Talk:Kenneth MacAlpin

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Early Scottish Kings Names[edit]

There is a hope to resolve the remaining problem of early Scottish king names; it is hoped a friendly and constructive discussion, and one has been started at .Wikipedia:WikiProject Medieval Scotland/Royal naming. Regards, Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 14:47, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I will join that discussion. In the meantime, I support this article being at Kenneth rather Cináed, which was the move request. Certainly that is the most common name in English, whatever we do about the rest of the name. Septentrionalis 18:25, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Articles should be found under the accurate, contemporary name of the monarch if this is at all possible and have a redirect pointing to them from what may be the more common Anglicised name i.e. Kenneth pointing to Cináed. siarach 20:09, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
This is not policy. Please argue this position at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (names and titles); not here. Septentrionalis 16:44, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

In any case, ga:Coinneach Mac Ailpín appears to be plausible; this sort of disagreement is why we let the English language make up her own mind. Septentrionalis 16:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Plausible in what sense ? Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:02, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
As being the Gaelic form of the name; if writers of Gaelic accept Coinneach, it has at least a claim against Cináed; and I see Calgacus likes Cainnech. Why need we decide between them? Septentrionalis 23:13, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The question at issue is the name in English. Only two variants are in use at present in printed works: Kenneth and Cináed. There are other forms used in English for "people whose name might be Kenneth", in print and on Wikipedia, but only those two for this particular person. Cainnech and Coinneach aren't used for any of them in English. Angus McLellan (Talk) 10:00, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

REGARDING THE USE OF THE TERM KING OF PICTS

There is little support for this term in scholastic discourse. The story appears to be military in events. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.123.174.31 (talkcontribs).

KING OR CHIEF OF THE PICTS

I take my previous comment back. King is the appropriate term. The Pictish culture would never have a "King" they would have a Cheif. Has anyone ever seen the term Cheiftain used in northern britain? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.123.174.31 (talkcontribs).

Pictish kings are called kings rather than chiefs. The first book to come to hand (D.P. Kirby, The Earliest English Kings) mentions and indexes "Nechtan, son of Derile, king of the Picts" and "Oengus, son of Forgus, king of the Picts". The second book I tried (Yorke, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England) didn't have any Picts, so I tried another one by the same author (Conversion of Britain). There we have "Bridei, son of Beli, king of the Picts", "Bridei, son of Derilei, king of the Picts", "Bridei, son of Maelchon, king of the Picts", "Constantine, king of the Picts", "Nechtan, son of Derilei, king of the Picts" and "Onuist, king of the Picts", et cetera. Kings of the Picts is what people use, not chiefs.
The introduction to the article should summarise the contents, which means that adding things which disagree with the contents is a bad idea. This didn't agree, so I changed it back. The recent changes don't correspond either. The first king of the Picts, according to myth, was the eponymously named Cruithne. The first king of the Picts found in any annalistic sources is Bridei son of Maelchon. The first king of the Picts known from surviving near-contemporary writings is Bridei son of Bili. Definitely not the first king of the Picts; almost the last one. Hope this makes sense, Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:09, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

New Edinburgh History naming[edit]

Whoever indexed the New Edinburgh History volume From Pictland to Alba - and I assume they'll do From Caledonia to Pictland - indexed this man as Cinaed f. Alpín (and Ciniod f. Elphin, which says "see Cinaed f. Alpín") [this is a printing artefact, and should have been Cináed f. Alpín according to the note on naming]. Everyone is treated the same by the indexer, even the Norse, Anglo-Saxons, and Irish. The text discusses "Cináed son of Alpín", "Áed son of Neill" [i.e. Áed mac Néill (Áed Findliath)], "Gofraid grandson of Ímar". It's English right enough, but it's not Wikipedia format. No Kenneths, Donalds, Constantines, Malcolms, Indulfs, Duncans to be seen. Of course, the Columbia Encyclopedia remains as it was. Woolf's and the indexers names would give:

Constantín son of Wrguist, k. of Fortriu (we say Caustantín of the Picts
Onuist son of Wrguist, k. of Fortriu (we say Óengus II of the Picts)
Wen son of Onuist, k. of Fortriu (we say Uen of the Picts)
Wrad son of Bargoit, k. of the Picts (we say Uurad of the Picts)
some omitted
Cináed son of Alpín, k. of the Picts (we say Kenneth I of Scotland)
Domnall son of Alpín, k. of the Picts (we say Donald I of Scotland)
Constantín son of Cináed, k. of the Picts (we say Constantine I of Scotland)
Áed son of Cináed, k. of the Picts (we say Áed of Scotland)
Eochaid son of Rhun, k. of ? (we say Eochaid of Scotland)
Giric son of Dúngal, k. of ? (we say Giric of Scotland)
Domnall son of Constantín, k. of Alba (we say Donald II of Scotland)
Constantín son of Áed, k. of Alba (we say Constantine II of Scotland)
Máel Coluim son of Domnall, k. of Alba (we say Malcolm I of Scotland)
Ildulb son of Constantín, k. of Alba (we say Indulf of Scotland)
Dub son of Máel Coluim, k. of Alba (we say Dub of Scotland)
Cuilén son of Ildulb, k. of Alba (we say Cuilén of Scotland)
Amlaíb son of Ildulb, k. of Alba (we say Amlaíb of Scotland)
Cináed son of Máel Coluim, k. of Alba (we say Kenneth II of Scotland)
Constantín son of Cuilén, k. of Alba (we say Constantine III of Scotland)
Cináed son of Dub, k. of Alba (we say Kenneth III of Scotland)
Máel Coluim son of Cináed, k. of Alba (we say Malcolm II of Scotland)
Findláech son of Ruaidrí, k. of Alba (we say Findláech of Moray
Máel Coluim son of Máel Brigte, k. of Alba (we say Máel Coluim of Moray
Donnchad son of Crínán, k. of Alba (we say Duncan I of Scotland)
Macbethad son of Findláech, k. of Alba (we say Macbeth of Scotland)
Lulach son of Gilla Comgáin, k. of Alba (we say Lulach of Scotland)
Máel Coluim son of Donnchad, k. of Alba (we say Malcolm III of Scotland)

If nothing else, you'd have to say that Clann Cináeda's official version is alive and well and living on Wikipedia. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:21, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Old requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not to move.

Comment I am closing this discussion since no consensus will be reached on this plethora of moves, nor will further discussion here gain consensus. I would echo suggestions made by Andrewa and others that a proponent may wish to relist an individual move, which may allow for discussion to set precident for others or in the very least, maintain a neater discussion --Lox (t,c) 10:23, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Except Kenneth MacAlpin and Macbeth, none of these kings can be said to be well-known at all in the English-speaking world. Infinite replication of king lists and regurgitation of popular tertiary works on the internet does not count as being "well known", but rather "well replicated" or "well reproduced". Current titles may offer a comforting standard, but are misrepresentative of the facts and behind even much modern tertiary writing.

These moves offer the only accurate titles possible, and should be accepted. Rejecting this in favour of the misapplied Use English, which here seems to mean anglicize at the expense of facts, will damage wikipedia and set it's ambition far lower than the standard actually already reached in most of those articles. Anglicization is not the central problem though. It is numbering these guys inaccurately and treating them like renaissance monarchs when they're not. Scottish kings titles are currently the puss-filled carbuncle on wikipedia's representation of dark age insular history.

The current names are embarrasing and make users experienced in the modern historiography cringe. It is not pedantry to follow the standards of scholarship. Even encarta has abandoned them (though not in titles). Upward conformity is standard in scientific and techinical articles, but seems to be flimsically rejected in favour of inaccurate populism for history and monarch articles. There is no good reason for this. Kenneth I of Scotland was not called Kenneth, not the first ruler of the kingdom with that name, and did not rule a kingdom called Scotland. Likewise for Constantine I of Scotland, and others. You might as well tell the readers they lived on Mars.

Many of the arguments have already been put recently at Talk:Constantine II of Scotland and Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#British_and_Irish_medieval_names; there are related discussions at Template talk:Scottish Monarchs and Talk:Kenneth I of Scotland.

Please do not reject this on the basis that "most readers" would not be able to find these articles. This is nonsense, as all monarchs will still be linked to list pages and one can make and keep as many redirects as one likes. If most readers think Kenneth MacAlpin ruled Mars, we can have Kenneth, King of Mars as a redirect without actually implying he did rule Mars on the actual page.

Article titles do not have to affect what forms (i.e. Malcolm versus Mael Coluim) are used in the body of the text. The primary aim of this proposal is to solve the title problem. Use of native/scholarly forms happens to be necessary, but is of itself incidental.

