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The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba is essentially a brief resume of events in the history of the kingdom of Alba, later called Scotland, between the years circa 840 to circa 970; that is in the period from the assumption of power by Kenneth mac Alpin to the reign of his great-great-grandson Kenneth II.

As sparse as the entries are, it remains one of the main sources for 'Scottish' history of the period, and is in fact the only native source of information. It consists mainly of a list of kings and how long they ruled, of the battles fought, of raids made by the Vikings and of raids made on England. It was originally composed in Latin, obviously by a succession of anonymous scribes which is reflected in the lack of consistency in naming conventions and the variability in spelling.

References to Britain and the Britons are references to Strathclyde and its Brythonic inhabitants rather than what we might understand as Britain today. Saxoniam is of course, England.

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
otherwise known as
The Scottish Chronicle in the Poppleton Manuscript

1. So Kinadius son of Alpini, first of the Scots, ruled this Pictavia prosperously for sixteen years.

2. Pictavia was named after the Picts, whom, as we have said, Kenneth destroyed; for God deigned to make them alien from, and void of, their heritage, by reason of their wickedness; because they not only spurned the Lord's mass and precept, but also refused to be held equal to others in the law of justice.

3. Two years before he came to Pictavia, he had received the kingdom of Dalriada.

4. In the seventh year of his reign he transported the relics of Saint Columba to a church that he had built.

5. And he invaded England six times; and he seized and burned Dunbar and Melrose. But the Britons burned Dunblane, and the Danes wasted Pictavia to Clunie and Dunkeld.

6. He died of a tumor ultimately on 13th February, the third day of the week, in the palace of Forteviot.

7. Duuenaldus his brother held the kingdom for four years.

8. In his time the Gaels with their king at Forteviot made the laws of the kingdom; Edi son of Ecdach.

9. He died in the palace of Cinnbelachoir on April 13th.

10. Constantinus son of Cinadi reigned for 16 years.

11. In his first year Maelsechnaill king of the Irish died, and Aed son of Niel held the kingdom.

12. And after two years Amlaib with his Gentiles wasted Pictavia, and dwelt in it from January 1st to March 17th.

13. Again, in his third year Amlaib, drawing a hundred, was slain by Constantine.

14. A little while afterwards, a battle was fought by him Constantine in his fourteenth year at Dollar, between Danes and Scoti and the Scoti were slain (at) county Athcothlam. The Northmen spent a whole year in Pictavia.

15. Edus held the same (kingdom) for one year. The shortness of his reign has bequeathed nothing memorable to history. He was slain in the civitas of Nrurim.

16. And Eochodius son of Run king of the Britons, grandson of Kenneth by his daughter, reigned for eleven years; although others say that Ciricium son of another reigned at this time, because he became Eochaid's foster-father and guardian.

17. And in his second year Aed son of Neil died.

18. And in his ninth year, on the very day of Saint Cirici, an eclipse of the sun occurred. Eochaid and his foster father was now expelled from the kingdom.

19. Doniualdus son of Constantini held the kingdom for eleven years.

20. The Northmen wasted Pictavia at this time.

21. In his reign a battle occurred between Danes and Scots at Innisibsolian: the Scots had victory.

22. He was killed at Opidum Fother by the Gentiles.

23. Constantinus son of Edii held the kingdom for forty years.

24. And in his third year the Northmen plundered Dunkeld, and all Albaniam.

25. In the following year the Northmen were slain in Straith Herenn.

26. And in his sixth year king Constantine and bishop Cellach, on the Hill of Belief near the royal city of Scone, pledged themselves that the laws and disciplines of the faith, and the laws of churches and gospels, should be kept in conformity with the Scoti. From that day on the hill has deserved its name, that is, the Hill of Belief.

27. And in his eighth year the most exalted king of the Irish and archbishop fell in Leinster, that is, Cormacc son of Culennan.

28. And in his time Doneualdus king of the Britons died; and Duneualdus son of Ede king of Ailech; and Flann son of Maelsechnaill and Niall son of Ede who reigned for three years after Flann.

29. And the battle of Tinemore took place in his eighteenth year, between Constantine and Regnall, and the Scotti had victory.

30. And the battle of Duinbrunde in his 34th year, and in it fell Constantine's son and after one year he died.

31. Dubucan son of Indrechtaig mormaer of Oengusa; Adalstan son of Aduar; and Eochaid son of Alpini died.

32. And in his old age, being decrepit, he took the staff, and served the Lord; and he gave up the kingdom to Mael son of Domnaill.

33. Maelcolaim son of Domnaill reigned 11 years.

34. Maelcolam went with his army to Moreb and killed Cellach.

35. In the seventh year, of his reign he plundered the English as far as the river Tees, and he seized a multitude of people and many herds of cattle: and the Scots called this the raid of Albidosorum, that is, Nainndisi. But others say that Constantine made this raid, asking of the king, Maelcolaim, that the kingship should be given to him for a week's time, so that he could visit the English. In fact, it was Maelcolam who made the raid, but Constantine incited him, as I have said.

36. And Constantine died in tenth year, under the crown of penitence in good old age.

37. And the men of the Mearns slew Malcolaim at Fetteresso, that is, in Claideom.

38. Idulfus held the kingdom for eight years.

39. In his time opidum Eden was evacuated, and abandoned to the Scots until the present day.

40. A fleet of Somarlidiorum was slain in Buchan.

41. Niger son of Maelcolaim reigned five years.

42. Fothach bishop rested.

43. (A battle) between Nigerum (and) Caniculum upon the ridge of Crup in which Niger had the victory, where Duchad abbot of Dunkeld and Dubdon satrapas (of) Athothlach fell.

44. Niger was expelled from the kingdom and Caniculus reigned for a brief time.

45. Domnal son of Cairill died.

46. Culenring reigned for 5 years.

47. Marcan son of Breodalaig was killed in the church of St Michael; Leot and Sluagadach went out to Rome; Bishop Maelbrigd rested, Cellach son of Ferdalaig reigned; Maelbrigde son of Dubican died.

48. Culen and his brother Eochodius were killed by the Britons.

49. Cinadius son of Maelcolaim reigned (fourteen) years.

50. He immediately plundered Britain in part. Kenneth's infantry were slain with very great slaughter in Moin Uacoruar.

51. The Scots plundered Saxoniam to Stanemore, and to Cluiam, and to the lakes of Deranni.

52. And Kenneth walled the banks of the fords of Forthin.

53. After a year, Kenneth went back and plundered Saxoniam and carried off the son of the king of the Saxons.

54. It is he who founded the great monastery of Brechin for the Lord.

The English translation comes from vol 1 of Early Sources of Scottish History by A.O.Anderson.

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