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THE BATTLE OF DUNNICHEN 685 AD

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:58 am
by grahamp
The Pictish defeat of the Northumbrians is arguably the most important turning point in Scottish history. The stunning victory allowed the Picts to reverse Northumbrian expansion and led to Pictland becoming the dominant kingdom in North Britain - the foundation for the Scottish nation.
Waged on Saturday 20 May 685, the battle of Dunnichen, fought near Forfar in north eastern Scotland, is the best-documented event in the history of the Picts. This bloody engagement pitted the Pictish army of Bridei son of Beli, king of Fortriu, against that of his cousin Ecgfrith son of Oswig, king of the Northumbrian Angles. Outmanoeuvred by the shores of the now much reduced Restenneth Loch, from which the battlefield took its English (Nechtanesmere) and British/Pictish (Linn Garan, 'crane lake') names, Ecgfrith was killed 'along with the flower of his army'. The Pictish victory was complete, and brought an emphatic end to their former subjection to Bridei's Anglian kinsman.
The fall of their king signalled the end of the 'golden age' of Mortumbria, facilitating the dawn of a new political age in both southern and northern Britain. The Pictish kingdom of Fortriu emerged from Dunnichen as the dominant kingdom in North Britain for generations to come, during which timeits kings laid the foundations of what would become the medieval kingdom of Scotland. It is for this reason that the battle of Dunnichen is mentioned in the same breath as the more famous battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn, and has long been seen as a pivotal moment in the history of the Scottish nation.

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:09 pm
by Medicus Matt
Shame that it's known by it's Scots/Irish name instead of as "the Battle of Lin Garan".

"Outmanouvered" or lured into a trap of boggy ground by the feigned retreat of Bridei's forces who chose to win the battle by guile and deception rather than standing and facing their valiant Anglian foes like true warriors.

Hehehehe :twisted:

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:22 pm
by grahamp
Yes, I thought I'd just share it as its not that well known and to just add something extra to read in this forum.

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:24 pm
by Medicus Matt
Ooops, edited my response rather than posting a new one. That's confusing.

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:20 pm
by Alan_F
Medicus Matt wrote:Shame that it's known by it's Scots/Irish name instead of as "the Battle of Lin Garan".

"Outmanouvered" or lured into a trap of boggy ground by the feigned retreat of Bridei's forces who chose to win the battle by guile and deception rather than standing and facing their valiant Anglian foes like true warriors.

Hehehehe :twisted:


To quote a group of gentlemen from Poole:

"Not by stength. By guile"

Re: THE BATTLE OF DUNNICHEN 685 AD

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:22 pm
by Alan_F
grahamp wrote:It is for this reason that the battle of Dunnichen is mentioned in the same breath as the more famous battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn, and has long been seen as a pivotal moment in the history of the Scottish nation.


Except that the majorty of people in Scotland very probably haven't heard of it!

Re: THE BATTLE OF DUNNICHEN 685 AD

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:55 pm
by Medicus Matt
Alan_F wrote:
Except that the majorty of people in Scotland very probably haven't heard of it!


Coz it's a reminder of their secret shame; they're all Irish immigrants or Scandinavian tourists. It's only the wee dark Shuggies that really belong there :twisted:

Re: THE BATTLE OF DUNNICHEN 685 AD

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:49 am
by Alan_F
Medicus Matt wrote:
Alan_F wrote:
Except that the majorty of people in Scotland very probably haven't heard of it!


Coz it's a reminder of their secret shame; they're all Irish immigrants or Scandinavian tourists. It's only the wee dark Shuggies that really belong there :twisted:


Matt, old love, my lot were Irish immigrants..... :x

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:21 pm
by Gary
This battle has so many names

Dunnichen
Lin Garan
Nechtamsere
Dunnichen Moss

and also...

Duin Nechtain. This is my problem with the location. Alex Woolf, one of the most respected accedemic historians has recently pointed out that not only does Duin Nechtain not tranlate down to Dunnichen very well, there is another location, which translates far better, has a 'Lin' well regarded for its wildlife, which is much more in 'steep and desolate mountains'. The place is Dunnachtan(sp?) in Badenoch, just of the A9, right next to the Innsh marshes.

Alex has also shown (and is now seen as being quite right by many historians, I just was at a seminar of the FMSG and their was no real dissenting voices about this) the Fortriu is located around the Moray Firth, Inverness area. This leads to a whole new view of the battle, and the importance of the outcome! I'll say more and probabaly edit this post when I get hoem and have some books to hand.

Thanks for bring this subject up though. Pictish studies I feel always suffers because only a very small number of people knwo anyting much at all, as the few bits of information that does exist are often in more obscure and little known, or untranslated sources. There is a huge amount of 'popular' history about the Picts which is compleate and utter garbage, (the Osprey book has about 5 good lines) and I'd like to do more to try and bring more of the current accedemic ideas to a wider audience.

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:13 pm
by steve stanley
Couldn't agree more about the Osprey book...was given it as a present..they really can't have liked me!!
Steve