The following monarchs are the monarchs concerned. The names of later and omitted Scottish monarchs do not cause the problems currently entailed. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Oppose absolutely: It is a blatant falsehood to claim that men such as Duncan I, Malcolm III and Kenneth MacAlpin are better known by their Gaelic name forms. And whilst I will not speak for Constantine of the Picts, the others are far more commonly known by their English regnal titles than by their Gaelic patronymics. Michael Sanders 17:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, 'of Scotland' is anachronistic. Haukur (talk) 17:40, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment - but accepted. We are not here to rewrite history or historiography (furthermore, there are plenty of other cases of anachronistic usages which are accepted. "Holy Roman Emperor" as a title didn't exist until the 12th century, and I don't know when "King of France" - as opposed to "King of the Franks" - came into use, but it was certainly quite late. Michael Sanders 17:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This is getting out of hand folks. This is the English Wikipedia, and those English names are the more commonly used. What's next? change the entire article content to Gaelic? GoodDay (talk) 17:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment Hardly. Could you at least read the proposal. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:45, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment Read it, but disagree with it. The articles are fine as they are (even with the predominant Gaelic in it). GoodDay (talk) 17:54, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment Well, this is a discussion, not a vote; so it'd be good is you gave reasons. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment I'm a layman; these Gaelic changes are over my head. I can't read Gaelic or pronounce it; are we gonna start changing early Pope articles to Latin, next? GoodDay (talk) 18:13, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support (strongly) as nominator, per above. I'll add that I can't see any way of using convincing Anglicized names in the title, dabbing and being accurate at the same time. I know hostility to the native/scholarly forms through partially misguided loyalty to WP:UE is likely to cause the proposal to fail, which I think is a crying shame; just means this issue will remain. It hurts that one has to accept the realities of the way wiki works even when it's so clearly wrong. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. We can discuss "of Scotland" (although it is clearly appropriate as modern usage for, say, Duncan II), but the idea that the Gaelic names are what most English speakers generally call these kings; we are, for the hundredth time, optimized for general readers, not for the handful of specialists in this area. They have, and should thank heaven for, more reliable sources than Wikipedia is or is likely to become. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's simply incorrect to say that only Kenneth McAlpin and Macbeth are well known in English. At the very least, Duncan I and Malcolm III are well known from Shakespeare's play. Probably as many people have heard of them as of Kenneth. Going further, by analogy, if we are going to have Kenneth I and Malcolm III and Duncan I, it makes sense to use anglicized forms for the other kings with the same name - Kenneth II and III, Duncan II, Malcolm I, II, and IV. At that point, using the (relatively) familiar anglicizations more or less throughout (for obvious exceptions like Aed, whose name is never anglicized) seems like the way to go. I don't particularly care about "of Scotland" - I've never liked the way we disambiguate monarch articles, and if we could agree on a better way, I'm fine with that. Obviously, though, some disambiguation is needed, at least for the Constantines. john k (talk) 17:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment Being in Shakespeare's play doesn't mean being well known. When I was younger I acted in Romeo and Juliet and I still don't remember any of the obscure characters. Anyways, it'd prolly help if as many people as possible give some thought to how Constantine I of Scotland can ever be accurately and disambiguously renamed without using a native/ academic form.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:08, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    At the risk of turning this into a discussion of English literature, I think Duncan is fairly memorable in the Scottish play (his silver skin laced with his golden blood...). Michael Sanders 18:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • And taking this objection literally, Deacon is claiming that MacBeth himself is an obcscure character in the Scottish play.... Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
      Hardly. And since you didn't notice, I'll point out to you that Macbeth is indeed absent from this proposal. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
    As Michael says, Duncan, at least, is pretty memorable. Perhaps Malcolm is less so, but he's still a fairly major character. Ross and Lennox are obscure characters. Both Duncan and Malcolm are integral parts of the plot mechanics. They are almost certainly better known to more people than any other king of Scotland besides Macbeth himself, Robert the Bruce, and James VI. As to Constantine I, I don't see what the issue is - don't we have the same issue with Edward I of England? Certainly the "anglicization" isn't a problem, as in that case the name isn't even a Gaelic one. john k (talk) 18:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • And we must disambiguate him from the Emperor of the same number somehow. "(Scotland)" or "(Scots)" seems less helpful than the present title, which can at least be used in running text. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Well, English kings were dated from the conquest. That is contemporary and accurate, and a strong centralized state like England is not comparable to the Kingdom of Alba; in fact, these titles promote such a bad comparison, and are probably the reason so many think it apt. Scottish kings didn't know who their predecessors were, and if they numbered at all (which they didn't at least until Alexander II), they would have done it agnatically not through office holding. Those English kings had a system ... let's not try and pretend the Albanic kings did just because we want convenient comparisons. As for Duncan ... how about Lady Macbeth? You won't convince me for a second that of the 1-2% of people in the English-speaking world who remember a character called Duncan in that play, more than 10% of those know he was Duncan I/Donnchad mac Crinain. Best regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:31, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    And Scottish Kings were dated from the ascension of Kenneth MacAlpin. Both cases are good comparisons - both examples of later nationalists justifying the rule of their monarchs by dating it from a specific supposed watershed moment which had less to do with historical reality and more to do with propaganda. The only difference is that the Scots initially claimed that Pictish kings before MacAlpin were Scottish monarchs, a claim which has now been dropped in the mainstream. Otherwise, both cases are inaccurate usage which nonetheless is so well recognised that it would be damaging and arrogant to alter it. Michael Sanders 18:39, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    But they weren't ... that's the very point! Scottish kings didn't know who their predecessors were! Kenneth I of Scotland is a modern fantasy based on a now rejected Anglo-Norman myth. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:45, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Wait...Kenneth MacAlpin is fictional? I've never heard that. Michael Sanders 18:50, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Yeah, I think you missed the point there. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    That's not what the article says; it says his conquest of Pictland was a myth, which is quite different. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    What did you think I was talking about? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
    That the numbers were made up later is completely irrelevant. Not a single ancient monarch used ordinals. They are convenient ways to refer to people, no more. Bringing in Lady Macbeth again. Lady Macbeth is not a name, it is a title, among other things. As to the extent of familiarity with Duncan - I think that most people, on looking at a list and seeing that there was a historical King Macbeth, would expect that his predecessor would be Duncan and his successor Malcolm (Lulach having been ignored by Shakespeare). That most people are unfamiliar with almost all history seems irrelevant here. Many more people are familiar with the notion that there was a Scottish king named Duncan who preceded with Macbeth than with, say, anything having to do with Alexander II. Obviously, there's many people who are familiar with neither, but what does that matter. The basic point is that the vast majority of people who have heard of Donnchad mac Crinain know him as "Duncan". And that that number is not derisory. Macbeth is one of the best known plays in the English language. Along with Braveheart, it is about all that most non Scottish people know about medieval Scottish history, even if they aren't fully aware that it's about real historical figures. "Lady Macbeth" would be a ridiculous name to use, in that it's not a name. Traditional anglicizations of the Gaelic names "Donnchad" and "Mael Coluim" don't fall into the same category at all. Additionally, no historian would ever call Gruoch "Lady Macbeth" - lady Macbeth is a literary character. Plenty of historians call and have called Donnchad mac Crinain and Mael Coluim mac Donnchad "Duncan I" and "Malcolm III" respectively. john k (talk) 19:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Please, don't bring Braveheart into this; that movie is full of inaccuracies. GoodDay (talk) 19:30, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    As is Macbeth. And Ivanhoe, and pretty much every other work of historical fiction ever written. Garbled as such things may be, people still learn about real historical figures and events through such works. john k (talk) 19:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - We've had this vote before - not that long ago - and I see no reason to change my opinion. Deb (talk) 18:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    Comment: That was an entirely different survey. What were your reasons then anyways? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    See the archives. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I still am convinced that we need to use english, to be generally understood. All details can be decorated to the article text, with plenty of explication. Henq (talk) 19:22, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It would only be fair that those who will be working on improving these articles get their way in naming them. I have unwatched the lot as my efforts have produced shoddy academic pedantry which looks like vandalism. For the next six months at least I'll go and do something else instead and David Lauder and Deb and John and Sanders and Tharkun Coll and Good Day and Anderson, armed with the Pears Junior Cyclopedia, etc, can surely do better than me. I look forward to the rush of featured articles. Have fun, Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC) [Changed to support. Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:04, 5 January 2008 (UTC)]
Comment I've never read any Pears Junior Cyclopedia, clarify please. GoodDay (talk) 20:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
What can I say? I unreservedly withdraw the baseless claim that your knowledge of this subject is based on academic pedantry like the Pears Junior Cyclopedia. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Your comments show a level of personal attack which is unacceptable on Wikipedia. You do not own the articles to which you refer and that is the inference. Any more disgraceful remarks referring to others in a thinly veiled manner as intellectual idiots using Pears Junior Cyclopedia as their only reference books and I will pursue a complaint against you until satisfaction. You need to get a grip. David Lauder (talk) 11:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
See here. The respect for knowledge and expertise on this project is just shocking. No wonder it's so mocked in the outside world. It's so sad that a guy with the character Angus has has finally been overwhelmed by it. I have spoken of this often, and [ it's hardly an undiscussed phenomenon; and whenever one tries to deal with it, one's burden gets supplemented by well-intentioned self-righteous blunderers with sysop privileges. Knowledge on wiki equals arrogance; protecting quality equals "edit-warring", arbitrarily punishable unless one spends most of one's days giving history lessons on talk pages. Revert power, time and energy are everything! Angus aims for accuracy, quality and hence upward conformity in history articles, as is natural in science and other such articles and for anyone with a normal professional mindset, but he's told that low is good (apols to John who should be praised for at least showing evidence of understanding the issues). So is it really a surprise that it's all finally got to a guy even as laid back as Angus? Good luck getting decent articles here with Deb and the bunch, who don't even bother to read any of the debate they expect to have a say in when they suddenly take an interest in subjects they don't have a clue about. I hope you're all happy about driving Angus away. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
This attitude is quite unworthy of you both. If you are going to contribute constructively to wikipedia, you have to learn that you can't always have your own way. If you can't accept that, then I'm sorry to say it's probably better if you do leave. And for your information, I did most of the groundwork on the articles for British kings and queens on which you later built. Deb (talk) 21:10, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I reckon it would be unwiki for me to keep editing in any field where the work I'm doing is opposed by quite so many editors. It's only fair to let those who feel they can do better have their chance. Perhaps I'm being unduly smug and self-satisfied but I see my attitude here as being rather more generous and in line with the best interests of the project than the usual course of events. No dramas and ANI or RfCs, just six months of peace and quiet to get on with editing. What is your problem here exactly? Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:36, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
As for me, I would merely like to be able to read the articles when done, and compare what we say on these kings with ODNB (I don't have a Junior Encyclopedia) without trying to guess the Gaelic from the pronunciation. I think many of our readers have the same preferences. If you want to start an e-journal of early Scottish History, by all means do so; but this cannot be it. Please learn when to write for a general audience (and do read WP:OWN). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate your intentions here are good, but such advice will more probably than not come across as patronizing and misguided. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:52, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You are correct that it is not so intended; however, I do not see that the poster of "...and Anderson, armed with the Pears Junior Cyclopedia" (of which I have never heard) has much ground for complaint. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:07, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that the Pears Junior Cyclopedia is a British reference work comparable to the U.S.', Golden Book Encyclopedia, which may still be in existence. The GBE was geared towards primary school children. I have often thought that the latter has been used to bolster arguments, or used to even write articles on these pages. Dr. Dan (talk) 02:18, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Angus, I'm genuinely sorry to hear this. I have nothing but respect for the work you've been doing in improving articles on medieval Scottish history, and I'm sorry that you feel your contributions aren't valued because of what really ought to be fairly minor disagreements over nomenclature. I hope you reconsider. But Septentrionalis is right about WP:OWN - compromises with the hoi polloi are always going to be part of wikipedia. john k (talk) 21:22, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    John, that's not what's gotten to him. It's much deeper and broader, and you'll get a better idea if you follow his recent contribs and mine (although you probably need to have his expertise to identify the true extent of his frustration). The past week he has been bombarded with low quality tendentious editing and demands on his time. It's demoralizing. Top quality editors like Angus (and he is an editor of the finest quality) should be protected and helped, not recommended to leave. BTW Deb, those articles are nothing you should be boasting about. And if you want to be taken seriously, practice what you preach and contribute constructively, not impune people with base motivations. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:39, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Excuse me Deacon, but I do understand why you and Angus prefer Gaelic on those articles. Those Gaelic names were what those monarchs were known by in their lifetimes. But I still disagree with 'moving the pages' to Gaelic titles. GoodDay (talk) 22:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Strongly support as regards getting rid of the anachronistic 'of Scotland', numbered nonsense. Fairly neutral concerning the Gaelic/English controversy. Q·L·1968 20:26, 2
