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Angus MacFergus

Angus MacFergus ( Oengus MacFergus) (c.690–761), king of the Picts. Under Angus Pictish power was at its height. Succeeding in 729 after a fierce internal struggle, Angus established himself as over-king and waged war on all his neighbours. The king of Atholl was defeated c.734 and his son drowned (a formal ritual killing): the king himself was drowned c.739. In 736 Angus attacked Dalriada and captured Dunedd. Next he is reported at war with the Northumbrians, his immediate neighbours to the south of the Forth. But when he turned his attention to the Britons of Strathclyde he was not so successful. With the aid of Eadberht of Northumbria, he captured their stronghold of Dumbarton in 756, but his army was wiped out ten days later. Though the details are suspect, Angus was clearly a formidable ruler, and the continuator of Bede's chronology bade farewell to him in 761 without regret: ‘a tyrant murderer who from the beginning to the end of his reign persisted in bloody crime.’

J. A. Cannon

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