Máel Coluim III, ‘Canmore’
An Eleventh-Century Scottish King
Out of stockBuy E-book
About the Book
The legendary Scottish king Máel Coluim III, also known as ‘Malcolm Canmore’, is often held to epitomise Scotland’s ‘ancient Gaelic kings’. But Máel Coluim and his dynasty were in fact newcomers, and their legitimacy and status were far from secure at the beginning of his rule. Máel Coluim’s long reign from 1058 until 1093 coincided with the Norman Conquest of England, a revolutionary event that presented great opportunities and terrible dangers. Although his interventions in post-Conquest England eventually cost him his life, the book argues that they were crucial to his success as both king and dynasty-builder, creating internal stability and facilitating the takeover of Strathclyde and Lothian. As a result, Máel Coluim left to his successors a territory that stretched far to the south of the kingship’s heartland north of the Forth, similar to the Scotland we know today.
The book explores the wider political and cultural world in which Máel Coluim lived, guiding the reader through the pitfalls and possibilities offered by the sources that mediate access to that world. Our reliance on so few texts means that the eleventh century poses problems that historians of later eras can avoid. Nevertheless Scotland in Máel Coluim’s time generated unprecedented levels of attention abroad and more vernacular literary output than at any time prior to the Stewart era.
You may also like…
Paperback | Pub: 13 Feb 2008
Through most of eight hundred years, Somerled of Argyll has been variously denounced as an intractable rebel against his rightful king and esteemed as the honoured ancestor of the later medieval Lord of the Isles, but he can be recognised now as a...
Paperback | Pub: 20 May 2021
The archipelagic kingdoms of Man and the Isles that flourished from the last quarter of the eleventh century down to the middle of the thirteenth century represent two forgotten kingdoms of the medieval British Isles. They were ruled by powerful...
Paperback | Pub: 07 Mar 2016
The history of the so-called Canmore kings in Scotland, from the reign of Malcolm lll (1058-1093) down to that of Alexander lll (1249-1286), is marked by an array of insurrections led by discontented dynasts and native warlords with grievances...