  • Strong support. "Use English" does not mean "naively anglicize". --Lysytalk 00:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
    You're right. It doesn't. It means "use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article". We're not talking about creating new forms, we're talking about maintaining usage of the commonly used forms which most readers recognise these people by. Michael Sanders 00:41, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose moves to foreign language names per WP:UE, WP:COMMONNAME, and common sense. — AjaxSmack 04:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I cannot pretend to be an expert of the history of Scotland, however even I have heard of many of the supposedly unknown Kings by their numerals in my time studying English history, the flight of Edgar Ætheling to the court of Malcolm III springs to mind. Narson (talk) 11:59, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support many who opposes this move points to naming conventions, but conventions are not set in stone. Plus 'of Scotland' should be eliminated, ASAP. M.K. (talk) 13:06, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose (rather strongly) Its the English wikipedia not gaelic.
    Notice for instance Francis I of France; he's a French king, absolutely nothing to do with England but the article is still at the English version of his name not Francois 1er.--Him and a dog 15:49, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Have done some research, and have read the arguments. Kenneth MacAlpin does not strike me as being Gaelic. Dr. Dan (talk) 21:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
"Kenneth MacAlpin" is probably more common than "Kenneth I of Scotland" in English usage. The others, however, are never used in common references, and as David Lauder has pointed out above not even all Scots would recognise them. Michael Sanders 00:43, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
You're right. It doesn't. It means to use English forms if they are more commonly used. They are. Nobody ever calls these people by the Gaelic forms, and it is insulting to the vast majority of the readers who know about these monarchs by their English names to use forms which barely anyone uses. Michael Sanders 00:43, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Nobody ever calls these people by the Gaelic forms <- You seriously believe that? Or do you believe that the modern historians of the subject are members of the category "nobody"? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:59, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I am sure some of the early kings may have this, but come on, you seriously want us to buy that Malcolm III is more commonly known by his Gaelic name? I have seen him referred to has Malcolm III, Malcolm III of Scotland, Malcolm III Canmore, Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III). Isn't there a manual of style on how we refer to monarchs? Mind you I fear this discussion will get invalidated like the Franz J Strauss one due to the messages you scattered about the place on peoples talk pages. Narson (talk) 02:07, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
you seriously want us to buy that Malcolm III is more commonly known by his Gaelic name <- I'd love to see where you got that argument from Narson. Shame hardly anyone has read this proposal. Anyways, what's this about messages on talk pages? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:44, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Because you requested we move him, as we use the name people would expect to find a page at (WP:UCN) you are therefore making the argument that people expect to find Malcolm III at Máel Coluim mac Donnchada. If you arn't, I apologise, but then I really have to question why you want the page moved if you acknowledge it isn't the name by which most would know him? As to talk pages, I was referring to the fact you left quite a few messages (that were almost all identical) on many users talk pages pointing them to this debate. The first bullet point in the WP:CANVASS 'generally accepted guideline' bit is: Be open. Do not make cross-posts that initially appear to be individual messages.. While not wrong, a similar action by Unschool at the Franz Josef Strauss article got the entire move discussion halted. Narson (talk) 04:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Struck my previous post, I had missed a key line from WP:UCN, and the tone of the rest was getting too snippy. However, I would like to point to number 8 on the monarchy naming conventions: No family or middle names, except where English speakers normally use them. I would take this to include patronyms... Narson (talk) 04:31, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The reasons for the move request are on the proposal. As for WP:Canvas, you'll have to forgive me for being lazy ... don't see what different it makes though nor why it is not 'open'. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 04:39, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
What? That we need to be accurate? I'm afraid that so called 'accuracy' is not an overwhelming reason to use obscure names over the common names and ignore the naming conventions. Not to mention that accuracy could be taken to mean what he is widely known as or what the current sitters on the Scottish Throne use to describe their predecessors. As to the 'Of Scotland' why not use Picts or Alba or whatever is appropiate. We can explain in the articles that they are numbered as though they are Kings of all Scotland. Narson (talk) 04:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
One can explain that in the article without splattering it in the title. No? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 05:23, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Wow. Michael. No one? Insulting? Uh, yeah, I agree on the insulting part, but probably not the way you meant it. - Kathryn NicDhàna 02:15, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Perhaps it's the language pendant in me that prefers accuracy over an erroneously Anglicized nomenclature of inaccuracy. I find the Gaelic more accurate as well as more evocative of the frame of reference around these people. This adds to understanding context and content of the articles. Pigman 03:26, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Hey, good points. - Kathryn NicDhàna 03:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't going to butt into this survey, but these comments compelled me. Contra Kathryn, I think Pigman's points to be about the worst heretofore expressed in this exercise. First, "accuracy". If by accuracy is meant contemporary documents, he may have a point. But then, contemporary documents have varied forms in Gaelic and perhaps Latin. How do we decide which are the accurate ones in an era before standardised spelling? If a 10th-century scribe had come from a region where the spelling "Kenneth" was pronounced like Cinaed, he'd have written it that way and it would be the accurate form. And what do you know, Kenneth isn't so far off from Cinaed. And why is it that we don't use the Latin anyway? Applying this to other historical figures would change most of the names of pre-modern people. Charlemagne and Alexander the Great would go. Could we even use a non-Greek alphabet for Alex? Second, "erroneous Anglicisation". What makes an Anglicisation erroneous? Is the word "erroneous", taken from Latin errōneus, an erroneous Anglicisation? Who decides what words can and cannot be Anglicised? Who decides what the proper spellings of Anglicised words are? How does Pigman know they are erroneous? Does he mean non-contemporary? Will he support a move request to Carolus Magnus from Charlemagne? Wait, was "magnus" used of him in his lifetime? Most English words are "anglicisations". Most languages "icise" foreign names of historical figures and their speakers have every right to. Third, "evocative" and "context". Does it really aid in giving context? What context, really, does an unfamiliar "Cinaed" supply? I don't think anyone denies that Cinaed will be mostly unfamiliar to the readership. "Frame of reference"? But aren't we talking about half-Pictish figures, sometimes half-Norse, who ruled a Pictish gens/regnum and for a good chunk of the period under discussion preferred Latin for their documents? Some even had Latin names (Constantines) and some genuine Norse ones (e.g. Amlaib). So what do their Gaelic names supply? Nothing. Of course, the English ones are no better, maybe worse. The whole point is that the Anglicisations are not innaccurate in any valuable sense of the word nor are they erroneous (at all). And the context has to be supplied by reading the article. The names only help if background is given on the names. I think some background must be given on the names (Gaelic, Latin, Norse, English) and the ordinals in order to understand what is traditional about these monarchs, what the best research says, and what we can really know about them as people in a given time and place (context). Srnec (talk) 04:45, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, no-one before the modern era would have called him Kenneth. "Kenneth I of Scotland" is a cringeworthy inaccuracy in every way it could be. Virtually all sources covering Cinaed mac Ailpin before the Norman era were in Gaelic or Gaelic-Latin diglossic documents like the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. K didn't exist in any insular language until the Normans imported it. As for non-Gaelic names ... well, names always go between languages and become naturalized. It's hardly confusing if the German wiki uses de:John Gielgud rather than Johann Gielgud or Yôḥānnān Gielgud. The context is that while firstly almost every one else in his world gets their names spelled in accurate or relatively accurate ways in modern writing, the Scottish kings stick out as sores. No, France, England and Germany aren't good contexts ... those areas in this period had names very much in keeping with modern naming in the English speaking world. No, this is more like calling Ivan IV of Russia John IV of Russia, whenever one else in his article is Ivan, Boris, etc. Surely, he is John, Ivan isn't an English name?! The context really does matter. Cinaed is a 9th century Picto-Scottish king, Kenneth is your mate you go ski-ing with, or whatever. You don't go ski-ing with Áed Oirdnide or Mael Muire. Anyways (love that word), the more important context is that scholars don't use these anglicized forms any more; Gaelic rulers get Gaelic forms, Norse rulers Norse forms, etc. But ... I don't want confuse by harping on as much about anglicizations just because others do ... as the proposal above indicates, it's not so much about using native names rather than anglicized ones, it's about abandoning the silly "X N of Y" formula, which is far worse an affliction for Scottish kings articles than having their names anglicized. Let's call Niall Frossach Nigel II of Ireland and Áed Allán Hugh IV of Ireland and we'll have something approaching a replication of the current Scottish situation. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 05:23, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Close, but no cigar. Let me try to be systematic. First, though, note that the comments I objected to were solely about Anglicisation (and maybe "of Scotland"), not enumeration.
The context is that while firstly almost every one else in his world gets their names spelled in accurate or relatively accurate ways in modern writing, the Scottish kings stick out as sores. Howso? Is "William the Conqueror" more or less accurate than his contemporary Norman French name? Is "Charlemagne"? What about other Dark Age kings, like the Carolingian Charles's or the Asturian Alfonsos? And almost all of these have variations in contemporary manuscripts. Anglicisation rules in medieval contexts, as you ought to know. The Scottish kings hardly stick out as sores. What about the Henries of France? Or the Peters and Johns of Aragon? Constantine seems accurate enough for a Scottish king if it's accurate enough for Constantine the Great.
France [...] and Germany aren't good contexts ... those areas in this period had names very much in keeping with modern naming in the English speaking world. And names like Malcolm, Kenneth, and Donald aren't common enough? I would say they may be as or more common than names like Henry, Louis, and Philip. You mean that Cinaed and Mael Coluim are uncommon today? Yes, but so are Ludovicus and Heinricus. I am not dead set against using original Gaelic forms, but I hate to see arguments against Anglicisation in general or alleging "innacuracy" and "error" in it. The really strong argument is "scholars don't use these anglicized forms any more", just like Anglophone Russian scholars never used John IV of Russia (much).
If you can find a tradition of calling Niall Frossach Nigel II of Ireland, you'd be right. But I think you should say that modern scholarship has simply discarded the notion that these kings belong in a Scottish monarchic succession. Fact is that both tradition and scholarship consider(ed) Cinead mac Ailpin to be Kenneth I of Scotland, while they do not consider Niall to be "Nigel II of Ireland" (I don't think). I am comfortable with working to change all this, which is why a suggested a separate discussion on how we could name these figures if we were going to try and scrap the "of Scotland" bit. Finally, note that I recognise the trend in historical studies of keeping to non-Anglicised forms, but I am not yet convinced that as a widespread phenomenon it is anything more than a fad. There is no strong reason to use the idealogical Pedro or Pere where one could just use Peter. Srnec (talk) 06:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
There's a difference, Srnec, between between recognizing that Cinaed mac Ailpin is often called Kenneth I (of Scotland is kinda redundant) and considering him as you implied the first Kenneth to have ruled either his kingdom or Scotland. He isn't considered such. As I said to John before, the issue of anglicization is partly gonna be a philosophical issue where both sides prolly aren't gonna move much by argument. But to address some of your other points. Names in Gaelic are particularly significant because they represent a distinct body of names, rather than differing pronunciations of common names such as Petrus (as a note, only a handful of "common" names crept into Gaelic before the 12th cent. because Christian names were generally avoided through Gilla and Mael prefixes; Duncan, Malcolm, Donald and Kenneth are recognizable names today because they were royal names, names hereditary to the royal dynasty ... and they were virtually unused in the English speaking world until recently as Scottish immigrants spread them, and all three have come via Lowland Scots). Neither Gaelic speaking countries were in the Roman Empire nor got taken over by Germans, which distinguishes it much from the rest of western Europe. Also importantly for the impressionistic point you're trying to drive home; Gaelic was a written language ... no other living western European language was until just about Kenneth's own time, when English and Welsh were joining it. There were standard ways of writing names, even if some scribes didn't always have perfect "literacy" ... i.e. knowledge of how to adhere to the "standard" forms (though they usually do). This is an important point for your impressionistic argument. Scholars have these names to use, and so use them. The Germanic variety mother-tongue to Carolus Magnus wasn't a written language, so Latin was the only language in which his name (something like Carol or Carl) could be standardized; Latin names aren't used to refer to medieval secular figures, so scholars don't have the option of synchronising his name into a system like they do with insular languages. That lies behind the very relevant fact that scholars call Charlemagne Charlemagne, but Kenneth MacAlpin Cinaed mac Ailpin. This isn't a fad either ... no scholar, no scholar specializing in pre-Norman Scottish history will call Cinaed MacAlpin Kenneth unless he has to ... you simply won't encounter it today unless you read and old or tertiary book. An entire generation of undergraduates moreover have studied these kings almost entirely in these forms, and to them (as I can testify) names such as "Kenneth I" and "Donald I" are almost unrecognizable; Nigel II of Ireland would give you a good way into this impression. They come across as unspeakable anachronisms. That is not the case with Charlemagne or William the Conqueror, and you can't make it so because you desire comparisons. Maybe it's not rational, but that's the way it is. All <- that btw is just to respond to your point, and is not to advance those forms per se. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 07:09, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
