Scandinavian Scotland

Alex Woolf

in From Pictland to Alba, 789-1070

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780748612338
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672165 | DOI:
Scandinavian Scotland

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The political narrative for Scotland in the eighth to eleventh centuries has had to be written principally from Irish and English sources. This has led to a southern bias in the story told and almost nothing has been said about either the islands or the mainland north of Ardnamurchan in the west, or the Moray Firth in the east. This chapter discusses Icelandic sagas written between the late twelfth and the early fourteenth centuries; the character and course of Scandinavian settlement in northern Scotland; Gaelic as a significant language in the course of the Viking Age; the earldom of Orkney; Earl Thorfinnr; and the conversion of Scandinavian Scotland from Norse paganism to Christianity.

Keywords: Iceland; Scandinavian settlements; Gaelic; Orkney; Earl Thorfinnr; paganism; Christianity

Chapter.  15479 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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