Malcolm I – Podcast Glossary

Our podcast episode on Malcolm I features a lot of different names of people and places all mucking about in roughly the same area, which might get a bit confusing to follow! So, if you find yourself losing track of who’s doing what with who then cast a glance at our handy glossary for the episode…

People

Scots

  • Malcolm I – the king of the Scots and the subject of the episode
  • Constantine II – the previous king of the Scots who fought Athelstan at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. He abdicated, meaning he was still alive for much of Malcolm’s reign.
  • Cellach – an unknown man from Moray who suffers the misfortune of being killed by Malcolm for reasons unknown.

Saxons

  • Athelstan – the mighty first king of England who defeated Constantine II at Brunanburh but then died just two years later, leaving a power vacuum in Northumbria
  • Edmund I – Athelstan’s younger brother and successor, who gets off to a shaky start but soon puts the Vikings in their place and makes an alliance with Malcolm
  • Eadred – Edmund’s younger brother and successor, who suffers from a bad stomach, a bad temper and a bad Viking in Northumbria

Vikings

  • Olaf Gothrifthson – leader of the Viking descendants of Ivar the Boneless and the King of Dublin, kicked out of York by Athelstan but he returns on Edmund’s accession
  • Olaf Sihtricson / Amlaib Curan – a cousin of Olaf Gothfrithson who succeeds him in York and becomes a pawn in the battle for dominance in the region
  • Ragnall Gothfrithson – another cousin who rules either with Olaf or is a rival in York
  • Erik the Bloodaxe – the old-school pagan Viking who gets kicked out of Norway but gets invited to be King of York
  • Wulfstan – not actually a Viking but rather the Archbishop of York whose determination to achieve Northumbrian independence led him to invite Erik to be king

Cumbrians/Britons

  • Owen – the king of Cumbria/Strathclyde who fought with Constantine II and Olaf Gothfrithson against Athelstan at Brunanburh. Dies in 937 (either in the battle or soon after)
  • Dyfnwal / Dunmail III – Owen’s successor in Cumbria, in legend the last king but in reality probably reduced to a vassal king under Malcolm I
  • Malcolm I of Scotland – Dunmail’s succcessor, probably named in honour of Malcolm I of the Scots

Places

  • Scotland – a smaller version of the country as it exists today
  • Cumbria/Strathclyde – not always clear if these are synonymous or separate kingdoms, but the territory is roughly south-west Scotland from Glasgow down to the Lake District in north-west England
  • Northumbria – a once-powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom stretching from modern-day north-east England into south-east Scotland. It proved the battleground for much of the reign, particularly around its capital city of York.
  • Brunanburh – location of the great battle of 937 between Athelstan and the Scottish/Viking alliance. Its precise location is much debated but ultimately unproven.
  • The Tees – a river in the north-east of England, which is the area for a raid by Malcolm
  • Moray – a former kingdom on the east coast of Scotland, which seems to have resisted Malcolm’s rule. References to places in this episode such as ‘Fodresach’, ‘Fetteresso’ are in this region.

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