"An entire generation of undergraduates" wouldn't happen to have been Scottish would they? Perhaps all at least passingly familiar with Gaelic? You're right, it is about impressions and that creates an impasse, but I would still like to find a better way to refer to these kings than the current one in light of current scholarship without resorting to forms which are undeniably obscure for anybody familiar with these kings by their traditional identifiers, as I am still. And, no, I have no great ideas. Srnec (talk) 07:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I really don't think Scottish-ness is a factor; most of the scholars concerned aren't Scottish, but North American, Irish or (other) British. While I don't know the proportion of Scots taking courses with Benjamin Hudson at Pennsylvania State University is, it isn't very high at the Universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge (prolly is at Glasgow), and I don't believe knowledge of Gaelic is ever a course requirement (wouldn't help that much anyways). I came up with a provision at User:Deacon of Pndapetzim/King moves which avoided the native names first, before I tried this ... you could check that out and say what you think. I don't think, even with a negative outcome here, keeping the current names is really a long-time option. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, with comment, for now. I am most in line with john k's thinking on this whole issue. Sadly, this issue is at least three rolled into one: Anglicisation, enumeration, and "of Scotland". I can sympathise with wanting to gut all three, but I do not want Malcolm III of Scotland at a Gaelic title. Since most ordinals are anachronistic, yet used, I cannot see that alone as a reason to abandon them. Many inaccurate enumerations survive, see the monarchs of Sweden. Or England. And the "of Scotland" I would love to see revised, but these figures are known as Scottish kings. The fact that the nomenclature evolved over time so that most of them never called themselves Scottish kings in their lifetime is not reason enough to abandon it without a stronger alternative. The patronymics are obscure to me and uninformative/nondescript. I think we need to have this discussion, but perhaps one issue at a time. I vote to discuss revising the "of Scotland" first. Srnec (talk) 04:45, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose it is irresponsible to try to rename two dozen individuals with one discussion. There are arguments which could be made either way for each of these individuals. They should be treated individually. Noel S McFerran (talk) 05:26, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It seems like common sense that we should use the same titles and names which are used by current (English) scholars. I don't see how anyone can become confused when entering an article - one would only have to read about three words before the "sometimes known as" or "also known as", and voila they just might find that name they first read on a website. If the bulk of the sources used point to "Cináed son of Alpín" why should the article use "Kenneth I of Scotland"? If kings are not styled "I", "II", or "III of Scotland" in current works then why should we? The only argument is that it goes against some policy, but Deacon and others pointed out that scholars neither use these names or this numbering system. If we want these articles to be as accuartate and as up-to-date as possible, then blindly following some policy is a detriment to wikipedia. I think the changes requested are made with the best intentions of accuracy, so i support them.--Celtus (talk) 08:28, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it is simply untrue to claim that current scholars use the Gaelic spellings. As an example the late Marion Campbell, a Scot, used the Anglicised spellings of those Scottish kings she referred to in her recent biography of Alexander III. Maybe some scholars are using Gaelic spellings - but how many of the people who read them are going to be bothering with wikipedia? We have to worry about with the far greater number of people who have read a bit about the Scottish monarchs in a general context and under an anglicised name, and want to find out more about them - and who aren't going to be particularly happy if they go to wikipedia, a work of general presentation, and find out they are being excluded for the sake of a chimerical accuracy which, as Srnec pointed out above, isn't even that accurate! Michael Sanders 15:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Marion Campbell isn't a specialist scholar, but no matter the period she writes in is late; scholar writing in the area concerned have indeed abandoned anglicized naming ... and it's pretty much universal. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:26, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I know Marion Campbell isn't a scholar (although she did do a lot of research)...that's the point. Few people who are reading scholars will come to wikipedia. Many people who read writers like Marion Campbell will. Michael Sanders 16:33, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: It matters not a bit what "current scholars" or so-called "specialist scholars" are doing, wish to do, or what their disciples want followed. This is the English-language Wikipedia. Naming forms have been established down through the centuries in virtually all our history books, and these forms have been used in our greatest Histories of Scotland by established scholars. It is madness to have page titles in a form which is essentially foreign to 99.9% of the English-speaking world. Put the Gaelic form in the texts, certainly. Regards, David Lauder (talk) 19:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In English these are all far more commonly known by their English-format names. I might even support the movement to change this, but it hasn't yet happened, and probably won't happen any time soon. Andrewa (talk) 04:11, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Honestly people, this is going too far. Having the gaelic in a secondary style on these articles, was fine. But moving the articles to gaelic? When will it end? GoodDay (talk) 17:47, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The proposal is also dishonest. The nominator claims that men such as Duncan I, Malcolm III and Donald III (Donalbane) are unknown in the English-speaking world - which I think readers of Macbeth, or for that matter anyone interested in that period of history, would challenge. The proposal also uses inconsistent Gaelicisations of "Constantine", which appear to be historically dubious and dependent less upon established usage and more upon the whims of whoever first Gaelicised the articles. And, finally, given that there are plenty of other monarchs in similar positions, it is inconsistent to follow this policy here and nowhere else - but I seriously doubt anyone favours moving William I of England to Guillaume le Bâtard, or Charles II of Spain to Carlos el Hechizado. Michael Sanders 17:58, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm a layman folks; all these Gaelic words are decorative & I don't mind them in a secondary style (as they once were). But things are getting out of hand now; little guys (like me) are being crushed by these Professor-like changes (that only Professors can appreciate). GoodDay (talk) 18:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I just wanted to note that I think Deacon and Angus are trying to claim a unique situation for medieval Scottish monarchs, when in fact this same situation exists with most non-English European monarchs. My readings rather strongly suggest to me that more recent scholarly writing in English tends more and more to not use anglicizations for the names of any continental monarchs. One is increasingly likely to see Felipe II of Spain, Friedrich II of Prussia, Frederik VI of Denmark, Henri IV of France, and so forth. This isn't nearly universal yet, and especially the more textbooky books tend to stick with familiar anglicizations, but it's certainly a growing trend. In many ways, sticking to a "native form" rule for continental monarchs would make things simpler, in that we'd know which form to use for most everyone. It has been generally decided, however, that this is not how we should do things, and that we should use the "most common name" for monarchs. Thus, Frederick the Great retains his anglicized name, for instance. This is arguably misleading and less accurate in similar ways to the anglicizations of the names of Scottish monarchs. Not exactly the same, obviously, as the anglicizations were (mostly) in use at the time, but I'm uncertain why that should be the dispositive issue. At any rate, the decision has been that, because more generalist works, and older works, and references in other media, and so on and so forth, are most likely to be to the anglicized forms, we should use them. I don't see why this doesn't apply to the Scottish monarchs. Beyond that, I'm not completely clear on what's supposed to be wrong with the anglicized forms. Name forms are always adapted to different languages. Whether or not this is anachronistic seems irrelevant - certainly Mark Antony and Pompey are anachronistic forms, and that doesn't bother us. The ordinals used are, of course, arbitrary, but ordinals are always arbitrary. Yes, Constantine I ruled over the same country as Causantin of the Picts, whose name is the same as his, and the ordinals don't function properly. But so what? Edward I reigned over the same country as Edward the Confessor, and the ordinals don't function properly. As far as I'm aware, Sweden did not have actual historical kings named Charles I-VI - Charles VII was the first king by that name. The numbering of early French kings is entirely fucked up. The other issue, as I understand it, is "of Scotland" - again, though, I don't think anachronistic titles are that much of a problem, so long as we are clear in article text. For a notable comparison, see the western emperors between Charlemagne and Frederick III - these men were simply called "Emperors" or "Roman Emperors." The term "Holy Roman Emperor" is anachronistic, only having been adopted in the fifteenth century. But there's no other good way to call these people, so we're stuck with it. The situation here seems similar. In sum, when one looks at this stuff through a broader lens than scholarly literature on medieval Scottish history, one sees that these problems are not unique, and that the way Deacon and Angus propose that we solve them does not match the way we have solved similar problems in other areas of wikipedia. john k (talk) 18:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I must say I'm not a big fan of the argument ... ";there are problems elsewhere so let's not try to fix anything". One risks descending into some half-dreamlike maze of circularity. "Swedish kings should be moved" : "No, no, no, look at the Scottish kings, they have the same problem". And need I really enumerate all the reasons square pegs don't fit into round holes?
Honestly, do you think Causantín mac Cuiléin is more comparable to Frederick the Great than Kenneth MacAlpin is? Really? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:23, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
That's not my position. My argument is "there are problems elsewhere that we have solved, without too much argument, in a particular way. We should use these as models for our situation here." There are obviously some outstanding problems, but calling the king of Sweden "Carl XVI Gustaf" rather than "Carl X Gustaf" (which would be incredibly confusing, given that the real king Charles X was also a Carl Gustaf) is most definitely not among them. Obviously we shouldn't try to make all problems fit together, but we shouldn't also pretend that comparisons are useless. One of the distinctive facts about Wikipedia as compared to monographs on medieval Scottish history is that Wikipedia is much more than a work of reference on Scottish history. Comparable problems should be dealt with comparably, so far as is possible. As to your last question, I don't really understand what you're getting at. Using "Kenneth McAlpin" is similar to using "Frederick the Great." Using "Causantín mac Cuiléin" is like using "Friedrich II." john k (talk) 19:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
John, horse for courses! If you find you are relying on exotic parallels for your best arguments, you probably have a problem. I do understand where you are coming from though; it's just a philosophical difference, and arguing until the cows come home probably won't sway either of us. I do honestly believe though that if you became immersed in this subject, you would have much more empathy with us. Maybe that wouldn't be a good thing I hear you mutter, but nevertheless. Anyways, what I was getting at was that Kenneth MacAlpin may be comparable with Friedrich II, Causantín mac Cuiléin is not. You'll notice that Kenneth MacAlpin is the proposed destination for Kenneth I of Scotland (I suspect it will end up there anyways).Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I think I see what you're getting at - Friedrich II is too famous to be a good example. So what about, I dunno, Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel? Comparable obscurity levels, I think. And I do feel sympathy for your position - my inner pedant really does want to call minor 18th century German potentates by their German names, and I don't know that that would necessarily be worse than the current solution. But I think that the "principle of least surprise" is a good one, and I think it should be applied uniformly. And I don't see why Scottish names present sufficiently distinct issues as to constitute a good exception. john k (talk) 22:31, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Like I said above, it's just a philosophical difference, and arguing until the cows come home probably won't sway either of us. It's funny, you always present me with situations in articles I've never went anywhere near, and expect me to be persuaded. I'll tell you explicitly, I'm an issue by issue kind of guy. Just quickly, I don't see why Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel shouldn't be Friedrich, etc. Scottish articles have problems, and I'm just trying to fix 'em ... problems with articles like this just don't make this any harder or easier. I'd need to spend time getting into the nitty-gritty; I, unlike some others, don't think it's best for wikipedia to spout opinions on areas I know little about just because I can (and I'm not referring to you here). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:45, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • My parallel would be Ptolemy II Philadelphus. There it is absolutely certain that the numbering is an anachronism (I believe by 1700 years) and that the spelling is completely an English invention. Some people would write Ptolemaeus; some would write Ptolemaios Philadelphos, and Aeschylus Aischulos. This helps neither the scholar, who will see the Greek through any one these forms, nor the Greekless lay reader, who will expect Ptolemy and wonder if he sees Ptolmaeus whether this is someone else he's never heard of.
  • My question is, if Deacon can make it clear, why should Kenneth be treated differently than Ptolemy, or the Langgrave Frederick, who are so called both in and out of Wikipedia? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:17, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Moving those articles to Gaelic names is too much. It's decorative, but unreadable. GoodDay (talk) 18:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but is it Rory O'Connor? No. Howell the Good? No. Dermot MacMurrough? Not that much longer. I'd think that Ireland and Wales are a better guide to Scotland than France. "Kenneth MacAlpin"'s daughter Máel Muire doesn't marry a Charles or a Robert or an Alfred, she marries Áed mac Néill and then Flann mac Máele Sechnaill, her children are called Domnall mac Flainn and Niall Glúndub and Ligach. The non-regnal names that appear in the histories are similarly "decorative, but unreadable". Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:27, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd say it should be Rory O'Connor and Dermot MacMurrough, probably. But Scottish names are not nearly so non-anglicized as the Irish ones. john k (talk) 19:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In cases where there is no commonly used anglicisation, it would be unfair to make up an anglicisation to reassure the vast majority of us who are unfamiliar with Gaelic. But where there is a name more commonly recognised in English than Gaelic? It should be used, regardless of what anyone else in the same time period is being referred to as (again, the Romans - should we change Pompey to Pompeius because Caesar married Pompeia?). Gaelic names for people without alternatives are not 'decorative but unreadable', they are "difficult but necessary due to no accepted alternatives". Gaelic names for people with commonly used English alternatives are just pretty pedantry. Michael Sanders 19:36, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
See also our guideline for Irish names, at WP:IRISH; which certainly supports Dermot MacMurrough, as it expressly does Geoffrey Keating. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, how about that? It sure does, doesn't it? Of course, whether something "enjoys widespread usage among English speakers" is doing all the work here. Obviously that's a part, at least, of our disagreement here. john k (talk) 19:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Wow, I didn't expect to be insulted by Angus & Deacon in the 'Survey'. No hard feelings though, I forgive them. GoodDay (talk) 21:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Where from here[edit]

