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Alba, kingdom of

Alba, kingdom of. The name ‘Alba’ was Irish and originally applied to Britain (‘Albion’). It was then adopted by the kingdom created by Kenneth MacAlpin of Dalriada when he took over the kingdom of the Picts in the 840s. This was far from being the whole of Scotland, since Lothian south of the Forth was still held by the Northumbrians and much of the north, west, and the islands were under Norse influence. By the 11th cent. it was more commonly known as Scotia or Scotland. The dukedom of Albany, which merged with the Scottish crown, took its title from Alba, and it remains the Gaelic name for Scotland today. See also Fortriu; Scots, kingdom of.

J. A. Cannon

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