Alba.

By 1034, by inheritance and warfare, the Scots had secured hegemony over not only Alba but also Lothian, Cumbria, and Strathclyde--roughly the
territory of modern mainland Scotland. In 1305 the kingdom was divided into Scotland, Lothian, and Galloway; in the 14th century Scotland came
to be the name for the whole land, and all its inhabitants were called Scots, whatever their origin.

Little is known about his father Alpin, though tradition credits him with a victory over the Picts who killed him three months later, displaying his
severed head at their camp. (c.834). Kenneth succeeded him in Dalriada and ruled in Pictavia also, ruling for 16 years. This period is obscure but
the gradual union of the two kingdoms from 843 is no doubt due to much intermarriage. By the Pictish marriage custom, inheritance passed
through the female. Nevertheless, Kenneth probably made some conquests among the eastern Picts and possibly invaded Lothian and burned
Dunbar and Melrose. After attacks on Iona by Vikings he removed relics of St. Columba, probably in 849 or 850, to Dunkeld, which became the
headquarters of the Scottish Columban church. He died at Forteviot, not far from Scone in Pictish territory, and was buried on the island of Iona.


Artúr mac Aedan of Dalriada