Oengus I


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S. of Fergus; king of Picts 729–61, king of Dál Riata 736–50; d. 761.

The abdication of Nechtan in 724 to retire into the Church was followed by a vicious intertribal contest for overlordship, eventually won in 729 by Oengus, who proved to be one of the most powerful Pictish kings. After storming Dunadd, one of the chief fortresses of the Scots of Dál Riata, he appears to have ruled as their overlord from 736–50. Challengers to his authority risked death by ritual drowning, as typified by Talorgan son of Drostan in 739. Oengus fought the Angles in Northumbria, but his power began to ebb from 750, when his army was heavily defeated by the Strathclyde Britons at Moctauc (Mugdock, north of Glasgow); it is probable that Dál Riata was freed from Pictish domination by Áed Find as a result of this. Oengus continued to rule over Pictland until his death, and was succeeded by his brother Bredei (Bude) (761–3).

Subjects: British History.

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