Perhaps the blanket move was in hindsight not the best start for this. My suggestion is that one of the proponents might relist whichever of the moves is in their opinion best justified, on its own, and try to have a neater discussion on that specific name, while bearing in mind that if it succeeds then other proposals will follow, and trying not to repeat arguments already well answered here. And IMO it would be good to try to have less discussion in the survey section, although I know it's often hard to decide exactly when to draw the line, and always easier in hindsight to see where you should have. Andrewa (talk) 04:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Of Scotland[edit]

There are two centuries of kings here, and their relation to the modern kingdom of Scotland varies. Some of them have names which belong to the common namestock of Christian Europe, others don't. I am not immobile on the WP:NCNT stance of pre-emptive disambiguation; but a detailed proposal will be far more acceptable than a blanket move, and it should be a separate proposal from the Gaelic business, which has yet to supply reasons for preferring one set of Gaelic names above the others. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:05, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

No-one refers to these kings by modern Gaelic names. That's the way Welsh guys are done, and most other Europeans, but isn't the way it is done for Scottish and Irish folk. This has been stated on numerous occasions. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:10, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Having looked over the styles of these monarchs, I would be willing to concede all the requested moves save Caustantín of the Picts (for now, for consistency with other traditional Pictish monarchs) and the ones from Malcolm II on. I'd also support the suggested Lulach move, seeing as his reign was disputed. It seems that "Scotland" as a term for the realm these monarchs ruled comes into use during his reign. I would suggest treating all monarchs preceding Donald II as kings of the Picts and using the patronymics requested and treating monarchs between Donald II and Malcolm II as kings of Alba, using whatever forms we can get agreement on, be they patronymics (as requested) or another form (like X[, King] of Alba). This seems to be accurate as pertains to titles and I believe the issue of Anglicisation to be at an impasse, so why not split her down the middle and retain the current forms for Malcolm II onwards? From Duncan I, excepting Lulach, the monarchs with Gaelic names are reasonably famous by medieval standards and appear often enough in other media besides scholarly publications: for their connexions outside Scotland or their part in a certain famous play. (Perhaps I could accept the Duncan II move too... Was he really ever king?) Does anybody think this compromise could get support? Does it makes any sense?
And Deacon, you said above that Gaelic was "standardised" and that only by ignorance or error could a scribe alter a name's spelling, yet I notice that we have four Constantines in this proposal and three Gaelic spellings. Srnec (talk) 00:25, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem there is that even the pre-Malcolm II monarchs are still better known by their anglicisations (with the exception of the oh-so-obscure Dub, Cuilen, etc), however obscure they may be. They are also commonly described as "King of Scotland", however inaccurate that might be (Augustus was technically not 'Emperor' as we understand it, should we remove all references to that effect?). "Constantine II of Alba" would be an unused form, and would thus be utterly inappropriate - most readers would understand him as "Constantine II of Scotland" (and furthermore, "Alba" is Scotland. Using that would be a pointless and superficial change.) Furthermore, Duncan II and Lulach were kings by mediaeval Scottish standards (Lulach was even crowned)...Kings until they got killed off by the nearest pretender. Michael Sanders 00:38, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Edit Warring[edit]

