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1. O'Donnell Lecture, delivered at the Taylorian Building, Oxford, on Ascension Day, 1997. I am grateful to the O'Donnell Lecture Committee, and particularly to Professor Ellis Evans and Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards for their invitation to give this lecture.

2. The term Viking is used for the Scandinavians who appeared as raiders and settlers outside Scandinavia proper in the eighth, ninth and later centuries. Like most terms of this kind, it is unsatisfactory, but it has the merit of being well-known. From time to time, the additional qualification of Norwegian or Danish Vikings will be used. This is not to claim that the groups so denoted were ethnically homogeneous—few are likely to have been—but that the leadership and many of the followers originated broadly in the Norwegian and Danish parts of Scandinavia.

3. R. H. Michael Dolley, The Hiberno-Norse coins in the British Museum, Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles i (London 1966) 18-19.

4. P. H. Sawyer, `The Vikings and the Irish Sea', Donald Moore (ed), The Irish Sea province in archaeology and history (Cardiff 1970) 86-92: 89; N. K. Chadwick, `The Vikings and the Western World', Brian Ó Cuív (ed), Proceedings of the first international Viking congress (Dublin 1962) 13-42: 24-26.

5. Scotland: the making of the kingdom (Edinburgh 1975) 84.

6. J. H. Todd (ed. & tr.), Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, RS 48 (London 1867) 264-65 (hereafter Cogad); Alexander Bugge, Contributions to the history of the Norsemen in Ireland I-III, Videnskabsselskabets Skrifter, hist-fil Kl. 4-6 (Christiania [Oslo] 1900), i 13-15; A. O. Anderson, Early sources of Scottish history: AD 500-1286 (2 vols, Edinburgh 1922), i 305-12; Peter Hunter Blair, `Olaf the White and the Three Fragments of Irish Annals', Viking 3 (1939) 1-35.

7. F §239. The following sigla are used for the Irish annals: C= Denis Murphy (ed), The annals of Clonmacnoise (Dublin 1896); F=Joan N. Radner (ed. & tr.), Fragmentary annals of Ireland (Dublin 1978); I=Seán Mac Airt (ed. & tr.), The annals of Inisfallen (Dublin 1951); L=W. M. Hennessy (ed. & tr.), The Annals of Loch Cé, RS 54 (2 vols, London 1871, rep. Dublin 1939); M=John O'Donovan (ed. & tr.), Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616 (7 vols, Dublin 1848-51); U=Seán Mac Airt & Gearóid Mac Niocaill (ed. & tr.), The annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131) (Dublin 1983); S=W. M. Hennessy (ed. & tr.), Chronicum Scottorum, RS 46 (London 1866, repr. Wiesbaden 1964). Dates are corrected where necessary but the uncorrected dates (and in the case of F, Radner's section number) are given in parentheses where appropriate.

8. Alfred P. Smyth, Scandinavian kings of the British Isles, 850-880 (Oxford 1977) 101-16, 103-04 (genealogical tables).

9. ibid. 101-02; Jacob Benediktsson (ed), Landnámabók, Íslenzk fornrit 1 (Reykjavík 1968) 136; Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (tr), The book of settlements: Landnámabók, University of Manitoba Icelandic Studies 1 (Winnipeg 1972) 51.

10. Nonetheless, some of the statements in Landnámabók are distant descendants of material in the Irish annals.

11. Jón Steffensen, `A fragment of Viking history', Saga-Book 18 (1970-73) 59-78.

12. Claus Krag, Ynglingatal og Yglingasaga: en studie i historiske kilder, Studia Humaniora 2 (Oslo 1991) 262-64.

13. P. H. Sawyer, `The background of Ynglingasaga', Steinar Supphellen (ed), Kongsmenn og krossmenn: Festskrift til Greth A. Blom (Trondheim 1992) 271-75.

14. Jacob Benediktsson (ed), Íslendingabók, Íslenzk fornrit 1 (Reykjavík 1968) 3-28: 27-28; Sawyer, loc. cit. 271.

15. Knut Helle, `The history of the early Viking age in Norway' (to appear).

16. U 837.9, 845.8, 847.4. There are no historically reliable references to these persons outside the Irish annals.

17. On the significance of erell `earl', see Carl Marstrander, Bidrag til det norske sprogs historie i Irland, Videnskapsselskapets Skrifter, hist-fil Kl. 5 (Christiania [Oslo] 1915) 77-78, 115; Donnchadh Ó Corráin, `The semantic development of Old Norse jarl in Old and Middle Irish', J. E. Knirk (ed), Proceedings of the tenth Viking congress, Larkollen, Norway, 1985, Universitets Oldsaksamlings Skrifter, ny rekke 9 (Oslo 1987) 287-93.

18. cf. U 847.4, 848.6 (number slain in battle); 1029.6, 1031.4, 1044.4 (numbers of other items).

19. A version of this occurs in Cogad (Book of Leinster text, p 230=§23): Tanic ar sain Amlaib mac ríg Lochlainne & longes lanmor leis .i. 'sin dechmad bliadain re n-éc Mael Sechnaill. cora gaib rigi Gall hErend & is leiss ra baded Conchobor mac Dondchada rigdomna Temrach `After that Amlaíb (Óláfr) son of the king of Lochlainn came and a great full fleet with him i.e. in the tenth year before the death of Máel Sechnaill and he took the kingship of the Foreigners of Ireland. & Conchobar mac Donnchada, rígdamna of Tara, was drowned by him'. The drowing of Conchobar is not directly connected with the arrival of Amlaíb: it took place in 864 (U 864.2).

