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It is unclear whether, in the Vita Karoli by Eginhard, the 'kings of Scots' which are mentioned, are rulers of Irish tribes or sovereigns of Scotland. The term 'Scots', by the Carolingian times, is used to designate scholars coming from Ireland, which may be termed either 'Irishmen', or 'Scots' altogether

Hibernia, or Ogygia, or the 'Isle of Destiny' in the past, Ireland came to be named Scotia by the 11th century A.D. and after that century it was termed Ireland definitively. Ireland was ill-known to the ancients as it needed a two-day sail from England, out of the beaten paths of trade. Fabulously settled by Greeks mostly the island finally came the ultimate territory, since the 4th century B.C., where the Celts settled in their march West. According to mythological tradition, first inhabitants of Ireland were the Milesians, Celts which came from Spain. The name of Ireland -- Erin or Eire -- came from goddess Eriu the advice of which had helped them to conquer the island. A long list of kings began then as all events before the reign of a Cimbaeth (300 B.C.) are uncertain. The Irish performed war-like and commercial voyages to Britain and Gaul. A high-king of Ireland or the 'Árd Ri' (or 'ardri') ruled over elective provincial kings and chiefs of tribes in a pyramidal order as 5 small kingdoms were extant, like Ulster, Connacht, Northern and Southern Leinster and Munster, with 100 to 150 clans or 'tuatha' below. The ardri emerged by 200 B.C. from Connacht. Trade intercourse with Britain allowed for the introduction of Christianity before the 5th century, albeit paganism was the island's predominant belief when St. Patrick was sent there by pope Celestine by 432 A.D. A Caledonian dweller, captured like a slave by Irishmen, escaped and, from St. Martin of Tours, then St. Germanus of Auxerre, Lérins and into Rome he was consecrated bishop by Pope Celestine to Ireland. He came to Tara, the chief location of druidism and baptized the priests and the ardri as he knew that the people would follow

By St. Patrick's death in 493 A.D., Ireland mostly had turned to Christ as he had established bishops, schools, monasteries and held synods. Noted examples of monasteries, with their monastic schools, in the 6th century were Clonard, Clonfert, Bangor, Clonmacnoise, Arran as Lismore and Glendalough were founded by the 7th century. Monastic schools were frequented by the best of the Irish, and by students from abroad as these latter diffused knowledge over western Europe. Ireland was rightly termed then the 'Island of Saints and Scholars!' The 7th century saw a trend that anchorites increased, with the most rigid austerities. Irish Catholicity also is characterized with a strong presence of women who founded many convents as mission, or 'peregrinatio,' also was a typical feature, or 'white martyrdom.' The monastery on the desolate island of Iona served for the christianization of Caledonia, as its monks then went into Northumbria, Mercia, and Essex, competing with the clerics sent by Augustine from the South. Lindisfarne by the 7th century was a new Iona. Or St. Columbanus, a student of Bangor, missionarized into the Frankish dominions, accompanied by twelve companions since 590 A.D. They founded the monastery of Bobbio, which, as a centre of knowledge and piety long was the light of northern Italy. Bregenz also is due to those, as fellows St. Gall, Fridolin, Fiacre, Kilian or others also worked in in Switzerland, the Rhine, Meaux, Wurzburg, the Brabant, banks of the Marne river, or southern Italy. Albeit sometimes asserted that the Irish Church had become out of communion with Rome, that is not true, except for the Roman and Irish tonsures or the methods of computing Easter. A constant accusation, however, against the Irishmen along the whole Middle Ages was that they were Judaizers, like with the Easter date or that they adhered too closely with the Old Testament, not considering their Neo-platonicism. From the 6th to the 8th century, no single rulers could emerge in Ireland, as the last remains of druidism disappeared, or the ardri renounced his tribute. Ireland had remained until then a land of religion and learning mostly and tending to close upon itself. The cultural influence of Ireland however had been lasting and extended into Wales and the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex and the intellectual influence of Irishmen is spotted even under Charlemagne, 'men incomparably skilled in human learning.'

Beginning by 820 A.D. the Danish Vikings, as pagans and pirates, began to devastate and plunder Ireland as most famed monasteries turned into smoking ruins and murdered monks. The pirates even were able to found three permanent establishments, in Waterford, Limerich and Dublin, due to the disunion between Irish chiefs. After the chief of the later, Turgesius, died in 845, Danes managed to cling to their seaport possessions whence they kept neighbouring dwellers in bonds during a century, with alternation of victories and defeats. A significant defeat eventually could be stroke by the ardri Malachy in 980 who abdicated then by 1002 in favour of Brian Boru as abler still ruler who also had managed to defeat the Vikings. That heralded a significant change of Ireland as the ardri title has resided into the same family for 600 years. Disorders however soon ruled the island during a century and half, with internal disputes for power, the first of which even involved alliance with the feared Northmen. Those troubles completed the work begun by the Danes as under native and Christian chiefs churches were destroyed, their lands appropriated by laymen, monastic schools deserted and lay abbots named or corruption for bishops designation. Since the 12th century, Ireland passed under England's rule


Scotland is the ancient "Caledonia". Its inhabitants, the Caledonians, were later called Picts -from the paintwork they made on their faces with the blood of the grooses, these birds they were hunting- were pre-Celtic inhabitants of the northern part of the island of Brittany. The country thus became 'Pictland.' The Picts were a set of pre-Celtic-speaking people in eastern and northern Scotland, from the Late British Iron Age to the early medieval era. They trade with the Meditarrean and the Celts of the continent. Pictland was a vast country, stretching from the Highlands, North, down to the Cheviot Hills, where the border with Northumberland is. Pictland was maybe christianized as early as by the end of the 2nd century but it's not before about 402 A.D. that the country got its first bishop with Ninian. After studies in Rome, he founded the first stone church in Whithorn ("Candida Casa"), in the southwestern part of the country, along with a monastery from where missionaries went out from to preach in the whole southern Scotland, and in Ireland too. By the 6th century, Irish chieftains founded the Kingdom of Dalriada in what is now the County of Argyll, northwest of Glasgow, bringing the Christianity to the West of the country, and an Irish population, the Scots, at the same time. The North solely was remaining pagan. It was the famed Columba, settling in the island of Iona in 563, who, during 34 years, became the Apostle of the northern Picts. He settled a network of monasteries, and he strengthened too the missionary work which had been done previously. Other saints appeared, like St. Kentigern in the southwestern Kingdom of Strathclyde -between the Clyde and Cumberland, and down to there, and St. Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne in 684, in the East. All the Columban monks of Scotland were expelled in 717 by the Pictish king, as the "Culdees", hermits who eventually had formed communities of their own, and a secular clergy, succeeded them in the work of evangelization. At that time, the Picts had come to be challenged by the Scots and by the Angles and this turned into 150 years of continual fightings with, moreover, some invasions of the Danes and the Norsemen. The Scots and the Picts eventually merged into one kingdom under Kenneth Mac Alpine, in 844. This dynasty was to rule, from males to males, until 1034, as its kingdom, either side of the Grampians, northwest of the Scottish settlement, later turned to the new name of "Kingdom of Alban" instead of "Kingdom of the Picts". Cumbria and Lothian were successively granted to it by England. Norsemen meanwhile settled in the Western Isles, as Danish raids were performed -one of them destroying Iona in 986. The Kingdom of Alban, by the year 1000, had begun to be known under the name of "Scotia", a sure hint to that the Scots had gained supremacy over the country

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