Michael & Deacon, would you please stop 'edit fighting' here (and at other Scottish monarch pages). The both of you may be testing the patients of Administrators. Please keep your disputes to the 'talk pages' aswell (not the edit summaries). GoodDay (talk) 22:02, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about it. Michael is a tendentious edit warrior who edits bombastically on topics he doesn't know anything about, systematically reverts to the threshold, destroys articles, and even when he actually does go to talk pages he doesn't listen (e.g. Template talk:Scottish Monarchs, User_talk:Michaelsanders#Picts, I could go on). Page instability follows him like a bad smell. I've already driven myself to exhaustion with him on many other articles. See Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/Michaelsanders for details of his behaviour beyond these articles. Most of us on wikipedia are here to contribute good content, not waste time trying to appease every badly informed tendentious revert warrior for no more end result than earlier Carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm afraid the choice is 1) revert Michael when he edits or 2) let articles fall into disrepute because of him; he will always revert to the limit whether one talks to him or not. Kenneth I of Scotland, previously of GA quality, is now a misleading and self-contradictory article. Many other articles have gone or will go that way. A crying shame for wikipedia. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:31, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

As I know very little about this time period of the British Isles, it get's difficult to read up on these articles (due to the back-and-forth) changes. PS - see my comments at Wikipedia talk: WikiProject Scotland, concerning the recent unstable nature of these articles. GoodDay (talk) 23:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Well indeedie. You'll not need to look beyond the history pages of all those articles to find out the origins of the instability in these articles. Such users will bring instability to most of the articles they decide to edit; goes with the territory. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
If that's not enough, btw, check out his behaviour at Carloman I where he repeatedly reverted the move of an admin (Angus) closing a RfM request. Apparently process is a thing for other wikipedians. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 07:07, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Whatever truth there may have been in the tale, the germ of which is as old as Herodotus