20. Thomas Charles-Edwards, `Irish warfare before 1100', Thomas Bartlett & Keith Jeffrey, A military history of Ireland (Cambridge 1996) 26-51: 48.

21. Minor changes and corrections have been made to Radner's text.

22. Bruno Güterbock, `Aus irischen Handschriften in Turin und Rom', Z Vergleich Sprachforsch 33 (1895) 86-105: 92 n 2.

23. Robin Flower, `Irish high crosses', J Warburg Courtauld Inst 17 (1954) 87-97: 93.

24. Ludwig Traube, `O Roma nobilis', Abh K Bayer Akad Wiss, phil-hist Kl 19/2 (1892) 297-395; Gerard Murphy, `Scotti peregrini: the Irish on the continent in the time of Charles the Bald', Studies [Dublin] 17 (1928) 39-50, 229-44: 43-48.

25. David N. Dumville, Three men in a boat: scribe, language and culture in the church of Viking-age Europe (Cambridge 1997) 23-29; for the career of Sedulius see Edward G. Doyle, Sedulius Scottus, On Christian rulers and the Poems, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 17 (Binghamton NY 1983) 9-48.

26. Dumville, Three men in a boat, 34-36. If my identification of Lothlend/Laithlind below is correct the verse was probably written in Ireland since mainland Europe is unlikely to have suffered serious depredations from Viking raiders from the Northern and Western Isles. It is possible, however, that they raided Noirmoutier and other monasteries on the Atlantic coast of Francia (W. Vogel, Die Normannen und das frankische Reich bis zur Grundung der Normandie (799-911) (Heidelberg 1906) 61-65).

27. Whitley Stokes & John Strachan (ed. & tr.), Thesaurus palaeo-hibernicus (2 vols, Cambridge 1901-03; supplement by Whitley Stokes (Halle a.S 1910), repr. in two volumes (Dublin 1975), ii 290; R. Thurneysen, Old Irish reader, tr. D. A. Binchy & Osborn Bergin (Dublin 1949) 39.

28. M 868 (866), UIS 868, C 868 (866). F 868 (§366) has a lengthy saga narrative of the battle and the events leading up to it.

29. I take the text from the autograph copy of M in Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1220 (olim C iii 3) 327v11-12. There is another copy of this piece of text in the O'Clery MS, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 617 (olim 23 K 32), 203, lines 28-30, in which the second line reads: fíanlach grinn don Laichlinn luinn. O'Donovan was working from a defective MS. His hypermetrical dar in line 2 is to be omitted. He read fiallach grind dond dar laith linn luind and translated `a pleasant brown-haired host across the noble rapid stream'. The text is edited and translated by Kuno Meyer, `Altir. Laithlinn', Z Celt Philol 13 (1921) 146. The older reading Laithlind is to be preferred and the quatrain is probably contemporary or near-contemporary. I am grateful to Professor Francis John Byrne for pointing out to me this example which I had overlooked.

30. Heinrich Zimmer, `Keltische Beiträge III: Weitere nordgermanische Einflüsse in der ältesten Überlieferung der irischen Heldensage', Z Dtsch Alterthum 35 (1891) 1-176: 140.

31. Bugge, Contributions to the history of the Norsemen, i 1-9.

32. Haakon Shetelig (ed), Viking antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland (6 parts, Oslo 1940-54), i 55-57, v 13-79; Egon Wamers, `Some ecclesiastical and secular Insular metalwork found in Norwegian Viking graves', Peritia 2 (1983) 277-306; id. Insularer Metalschmuck in wikingerzeitlichen Gräbern Nordeuropas: Untersuchungen zur skandinavischen Westexpansion (Neumünster 1985); id. `Insular finds in Viking-age Norway' (to appear).

33. Carl Marstrander, `Lochlainn', Ériu 5 (1911) 250-51.

34. Marstrander, Bidrag, 56-57; see, however, ibid. 88, where he seems to show more confidence in his etymology.

35. Alf Sommerfelt, `The Norsemen in present day Donegal tradition', J Celt Stud 1/2 (1950) 232-38: 232.

36. David Greene, `The influence of Scandinavian on Irish', Bo Almqvist & David Greene (ed), Proceedings of the seventh Viking congress (Dublin 1975) 75-82: 76-77. Greene suggests that Lothlend `may be a more distant base, perhaps in Gaelic-speaking Man or Western Scotland' (ibid.). Todd, Zimmer (`Keltische Beiträge I: Germanen, germanische Lehnwörter und germanische Sagenelemente in der ältesten Überlieferung der irischen Heldensage', Z Dtsch Alterthum 32 (1888) 196-334: 205-06, 231-32; `Keltische Beiträge III', ibid. 35 (1891) 131), Bugge (loc. cit.) and Marstrander, `Lochlainn', 250) sought to derive the parallel placename Iruaith (used as a term for Norway in Irish literary texts no earlier than the eleventh century) from the gentilic Ho[hook]rðar `people from Hördarland', to the north of Rogaland. Marstrander, however, had later reservations about this since Iruaith cannot be derived from Old Norse Ho[hook]rðar Ho[hook]rðar by regular phonetic development (Bidrag, 56-58, but cf. ibid. 88) and it is decisively rejected by Proinisas Mac Cana (`The influence of the Vikings on Celtic literature', Brian Ó Cuív (ed), Proceedings of the international congress of Celtic Studies ˙ag Dublin ˙ag 1959 (Dublin 1962) 78-118: 87-93). Greene concurs (loc. cit. 77).

