Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The kilt of course is completely ahistorical
The interesting looking new Pixar film, Brave, is about ancient Scotland and features Billy Connolly as King Fergus. As everyone knows Scotland is one of Ireland's greatest gifts to the world and the era of the movie seems to be around the time of the once powerful but now largely forgotten Irish-Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The real life King Fergus of Dalriada is considered to be the first king of Scotland. He spoke Irish (as did all Scottish Kings until the unfortunate death of King Macbeth (don't believe the Shakespeare version)) and legend has it that King Fergus died in the town where I was born and which is named after him: Carrickfergus. Here's what Wikipedia says about the real King Fergus, who may also have been a contemporary of King Arthur: 

Fergus Mór mac Eirc (Scottish Gaelic: Fergus Mòr Mac Earca; English: Fergus the Great) was a legendary king of Dál Riata. He was the son of ErcWhile his historicity may be debatable, his posthumous importance as the founder of Scotland in the national myth of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland is not in doubt. Rulers of Scotland from Cináed mac Ailpín until the present time claim descent from Fergus Mór. The historical record, such as it is, consists of an entry in the Annals of Tigernach, for the year 501, which states: Feargus Mor mac Earca cum gente Dal Riada partem Britaniae tenuit, et ibi mortuus est. (Fergus Mór mac Eirc, with the people of Dál Riata, held part of Britain, and he died there.) However, the forms of Fergus, Erc and Dál Riata are later ones, written down long after the 6th century. Fergus is also found in the king lists of Dál Riata, and later of Scotland, of which the Senchus Fer n-Alban and the Duan Albanach can be taken as examples. The Senchus states that Fergus Mór was also known as Mac Nisse Mór. These sources probably date from the 10th and 11th centuries respectively, between 30 and 40 generations after Fergus may have lived. While it was suggested some believe Fergus claimed lineage to Arthur, the historian John Morris has suggested, instead, that Fergus was allowed to settle in Scotland as a federate of Arthur, as a bulwark against the Picts.  

Here's what wikipedia says about Carrickfergus: 

Carrickfergus (from IrishCarraig Fhearghais, meaning "rock of Fergus"), known locally and colloquially as "Carrick", is a large town in County AntrimNorthern Ireland. It is located on the north shore of Belfast Lough, 11 miles (18 km) from Belfast. The town had a population of 27,201 at the2001 Census and takes its name from Fergus Mór mac Eirc, the 6th century king of Dál Riata. It is County Antrim's oldest town and one of the oldest settlements in Northern Ireland as a whole.