It is absolutely crucial for editors to avoid clear personal attacks. Constantly telling other editors they know nothing about various subjects (and so implying that one or two particular editors are experts and everyone else should desist from editing things they see as their own) goes smack in the face of Wikipedia policies. The best thing to do if impasse has been reached on a particular topic is to call in uninvolved administrators or call for arbitration (RfC?). Regards, David Lauder (talk) 09:52, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
It is also bad practice to limit usage of sources. We should avoid an argument of Darwinian history, whereby whatever is published most recently is assumed to be the best. Creditable historians as recently as 1992 were still favouring the long-held idea (in line with the primary sources) of Kenneth being a Gael and King of Dalriada. The fact that a few historians have recently been arguing otherwise should be referenced, but they should not be favoured to the exclusion of anyone else (and seriously, we're not here to sing the praises of Alex Woolf and his newly published history book. Even an off-the-cuff David Starkey remark would be more worthy of article inclusion than a quote in a newspaper by a fairly new and unremarkable historian.) Seriously, this article needs a lot of improvement. It is horribly biased, is written according to the "We don't know anything certain so we won't say anything" approach (what, so Kenneth escorting some relics is noteworthy, but Viking settlement on the outskirts of his kingdom wasn't? Was this written by the Einhard of the North?), contains poorly interpolated references to genealogies and the report of the Four Masters, and has virtually no intext citations. No reasons are given as to why the primary source references to "Kinadius son of Alpinus, first of the Scots, ruled this Pictland prosperously for 16 years. Pictland was named after the Picts, whom, as we have said, Kinadius destroyed. ... Two years before he came to Pictland, he had received the kingdom of Dál Riata" are being cavalierly ignored. It is also written to an unprofessional standard: gems such as "The history of Dál Riata in this period is simply not known, or even if there was any sort of Dál Riata to have a history. Ó Corráin's "Vikings in Ireland and Scotland", available as etext, and Woolf, "Kingdom of the Isles", may be helpful", "an unusual thing for the misogynistic chronicles of the age", "Buchanan was not as credulous as many", and of course the 'further reading' section, where some bright spark (and who is responsible for this) has seen fit to give his or her opinions on the quality of the reading being recommended. "For background on Early Historic Scotland, Sally Foster's, Picts, Gaels and Scots (revised edition, 2005) offers a broad and accessible introduction, while Leslie Alcock's Society of Antiquaries of Scotland monograph Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests in Northern Britain AD 550–750 (2003) offers more detail. Alex Woolf's Pictland to Alba: Scotland, 789–1070, in the New Edinburgh History of Scotland series, was published in 2007. The Oxford Companion to Scottish History (2001) contains valuable articles by expert contributors, but is very poorly organised. For a well-researched, fictional interpretation of Kenneth's life, see the book Kenneth by Nigel Tranter." is not appropriate (and why are we recommending Nigel Tranter's work of fiction? Do we get a cut of the profits?).
This article is not of good quality. It is abysmal. It needs a proper rewrite, using a wider range of sources than those published in the last five years, removing this abysmal bias and opinion, and, in general, actually explaining the matter to the readers instead of creating a swamp in which "the Kenneth of myth, conqueror of the Picts and founder of the Kingdom of Alba, was born in the centuries after the real Kenneth died" is followed by a statement made only a century after his death that he was such, and where the clear statements of primary and secondary sources are ignored to suit the biases of two editors. Michael Sanders 13:33, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't write this article, but even if the annotated bibliography is something not desired, the article is of good quality (and I don't know who you think added the Tranter thing ... someone went around spamming Tranter into wikipedia). I know, Michael, that editors such as yourself ... and in fairness many others ... want to see narratives in these articles, telling stories that can be retold, &c, &c. In reality, there's only one real primary source for Kenneth MacAlpin:
Cinaedh m. Ailpin rex Pictorum, Adulf rex Saxan, mortui sunt.
Kenneth, son of Alpin, King of the Picts, Æthelwulf king of the English, died.
The Norman K on your "primary source" might be the first key to understanding why that's not a primary source. It's a manuscript initial written in the 13th century ... the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba ... the source in question, was doctored in that period, and the bit in question is almost certainly editorial ... done for a compilation to which de Situ Albanie is the intro, before the compilation reached the guy who compiled thePoppleton manuscript. And I'm afraid early dark age history has different demands and standard: stories and interpretations lie on very limited pieces of evidence; once something has been debunked, the picture gets changed and there's no going back. In fairness, the article does talk about previous writings on the topic, but when the entire active historical community regards that it is proven that the stuff you're inserting into wiki is mythological in character, I don't see how any decent wiki editor should want to use wiki as a platform for casting doubt on this.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:15, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Except that isn't at all conclusive. It's been decided by a few men and women very recently that all but the most basic sources are not valid, and for that the scholarship of hundreds over the past 100 years should be discounted? And what happens when these bright persons change their minds again? We should certainly include "the most recent view" (but it needs proper citations, it's impossible to tell what's sourced and what's just someone's point of view), but we should not discount the previous views, particularly since they have a much stronger track record than these most recent ones, which haven't had the time to be tested. A theory can be commonly accepted, but it is still nonetheless only a theory, and the article should make that clear - Woolf has no greater monopoly on the truth than Skene (which is why that quotation really gets up my nose...that sort of thing is entirely appropriate in articles on popular culture, where quotes by the author of a novel or a celebrity on themself can be quoted because they naturally are authoritative as regards the subject; it is not appropriate to turn a historical article into a piece of promotional material for a single author, or give them such an appearance of absolute authority). And seriously, I have no idea who inserted that Tranter piece in, but just looking at the 'further reading' section makes the mind boggle. Michael Sanders 16:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Except that isn't at all conclusive. The historians think it is (in relation to Kenneth at least); wikipedia is not the place to challenge historical consensus. If you wanna do that, finish university, do a masters, then a phd, and then get articles published. And I'll just say, summarizing historical debate is quite a demanding thing to do; you need a lot of resources and a lot of time; if the article currently lacks comprehensiveness then give the editors a break ... something is always better than nothing. But intruding outdated views into the text in contradiction of the rest of the article is very bad. I think the article anyways makes it plain that the legendary stuff you're including as if it were fact was once believed as such. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:54, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Happily, it is not so. We write articles to represent the general views of the sources, not to favour the most recent. One historian considers Charlemagne to have been unable to read as well as write; for that reason, should we write, "Charlemagne could neither read nor write" in his article? Should we ignore the historians who say that the Lothar Crystal refers to Lothar I, because the books we've read tell us it refers to Lothar II? We are expected to give a proper representation of the subject. This subject hasn't been definitely agreed upon and closed up; it should represent historigraphical opinion, i.e. represent that since the mid-90s some historians have changed their minds about the subject. More than that, it is too early to say; you can't portray the opinions of Woolf and co. as equivalent to those of Skene and co. because the latter were long enough ago for us to be able to now perceive them as a watershed; the former, by contrast, have only been in the game a few years, and for all we know (and we are not meant to make such judgements, simply represent historiography in general) they will have been replaced by something else again in another 10 years. Michael Sanders 17:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
The challenge to the editor is to get that across matter of factly. X believed this, Y believed that, Z &c now believe this. Not A is true, which is what your edit did, contradicting the rest of the article. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Look, there is no such a thing as "historical consensus". Some new materials have come to light over the past 50 years, but not many. What we have are today's people trying to make a name for themselves by "reinterpreting" MSS which have stood the test of time and which, amazingly, all those hundreds (or thousands) of scholars who preceded them were too thick to notice. I have had some experience of this sort of thing with ancient Testaments and Deeds at the National Archives of Scotland where, because of the appalling script, I have asked for three different opinions. And invariably thats what I got. So we have to avoid the holier-than-thou approach here and try to be inclusive of the various strains of academic thought down through the ages. History is not medicine or science and reinterpretation is therefore far riskier. But most of all, Wikipedia should be something which Mr Joe Average can navigate. He can't do that and find what he wants with all these way out Gaelic names which virtually no-one other than a tiny circle of academics or Gaelic speakers know. The English-speaking world, for which this version of Wikipedia serves, is so vast, and the few people I speak of so minute, that I think the former would win the vote. Regards, David Lauder (talk) 17:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Name me one current historian who believes the Norman legends about Kenneth MacAlpin conquering the Picts? History is not medicine or science and reinterpretation is therefore far riskier. Actually, given that people die and planes crash because of medicine and science, I'd say the opposite; but history ought not to be treated with less rigour just because more people are interested. It takes just about the same time to differentiate a historian from the average joe as a doctor or scientist ... what is the historian doing all that time ... getting lessons on how to be contemptful of his predecessors? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I am speaking generally, not about specifics. I could give you a list of modern historians, including so-called professors, who have presented a completely biased set of books on modern history to suit their points of view. This is not difficult to do if you have someone paying you for your time. I have no doubt the same yardstick applies to ancient historians. Whilst we still entertain the Flat Earth Society in London I don't think one can apply the same sort of biases in serious medicine and science otherwise people would be dying like flies and others would not take holidays for fear of falling off the edge of the world. Regards, David Lauder (talk) 17:18, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Except they're not Norman legends. They're Scottish claims from the time of Kenneth II. Pro-Pictish claims, in fact, since the writers evince surprise that the Picts had managed to get themselves "destroyed". Michael Sanders 17:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
How do you know? Historians don't. You know don't you that it is 13th century, much of which may date to the 11th cent? This is well discussed in the literature, although in fairness it's not in this article. Earlier Scottic Pictish kings believed Scottic domination came from the time of Áedán mac Gabráin, factually incorrect, but that's what they believed. They also believed Scottic domination came from the time of the Invasions. Kenneth MacAlpin also came into it. It's just that's the guy the Normans picked up on, and it was the Norman writings that were read earlier by Scottish historians. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:13, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps because Isabel Henderson says so, and I believe her over you? What with her actually having published a book, and all. Michael Sanders 17:21, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Marjorie Anderson's bio of Kenneth in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (copyright 2004-2008) does not take the "older Irish annals," where only his death is recorded, to be the only legitimate source on Kenneth's life. It seems to accept that Alpin was King of Dalriada from 839-840, that Kenneth succeeded in 840, and became King of the Picts in 842. She refers to "the Scottish chronicle, a reign-by-reign narrative from Kenneth to the late tenth century" as the primary source on Kenneth. It also notes that "king-lists" shows various Pictish kings continuing from Urad, who ceased to reign in 842, down to Drust, who was killed in 848, and whose death might be the basis for the story of the "treachery of Scone". She says To follow tradition by describing Kenneth son of Alpin as the first king to rule over both Picts and Scots would be to simplify greatly a development which extended over more than half a century. His main political achievement should rather be seen as the establishment of a new dynasty which aspired to supremacy over the whole of Scotia, and under which the Scots so dominated Pictland that its native language and institutions rapidly disappeared. In general, Anderson's account seems to present a middle ground between the minimalist position that Angus and Deacon have been taking and acceptance of the legends surrounding Kenneth. Anderson, apparently, is very very old (if she is still alive), but she seems to be relatively well respected, and, in general, I think it would be wise to take a more moderate and consensus-oriented position on Kenneth rather than "all we know about him is that he was the son of Alpin, he was King of the Picts, and he died in 858. All later writings are completely worthless." john k (talk) 16:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