37. Cleasby & Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English dictionary (2nd. ed. Oxford 1957) s.v.; Geir T. Zoëga, A concise dictionary of Old Icelandic (Oxford 1910) s.v.; Jan de Vries, Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Leiden 1977) s.v. loðinn `zottig, fruchtbar, grasreich', ursprunglich `belaubt'; he compares Old-Irish luss <*ludh-tu.

38. The derivation from loch- has already been suggested by Dolley (Hiberno-Norse coins, 19) in his own curious way, but it is of long standing (Cogad p xxxi) and rejected by Zimmer (`Keltische Beiträge III', 135).

39. loc. cit. 77.

40. Einar Ó. Sveinnson (ed), Brennu-Njáls saga, Íslenzk fornrit 12 (Reykjavík 1954) 5-480: 440-44, 448-51; Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (tr), Orkneyinga saga; the history of the earls of Orkney (Harmondsworth 1978) 36-38, 225 (saga genealogy); Anderson, Early sources, i 495-511, 528-43; William Sayers, `Clontarf and the Irish destinies of Sigurðr digri, earl of Orkney, and Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallsson', Scandinavian Stud 63 (1991) 164-86.

41. Table 2. For most of these identifications, see T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin & Francis John Byrne (ed), A new history of Ireland ix (Oxford 1984) 139 (genealogical table) and 208-09 (king list).

42. Lars Lönnroth, Njalssaga: a critical introduction (Berkeley 1970) 226-36

43. For the forms of this name see Bidrag, 59, 65, 85, 111.

44. Einar Ó. Sveinnson (ed), Brennu-Njáls saga, 445-48; Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (tr), Njal's saga (Harmondsworth 1972) 344-46.

45. Cogad, 150 (§87). There are similar unhistorical statements in L 1014.

46. Marstrander, Bidrag, 51, 62, 79.

47. Kuno Meyer, `Altirisch Erulb n. pr. m.', Z Celt Philol 13 (1921) 108. See U 949.1, 958.3, 964.6 for references to Niall ua Eruilb.

48. Marstrander, Bidrag, 54, 89, 107, 112, 117.

49. Cogad, 164 (§94).

50. Martrander (Bidrag, 66, 82, 98, 155) discusses the phonological and etymological complexities of this name.

51. Marstrander, Bidrag, 51, 67, 102; cf. ibid. 151.

52. ibid. 51.

53. Whitley Stokes, `On the linguistic value of the Irish annals', Bezzenbergers Beiträge zur Kunde der indogermanischen Sprachen 18 (1892) 56-132: 119.

54. Stokes, `Linguistic value', 118; Marstrander, Bidrag, 53, 58, 74, 102, 133.

55. Cleasby & Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English dictionary, s.v.

56. M 962.14 (960): Loinge[hook]s meic Amhlaiph, & na Ladgmainn do theacht i n-Erinn, co ro ortatar Conaille & Ettar co h-Inis Mic Ne[hook]ssáin, co n-de[hook]chatar na Ladgmainn iarttain co Fioraibh Mumhan, do dhíoghail a m-bráthar .i. Oin, co ro ortattar Insi Doimhle & Uí Liatháin, co ro loitsiot Liss Mór & Corcach, & co n-de[hook]rnsat ulca imdha arche[hook]na. Tiaghtar iarttain in h-Uibh Liatháin, co t-tarraidh forra Maol Cluiche ua Maol Eittind, co ro la a n-ár .i. cúicc se[hook]sccat ar trí céd, cona ternodar díbh acht lucht tri long. `The fleet of the son of Amlaíb and the Lagmainn came to Ireland and they plundered Conaille and Étar [Howth] as far as Inis Mac Nessáin [Ireland's Eye]; and the Lagmainn afterwards went to Munster to avenge their brother On [Auni] and they plundered Inis Doimle [Saltees?] and Uí Liatháin and they destroyed Les Mór [Lismore] and Corcach [Cork]. They afterwards went into Uí Liatháin where Mael Cluiche ua Mael Eittinn came up with them and made a slaughter of them i.e. 365 and none but the crew of three ships escaped'

57. M 974.13 (972): Orgain Inse Cáthaigh do Mhaghnus, mac Arailt co l-Lagmannaibh na n-Innsedh imbi, & Iomar ticchearna Gall Luimnigh do brith esti, & sárughadh Se[hook]náin imbi `The plundering of Inis Cathaig [Scattery Island] by Magnus son of Aralt with the Lagmainn of the Isles and Ívarr lord of the Vikings of Limerick was taken prisoner and Senán was outraged on his account; cf. I 974.2: Macc Arailt co m-mórthinól mór timchell h-Erend coro ort Inis Cathaig & co ruc Ímar lais i m-brait esse `The son of Aralt sailed around Ireland with a great band and he plundered Inis Cathaig and took away Ímar out of it in captivity'.

