The Battle of Dun Nectain

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Definition

The Battle of Dun Nechtain (also known as The Battle of Dunnichen, The Battle of Nechtanemere, Lin Garan, and The Battle of Nechtan) was a pivotal engagement between the Northumbrians under their king Ecgfrith and the Picts under the leadership of their king Brude Mac Bile (also known as King Bridei III). The battle took place at 3:00 pm (15.00) on Saturday, 20 May, 685 CE. The precise dating of the engagement might suggest that there is thorough documentation of the battle but, actually, aside from the account by the historian Bede (672-735 CE) and possibly the depiction carved on the Aberlemno Stone stone #2, few details are known. The Battle of Dun Nectain stopped the Northumbrian invasions (at least for a time), freed the Scots and Britons from Northumbrian domination, and secured the boundaries of the lands of the Picts. Historians John and Julia Keay note that the battle "may thus have created the circumstances which led to the foundation of Scotland" (271). This claim is further supported by other historians, such as Stuart McHardy, who also notes the lasting importance of this battle in Scottish history.

More about: The Battle of Dun Nectain

Timeline

  • 681
    Brude takes Dunottar.
  • 682
    Brude subdues Orkney.
  • 683
    Brude takes Dunadd.
  • 20 May 685
    The Battle of Dun Nechtain; Brude defeats and kills the Angle King Ecgfirth.
  • 693
    Death of King Brude of the Picts.
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