58. `Godredus Crovan ˙ag Regnauit autem sedecim annis & mortuus est in insula que uocatur Y[.]le. Reliquit sane tres filios, Lagmannum, Haraldum & Olauum. Lagmannus maior natu regnum arripiens septem annis regnauit. Rebellauit autem contra eum Haraldus frater eius multo tempore. Sed tandem captus est a Lagmanno genitalibus & oculis priuatus est. ˙ag Accepit [Olauus filius Godredi] autem uxorem Affrican nomine filiam Fergus de Galwedia de qua genuit Godredum. Habuit et concubinas plures de quibus filios tres scilicet Reignaldum, Lagmannum & Haraldum & filias multas generauit', George Borderick (ed. & tr.), Cronica regum Mannie & Insularum: chronicles of the kings of Man and the Isles, BL Cotton Julius A vii (Douglas, Isle of Man 1979) f 33v, 35v (s.a. 1079, 1102).

59. U 1167.1. For their genealogy see Séamus Pender (ed), The O Clery Book of genealogies=Analecta Hibernica 18 (Dublin 1951) 55 §720.

60. Stokes, loc. cit.

61. A. J. Goedheer, Irish and Norse traditions about the battle of Clontarf (Haarlem 1938) 118. The various accretions in the annals, in Cogad, and in such texts as Cath Cluana Tairbh (ed. Eoin MacNeill, `Cath Cluana Tairbh', Gaelic J 7 (1896) 8-11, 41-44, 55-57) are discussed by John Ryan, `The battle of Clontarf', J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 68 (1938) 1-50, esp. 16-17, 39, 45.

62. Cogad, 152 (§87).

63. Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), `The second battle of Moytura', Revue Celtique 12 (1891) 52-130, 306-08; Rudolf Thurneysen (ed), `Zu irischen Texten', Z Celt Philol 12 (1918) 401-06 (an edition of the obscure passages and the account of the Dagda's encounter with the daughter of Indech omitted by Stokes); Elizabeth A. Gray (ed. & tr.), Cath Maige Tuired, Irish Texts Society 52 (London 1982); Gustav Lehmacher, `Die zweite Schlacht von Mag Tured und die keltische Götterlehre', Anthropos 26 (1931) 435-59 (part translation). Reference will be made to the numbered sections of the text (identical in both editions).

64. Robin Flower, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the British Museum ii (London 1926) 319 (`recension of a text already existing in the 9th century'); Vernam E. Hull, `Cairpre mac Edaine's satire upon Bres mac Eladain', Z Celt Philol 18 (1930) 63-69: 65 (early ninth century); id. `The four jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann', ibid. 73-89: 80-81 (ninth century); M. A. O'Brien, `Varia II', Ériu 12 (1938) 236-44: 239 (early ninth century); Gerard Murphy, `Notes on Cath Maighe Tuired', Éigse 7 (1954) 191-98: 195 (`the product of an eleventh or twelfth-century redactor working mainly upon ninth-century material'); Gray, Cath Maige Tuired, 11-21 (ninth century); John Carey, `Myth and mythography in Cath Maige Tuired', Studia Celtica 24-25 (1989-90) 53-69: 58-62 (late ninth century); T. F. O'Rahilly thought its author belonged, perhaps, to the late tenth century (Early Irish history and mythology (Dublin 1946) 316-17).

65. Murphy, `Notes', 195; Carey, `Myth and mythography', 53-55.

66. The final and incomplete poem is edited and translated by Carey, op. cit. 66-69.

67. op. cit. 316-17 n 3.

68. U 989.4. Gofraidh m. Arailt, ri Innsi Gall, do marbad i n-Dal Riatai `Godfrey son of Aralt, king of the Isles, was killed in Dál Riatai'.

69. Marstrander, Bidrag, 90, 93, 109.

70. Marstrander, Bidrag, 121, 126; Julius Pokorny, `Germanisch-irisches' , Z Celt Philol 13 (1921) 111-129: 120-21 (who argues that bossán is pre-Viking).

71. Hull, `Cairpre mac Edaine's satire', 63-69; id. `The four jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann', ibid. 80; id. `Additional note', ibid. 88-89; O'Rahilly, Early Irish history and mythology, 316-17 disagrees.

72. For a discussion of these aspects: Elizabeth A. Gray, `Cath Maige Tuired: myth and structure', Éigse 18 (1980-81) 183-209, 19 (1982-83) 1-35, 230-62; Gray, Cath Maige Tuired, 4-7 (survey of the literature); Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, `Cath Maige Tuired as exemplary myth', Pádraig de Brún, Seán Ó Coileáin & Pádraig Ó Riain (ed), Folia gadelica: essays ˙ag R. A. Breatnach (Cork 1983) 1-29. Generally, far too much attention has been paid to Dumézil's theories about mythology and far too little to the Irish context, and the polyvalence of the text within that context. A welcome exception is K. R. McCone, `A tale of two ditties: poet and parodist in Cath Maige Tuired', Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Liam Breatnach & Kim McCone (ed), Sages, saints and storytellers: Celtic Studies in honour of Professor James Carney (Maynooth 1989) 122-43.

73. Cath Maige Tuired §93. Stokes (p 86) thought this passage too indecent for the readers of Revue Celtique and bowdlerised the text.

74. `Cath Maige Tuired: myth and structure', Éigse 19 (1982-83) 16.

75. Carey, `Myth and mythography', 53-69.

76. Cath Maige Tuired, §79.

77. Cath Maige Tuired, §§50-51. There is a difficulty with ogond fir in the text. If plural, one would expect ocnaib feraib, and this is indeed what Dr Gray translates, though she neither emends the text nor refers to the difficulty in the notes. If singular, one would expect ocon(d) or ocin(d) fhiur. In fact, the text is so close to this that only very minor emendation is indicated, and I side with Stokes in translating the expression as singular, and as referring to the two kings already mentioned.

78. Forms: gen. Sceth (U 668.3: ˙ag cum plebe Sceth; the variant in T is Scith), Sciadh (UL 1208); dat. Scii (U 701.7); Old Norse Skíð (W. A. Craigie, `Gaelic words and names in the Icelandic sagas', Z Celt Philol 1 (1897) 439-54: 452); W. J. Watson, The history of the Celtic place-names of Scotland (Edinburgh 1926) 38-40.

79. `Keltische Beiträge I', 196-334, esp. 219-29, 235-45

80. R. Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königsage (Halle 1921) 363-76; Áine de Paor, `The common authorship of some Book of Leinster texts', Ériu 9 (1921-23) 118-46.

81. Uaitéar Mac Gearailt, `Cath Ruis na Ríg and twelfth-century literary and oral tradition', Z Celt Philol 44 (1991) 128-53: 129, 147-50; id. `Zum Irischen des 12. Jahrhunderts', Z Celt Philol 43 (1989) 11-52; id. `On textual correspondences in early Irish heroic tales', G. W. MacLennan (ed), Proceedings of th first North American conference of Celtic studies (Ottawa 1988) 343-55; id. `Über den Wechsel des narrativen Stils in den Táin-Varianten', H. L. C. Tristram (ed), Studien zur Táin bó Cuailnge ScriptOralia 52 (Tübingen 1993) 60-99; id. `Change and innovation in eleventh-century prose narrative in Irish', H. L. C. Tristram (ed), (Re)Oralisierung, ScriptOralia 84 (Tübingen 1995) 443-96 esp. 450-53; id. `Infixed and independent pronouns in the LL text of Táin bó Cúailgne', Z Celt Philol 49-50 (1997) 494-515: 495-96. However, his repeated suggestion that Aed Mac Crimthainn, one of the compilers and scribes of the Book of Leinster (William O'Sullivan, `Notes on the scripts and make-up of the Book of Leinster', Celtica 7 (1966) 1-31), was responsible for the recension of this text in the Book of Leinster, is less happy. His argument is that the prominence given Conall Cernach in this tale (he was progenitor of the Loígse according to the genealogical scheme) is due to the compilation of the manuscript in Nuachongbáil in the kingdom of the Loígse and Aed Mac Crimthainn's localist wish to flatter the Loígse by glorifying their remote ancestor. This is unlikely. Mac Crimthainn belonged to Uí Chrimthainn, a branch of the Laigin who saw themselves as more than a cut above the Loígse, he carefully inserted his own—and improbable—pedigree in the Book of Leinster (CG 338=BL vi 1351), his place of writing is probably the monastery of which he was abbot, Terryglass in Múscraige Tíre (not Loígse), the founder of which belonged to Uí Chrimthainn according to the genealogies (CG 55-56=BL vi 1350-51), and this area and the monastery itself had long been under the domination of the O'Briens and their collaterals (M 1007.7, 1009.8, 1099.4; 1152.1; Aubrey Gwynn, `Some notes on the history of the Book of Leinster', Celtica 5 (1960) 8-12; Aubrey Gwynn & Dermot F. Gleeson, A history of the diocese of Killaloe (Dublin 1962) 36-47. Mac Crimthainn had no very pressing reason to flatter the Loígse, and Cath Ruis na Ríg is likely to be the work of another.

82. Irish: i nInsib Cadd, insi Cat (Cogad, 152 §87) has generally been interpreted as the Shetlands; cp. sluagh Innse Cath (William F. Skene, Celtic Scotland (3 vols, Edinburgh 1876-80), i 387 n 5, citing Cath Cluana Tairbh). In the `Description of Britain' (Skene, Chronicles, 154.20) Kathenessia is the first mentioned of the `insule occidentales occeani' under Scandinavian control. The expression gurus indarbad Concobur la Gaiar a n-Indsib Orcc & Catt (cited from Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1336 (olim H 3.17) col. 865, in Liam Breatnach, `Tochmarc Luaine ocus aided Athairne', Celtica 13 (1980) 4) is best understood as the Orkneys and Shetlands, and these together formed a single lordship. The forms Crích Cat in `Cruithnigh cid dos-farclam' (A. G. van Hamel (ed), Lebor Bretnach: the Irish version of the Historia Britonum ascribed to Nennius (Dublin 1932) 14.16) and Catta (i Cattaib, Pádraig Ó Riain (ed), Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae (Dublin 1985) §717) are also attested. Watson (Celtic place-names, 30) states that Inse Catt represents the pre-Norse name for the Shetlands, and that the same people occupied Caithness and Sutherland. Old Norse Katanes (Caithness) derives from the same name-element.

83. Edmund Hogan (ed. & tr.), Cath Ruis na Ríg for Bóinn, Todd Lecture Series 4 (Dublin 1892) 10-12 §7; text (with trivial changes) from the diplomatic edition in R. I. Best, Osborn J. Bergin, M. A. O'Brien, & A. O'Sullivan (ed), The Book of Leinster (6 vols, Dublin 1954-83), iv (1965) 761-79: 764, lines 22737-52.

84. Marstrander (Bidrag, 111) points out that Northmannia is a literary form. He might have said the same about the others.

85. Marstrander, Bidrag, 52, 62.

86. Marstrander derives this name from Svarthófði (Bidrag, 13) but seems to prefer Sortho[hook]fuð (ibid. 64). The meaning is much the same.

87. OG s.v. (citing Reeves and Skene); R. I. Best (ed), `Betha Adamnáin', Osborn J. Bergin et. al. (ed), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts ii (Halle a.S. 1908) 15 §8=Máire Herbert & Pádraig Ó Riain (ed. & tr.), Betha Adamnáin, ITS 54 (Cork 1988) 54 §12, 78 (who however treat trácht romra as a common noun and translate `shore of a tidal estuary').

88. Skene, Chronicles, 135-37: 136; Marjorie O. Anderson, Kings and kingship in early Scotland (Edinburgh 1973) 242; tr. A. O. Anderson, Early sources, i p. cxv-cxix.

89. Benediktsson, Landnámabók, 71 §31.

90. Standish O'Grady (ed. & tr.), Silva gadelica (London 1892), i 189 (text), ii 214 (translation); Whitley Stokes (ed), Acallamh na senórach, Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser 4 i (Leipzig 1900) lines 4661-62, 4667, 4671.

91. My interpretation is much indebted to the pioneering and undervalued work of Sophus Bugge, Norsk sagafortælling og sagaskrivning i Irland (Kristiania [Oslo] 1901-08) 2-19.

92. Hogan, Cath Ruis na Ríg, 15 §8.

93. Norsk sagafortælling, 2-19.

94. Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), `Gilla Cóemáin's chronological poem', Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), The tripartite Life of Patrick (2 vols London 1887), ii 530-42; Book of Leinster iii (Dublin 1957) 496-503 (diplomatic edition); Peter J. Smith (ed. & tr.), Three poems ascribed to Gilla Cóemáin: a critical edition, DPhil diss. (Oxford 1996) 376-523. I am grateful to Dr Smith for a copy of his unpublished work and for discussing this poem with me.

95. G. Waitz (ed), Mariani Scotti Chronicon, MGH SS 5 (Hanover 1844) 559: 1064 (1065): `Donnchad filius Briain rex de Hibernia atque Echmarcach rex inna Renn, viri inter suos non ignobiles, Romam venientes, obierunt'; UMIT 1064. To judge from Marianus, Donnchad died in the late autumn.

96. The other annals have much the same terminology. T 1103.5: Maghnus, ri Lochland & na nIndsi, fer ro triall forbais for Erinn, do marbad a nUlltaib `Magnus, king of Norway and the Isles, a man who attempted to beleaguer Ireland, was killed in Ulster'; S 1102, 1103 has `rí Lochlainne'.

97. For Magnus as a subsequent figure of Irish romance, balladry and folklore see Reidar Th. Christiansen, The Vikings and Viking wars in Irish and Gaelic tradition (Oslo 1931) 131-71, 283-329.

98. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, `Foreign connections and domestic politics: Killaloe and the Uí Briain in twelfth-century hagiography', Dorothy Whitelock, David Dumville and Rosamond McKitterick (ed), Ireland in early mediaeval Europe: studies in memory of Kathleen Hughes (Cambridge 1981) 213-31: 225-26; Anthony Candon, `Muirchertach Ua Briain; politics and naval activity in the Irish Sea, 1075 to 1119', Gearóid Mac Niocaill & P. F. Wallace (ed), Keimelia: studies in medieval archaeology and history in memory of Tom Delaney (Galway 1988) 397-415, esp. 403-07; Seán Duffy, `Irishmen and Islesmen in the kingdoms of Dublin and Man, 1052-1171', Ériu 43 (1992) 93-133, esp. 101-16.

99. U 1098.2: Tri longa do longaibh Gall na nInsi do shlat do Ulltaibh & a fairenn do marbadh .i. .xx. ar .c. uel paulo plus `Three of the ships of the Foreigners of the Isles were plundered by the Ulaid and their crews were killed i.e. a hundred and twenty or a little more'.

100. S 1101 (1097); M 1101.

101. Rosemary Power, `Magnus Barelegs' expedition to the west', Scott Hist Rev 65 (1986) 107-32 (a thorough analysis of the history and historiography); ead. `Scotland in the Norse sagas', Grant G. Simpson (ed), Scotland and Scandinavia 800-1800, Mackie Monographs 1 (Edinburgh 1990) 13-24: 14-15; ead. `Magnus Barelegs, the War Hollow, and Downpatrick', Ulster Local Stud 15/2 (1993) 40-54; Candon, `Muirchertach Ua Briain', 403-07; Duffy, `Irishmen and Islesmen', 101-16.

102. US 851, M 851 (849).

103. Egerton Phillimore (ed), `The Annales Cambriæ and Old-Welsh genealogies', Y Cymmrodor 9 (1888) 141-83: 165; John Williams Ab Ithel (ed), Annales Cambriæ (London 1860) 13; cf. US 856 (the killing of Horm, leader of the Danish Vikings in Wales by Rhodri, king of Wales).

104. US 852, M 852 (850), F 852 (§235 in saga form).

105. US 853, M 853 (851), F 853 (§259).

106. U 794=C 794 (791), UI 795=M 795 (790), I 796, U 798=M 798 (793)=C 798 (795).

107. U 802=M 802 (797); US 806, M 806 (801), C 806 (803); US 825=M 825 (823)=C 825 (822); for Walafrid Strabo's poem on the martyrdom of Blathmac, see E. Dümmler, MGH Poetae Aeui Carolini 2 (Berlin 1884) 299-301, tr. A. O. Anderson, Early sources, i 263-65.

108. Skene, Chronicles, 8; Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250; Duncan, Scotland: the making of the kingdom, 90. The Scottish Chronicle, called the Pictish Chronicle by Skene, is based on contemporary Scottish annals from middle of the ninth century to the middle of the tenth.

109. Dorothy Whitelock (ed), English historical documents i (London 1955) 167-68, 247.

110. Roger of Wendover, Flores historiarum (Whitelock, 255).

111. Coleen Batey, Judith Jesch, & Christopher D. Morris (ed), The Viking age in Caithness, Orkney and the North Atlantic (Edinburgh 1993); Christopher D. Morris, `Viking Orkney: a survey', C. Renfrew (ed), The prehistory of Orkney (Edinburgh 1985) 210-42; id. `The Norse impact in the Northern Isles of Scotland', Jens Flemming Krøger (ed), Norssjøen: handel, religion og politikk, Karmøyseminaret 1994/1995 (Karmøy 1996) 69-83; id. `Church and monastery in Orkney and Shetland: an archaeological perspective', ibid. 185-206; Patrick Wormald, `Viking studies: whence and whither?', R. T. Farrell (ed), The Vikings (Chichester 1982) 128-53: 131-32.

112. Christopher D. Morris, `Native and Norse in Orkney and Shetland', Catherine Karkov & Robert T. Farrell (ed), Studies in Insular art and archeology, American Early Medieval Studies 1 (Oxford OH 1991) 61-80; id. `Norse impact in the Northern Isles', 69-83.

113. A. W. Brøgger, Den norske bosetningen på Shetland-Orknøyene: studier og resulter (Oslo 1930); Iain A. Crawford, `War or peace—Viking colonisation in the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland reviewed', Hans Bekker-Nielsen, Peter Foote & Olaf Olsen (ed), Proceedings of the eighth Viking congress (Odense, 1981) 259-69; Bjørn Myrhe, `The beginnings of the Viking Age-some current archaeological problems', Anthony Faulkes & Richard Perkins (ed), Viking revaluations: Viking Society centenary symposium 1992 (London 1993) 182-204.

114. Alf Sommerfelt, `On the Norse form of the name of the Picts and the date of the first Norse raids on Scotland', Lochlann 1 (1958) 218-22.

115. U 839.9: Bellum re genntib for firu Fortrenn in quo ceciderunt Euganan m. Oengusa & Bran m. Oengussa & E[hook]d m. Boanta & alii pene innumerabiles ceciderunt `The heathens won a battle against the men of Fortriu, and Eóganán son of Óengus, Bran son of Óengus, and Aed son of Boanta, and others almost innumerable fell there'.

116. John Bannerman, `The Scottish takeover of Pictland and the relics of Columba', Innes Rev 48/1 (1997) 27-44: 32-35, 38.

117. The narrative that follows is based principally on U.

118. D. Ó Corráin, `Vikings III: Ros Camm', Peritia 10 (1996) 273.

119. Oswald Holder-Egger (ed), `Vita Findani', MGH SS 15 (1887) 502-06; Rheidar T. Christiansen, `The people of the north', Lochlann 2 (1962) 137-64; C. Omand, `The Life of Fintan translated from the Latin', R. Berry & H. Firth (ed), The peoples of Orkney (Kirkwall 1986) 284-87.

120. For the details see Donnchadh Ó Corráin, `High-kings, Vikings and other kings, Ir Hist Stud 21 (1979) 283-323: 306-14; Bart Jaski, `The Vikings and the kingship of Tara', Peritia 9 (1995) 310-51: 316-21.

121. Kathleen Hughes, The church in early Irish society (London 1966) 205; Smyth, Scandinavian kings, 114-17, 123-26; id. Warlords, 156-57. Marstrander (Bidrag, 6-7) and Dr Barbara E. Crawford (Scandinavian Scotland (Leicester 1987) 47) are righly sceptical about the interpolator's opinions which were evidently not shared by the Irish kings if we may judge from the contemporary annals.

122. F 856 (§247).

123. F 858 (§260).

124. US 856.

125. U 856, M 856 (854), F 856 (§247).

126. US 857.

127. M858 (856)=S 858; F 858 (§263).

128. A. T. Lucas, `The plundering and burning of churches in Ireland, 7th to 16th century', Etienne Rynne (ed), North Munster studies: essays in commemoration of Mgr Michael Moloney (Limerick 1967) 172-229. esp. esp. 215-24; Kathleen Hughes, Early christian Ireland: introduction to the sources (London 1972) 157; D. Ó Corráin, Ireland before the Normans (Dublin 1972) 94.

129. C. Etchingham, Viking raids on Irish church settlements in the ninth century, Maynooth Monographs, Series Minor 1 (Maynooth 1996) 7-34, and maps 6-7.

130. U 856; F c.864 (§282); I 866, F 866 (§§337, 340); I 867; U 869; M 869 (867), F 869 (§370); F 872 (§408); U 872; U 879.

131. On the possible meanings of Alba see Dauvit Broun, `The origin of Scottish identity in its European context', Barbara E. Crawford (ed), Scotland in dark age Europe, St John's House Papers 5 (St Andrews 1994) 21-31; David N. Dumville, `Ireland and Britain in Táin bó Fraích', Études Celtiques 32 (1996) 175-87, esp. 181-83

132. U 876.

133. Skene, Chronicles, 8; Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250. Because of the restructuring of the chronology by liking it to regnal years the dating is out by a few years but this record refers to 866, as Anderson (Sources, 297 n 4) proposes. Both U and the Scottish Chronicle place the expedition to Scotland in the very beginning of the year. Smyth's surmise (Scandinavian kings, 148; Warlords, 158-59) that Amlaíb spent three years in Scotland is not well founded.

134. US 866, C 866 (864), M 866 (864), F 866 (§327).

135. U 867, C 867 (865), M 867 (865).

136. M 867 (865), F 867 (§362).

137. I 867.

138. USI 868, C 868 (866), M 868 (866), F 868 (§366). The entry is M is expanded and contains verse, some of it early; the account in F is an extended saga-like narrative.

139. M 868 (866).

140. US 869, C 869 (867), M 869 (867).

141. cf. F 870 (§388). This event is recorded in Annales Cambriae: Arx Alt Clut a gentilibus fracta est.

142. =S 871. This is repeated in F 871 (§393).

143. Phillimore, `Annales Cambriæ and Old-Welsh genealogies', 141-83: 172; J. Loth, `Une généalogie des rois de Stratclut', Revue Celtique 47 (1930) 176-83.

144. Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250-51, Skene, Chronicles, 9; Duncan, Scotland, 90-91, 628-29; Smyth, Warlords, 64, 215-17; cf. Benjamin T. Hudson (ed. & tr.), Prophecy of Berchán: Irish and Scottish kings of the early middle ages (Westport CN & London 1996) 44, 85.

145. Smyth, Warlords, 219-29.

146. Anderson, Early sources, i 303-04, 30-12; Peter Hunter Blair, `Olaf the White', 1-35; Smyth, Scandinavian kings, 101-17, 121-22, 143-53; id. Warlords, 150-53, 157-63.

147. Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250; Skene, Chronicles, 8. Discussed in Anderson, Early sources, i 352.

148. Paulo post ab eo bello ín xiiij. eius facto in Dolaír inter Danarios et Scottos occisi sunt Scoti co Achcochlam (Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250; Skene, Chronicles, 8; Anderson, Early sources, i 353) `A little while after that, in the fourteenth year of his [Constantine's] reign there was a battle at Dollar between the Danes and the Scots and the Scots were driven in slaughter to Atholl'.

149. Anderson, Kings and kingship, 250; Skene, Chronicles, 8.

150. Anderson, Kings and kingship, 267; the place of the battle has been identified with Inverdovat, in NE Fife, but this is uncertain (Anderson, Early sources, i 353, citing Skene).

151. I read Lochlainne for the editor's Lochlann, and I have altered the translation.

152. F §409 and n 7.

153. `Olaf the White', 23-27.

154. M 872 (870).

155. M 873 (871); I 873.

156. Phillimore, `Annales Cambriæ and Old-Welsh genealogies', 166; U 877.3; B. G. Charles, Old Norse relations with Wales (Cardiff 1934) 6-8.

157. U 632.2, 664.4, 671.5, 691.2, 700.5, 714.4, 794.7.

158. Crawford, Scandinavian Scotland, 98-100.

159. F. M. Stenton, Preparatory to Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford 1970) 214-23, 312; F. T. Wainwright, `Ingimund's invasion', Engl Hist Rev 63 (1948) 145-69; Smyth, Scandinavian York and Dublin (2 vols, Dublin 1975-79), i 75-92.

160. Wainwright, 164-65; Stenton, 312.

161. Phillimore, Annales Cambriæ, 167=Williams ab Ithel, Annales Cambriæ, 16; Charles, Old Norse relations with Wales, 17-18.

162. Wainwright, `Ingimund's invasion', 145-69; Smyth, Scandinavian York and Dublin, 60-92.

163. U 904; F 904 (§429).

164. S 904. The identity of this king is uncertain and he may have been king of one of the Pictish provinces (Anderson, Sources, i 398).

165. Scandinavian York and Dublin, i 60-74, 93-116, ii 1-106.

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