More briefly - there's a lot of middle ground between "Kenneth I, King of the Scots, united the Picts and Scots into one kingdom and so founded Scotland," and "Kenneth I was an obscure King of the Picts, about whom we know practically nothing save the name of his father and the year of his death." john k (talk) 16:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson died in 2002. She was one of the most important historians on the 20th cent. to write on the era of early Scottish history. The Scottish Chronicle is an older name for the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, a text she also pioneered the study of. However, the narrative presented in the first paragraph there would be very difficult to sustain based on more recent work by A. A. M Duncan, Alex Woolf, Ben Hudson and particularly Dauvit Broun, on that Chronicle and on the Dalriadan and Pictish king lists. Anyways, I certainly have no problem with an article that lays the historiography out accurately; A said X, B said Y, C, D and E say Z, or what not. The problem with the reverted edits of Sanders was not that he introduced a balance, but couldn't tell the difference between fact and fiction, presenting an old debunked legend as fact just because some tertiary work said it is., in contradiction with the remainder of the article. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:57, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you are putting the case too strongly to say that Sanders's edits reflect an "old debunked legend." Rather, from what I can tell from your own preferred version of the article, and Anderson's article, they seem to represent an older version of the story, now largely out of favor, but not entirely rejected. Anderson was writing about Kenneth as King of Dalriada whenever she wrote her article for the ODNB, which would have been written some time between 1992, when the ODNB was commissioned, and 2002, when she died. That is not so long ago that we can refer to ideas from that period as "debunked legends". Obviously, newer scholarship should be highlighted, especially when it disagrees with long-established narratives, but I think we should certainly be careful to avoid going too far in the direction of accepting whatever is newest as being self-evidently correct. And we should certainly avoid describing At the same time, I agree that Sanders's edits were problematic - he expresses an older, now questionable, perspective as though it is undisputed fact, and we shouldn't do that. john k (talk) 20:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd hardly say Anderson believed this tale:
Whatever truth there may have been in the tale, the germ of which is as old as Herodotus
In contrast, Sanders added:
the annals report the death as that of the king of the Picts, rather than of the Scots or Dal Riata: this is presumed to reflect the move by the Scots of Dal Riata, who required space, into the depopulated Pictish territories, and the move of the seat of government to Scone.
Where does Anderson talk about Lebensraum or Völkerwanderung? Neither does Anderson claim he is the founder of Scotland, as Sanders' edits claimed.
To follow tradition by describing Kenneth son of Alpin as the first king to rule over both Picts and Scots would be to simplify greatly a development which extended over more than half a century.
Also, you should keep in mind the historical fiction inserted by Sanders in Scottish_monarchs#House_of_Alpin_.28848-1034.29. I've no idea who the last historian to defend that kind of thing would be. It's not like all earlier historians swallowed medieval fairy tales (though for some reason the Scots keep to them more). Now, whether Kenneth was king of Dalriada or not is an entirely separate point worth having a discussion summary ... it's certainly not a matter for claiming anything outright though. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:40, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm? Indeed, Anderson does not accept as true the story of Kenneth's massacre of the Picts, although she suggests it may be based on a real incident. I wasn't particularly defending Sanders, but suggesting that you are perhaps going too far in the opposite direction in order to dispute with him. I fully agree that the particular Sanders quotes you highlight are simply wrong and have no place in the article. Whether he was king of Dalriada first, though, seems to be a matter open to dispute by historians. That the traditional view has long been that he was, even if based on weak evidence, ought to be highlighted. I agree with you that it should not be presented as fact when several historians apparently do not believe this. On the other hand, I think the Medieval legends ought to be recounted in some detail here, although clearly noted as being based on later works and probably with little basis in fact. john k (talk) 22:46, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm probably coming across that way to some extent. I don't think anyone could object to presenting the historiography fairly, it just requires a little bit of work. I believe Angus is intending to improve this article, so I won't edit in this; but I am preparing an article in my own space on a related matter, which will get a lot of the leg work done for all the articles where this matter comes up. As a sidenote, I was going through some old Scottish folklore last year, and noticed there are loads of stories about about this that are really quite random, local folklore in places like Galloway and Ross. My favorite is the Ross story about giant Fianna protecting the pygmy Picts against the Scandinavians. Legendary stuff here is great on it's own, and if we could get this picture on wikipedia, that would be good. But editors do need to distinguish clearly the historical from the legendary; the legendary stuff is only bad when it confuses people. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:27, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was PAGE MOVED per discussion below. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:11, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


Kenneth I of ScotlandKenneth MacAlpin — This move already seems to have widespread support. Kenneth MacAlpin is more common than Kenneth I of Scotland and it avoids all the issues with enumeration and "Scotland", leaving only the much more philosophical (and minor) dispute about Anglicisation unaddressed. Srnec (talk) 16:59, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Weak support, although the Cinead dispute seems to be the heart of the matter. If this passes, WP:NCNT may need to be revisited. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:23, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support. A lesser evil. Haukur (talk) 19:29, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The proposed name is better than the current one in the same way that a slap round the ear with a wet kipper is to be preferred to a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:50, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, it's the kipper and sharp stick thing alluded to by Angus. Anyways, Kenneth MacAlpin is how he is most referred to in the lingua anglica; Kenneth I of Scotland has got nothing to support it. Prefer Cináed mac Ailpín though, or even Ciniod m. Elphin. PS, WP:NCNT refers to states; I'm not sure how anthropologically accurated it is to refer to it as a state, but at any rate, we have use the most common form of the name used in English if none of the rules below cover a specific problem., which they certainly don't. Square pegs for square holes please! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 03:20, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This seems a perfectly sensible move. john k (talk) 04:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Seems to make sense, as the 'of Scotland' is disputed, though I still imagine many will search for Kenneth I of Scotland from Kenneth II etc. It does seem bizzare though that the first sentence starts with his gaelic name, shouldn't it be with what we are accepting (by this vote) is his common name? ANd then list his gaelic names in brackets? Infact, I think a good example for how it should be is in the Æthelred Evilcouncil article: Ethelred II (c. 968 – 23 April 1016), also known as Ethelred the Unready or Aethelred the Unready (Old English Æþelræd Unræd) though possibly switch Kenneth MacAlpin and his regnal around. Narson (talk) 10:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Commenting on Move[edit]

Hey! I didn't get a chance to give my opinon on this 'proposed move'. Oh well, it's been moved already - I'm too late. GoodDay (talk) 19:10, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Ya snooze, ya loose. GoodDay (talk) 19:12, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Kenneth MacAlpine was King of the Dalraida Scots who became King of Scots which was the combined Scots and Picts.[edit]

Kenneth MacAlpine was King of the Dalraida Scots who became King of Scots which was the combined Scots and Picts.

The way this article is written it reads that he was King of the Picts as though he was a Pict. He was not a Pict but a Dalraida Scot. Therefore this article should be edited to show this more accurately.

Presently it reads:

"Cináed mac Ailpín (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach mac Ailpein)[1], commonly Anglicised as Kenneth MacAlpin and known in most modern regnal lists as Kenneth I (died 13 February 858) was king of the Picts and, according to national myth, first king of Scots, earning him the posthumous nickname of An Ferbasach, "The Conqueror".[2] Kenneth's undisputed legacy was to produce a dynasty of rulers who claimed descent from him. Even though he cannot be regarded as the father of Scotland, he was the founder of the dynasty which ruled that country for much of the medieval period."

Recommend it should read:

"Cináed mac Ailpín (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach mac Ailpein)[1], commonly Anglicised as Kenneth MacAlpin and known in most modern regnal lists as Kenneth I (died 13 February 858) was king of the Dalraida Scots who conquered the Picts and, according to national myth, became first king of Scots, earning him the posthumous nickname of An Ferbasach, "The Conqueror".[2] Kenneth's undisputed legacy was to produce a dynasty of rulers who claimed descent from him. Even though he cannot be regarded as the father of Scotland, he was the founder of the dynasty which ruled that country for much of the medieval period."

Thank you. (97.89.117.137 (talk) 01:52, 30 March 2008 (UTC))


Recommended by who? You're just repeating the national myth, without reference to recent studies & discoveries. Dál Riata was conquered by the Picts and destroyed by the Vikings. The "ruling" families of the Picts, Dál Riata, Strathclyde Britons, Northumbrians, Irish and later Scandinavians all intermarried, these people were not called Scots, it's a later English word. The folk in former Bernicia and Strathclyde could hardly have got used to Gaelic before they ended up speaking "Scots" anyway. After all it didn't take anyone conquering Alba before it ended up as Scotland then Britain and everyone speaking English. Jameselmo (talk) 19:21, 30 April 2008 (UTC)


This is an interesting discussion since it seems that it's not clear who exactly the Scots or the Picts really were. Here is an excerpt from "Memoirs of Clan Fingon" published in 1899 during which Alpin is referred to as King of Picts:

Tighernac also makes mention of the fact that Lochene, the son of Fingen, King of the Cruithne or Picts, died A.D. 645, that Kenneth, son of Alpin, King of the Picts, died A.D. 858, and that Donald, son of Alpin, King of the Picts, died A.D. 863. On the other hand the family Trees all agree in tracing the Clan to Ailpein, King of Scotland, commonly called Alpin, who was slain by Brudus, King of the Picts, from whom he had wrested the sceptre of that Kingdom A.D. circ. 835.

But as everyone knows, there are plenty of references that refer to Alpin and Kenneth MacAlpin as king of the Dalriadic Scots.

--Bryan MacKinnon (talk) 04:22, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Background section[edit]

I have tagged this section for OR and weasel words. It appears to be written in such a way as to cast more doubt over his Dál Riata ancestry than really exists, and suggest that he was more likely a Pict. DinDraithou (talk) 17:49, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

The following quote is from an academic title published by Edinburgh University Press:

Quoted from Alfred P. Smyth (1984), Warlords and Holy Men, p. 182. DinDraithou (talk) 18:49, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

There's a summary of what is certainly known of Kenneth in Broun's Scottish Independence and the Idea of Britain (p. 72):

.

That wouldn't be much of an article, but we can do rather better than that. On the evidence of the Chronicle of Ireland it is also reasonable to assume that the said Cinaed had a brother named Domnall, also called king of Picts at his death in 862, and sons named Custantín, again king of Picts at his death in 876, and Áed, likewise king of Picts at his death in 878. It is equally reasonable to suppose that Cinaed, Domnall and Custantín found it acceptable to be counted as kings of Picts on the evidence of the Pictish king lists. There are less certain grounds to suppose that Áed at least was associated in some fashion with Kintyre, again on the witness of the Chronicle of Ireland. Anything else is speculation. Yes, it is speculation by historians and thus admissable here, but it is speculation all the same.
The article needs a great deal of work, but I don't think an updated and improved article would be any more "traditional" in its conclusions. I would be very cautious about leaning too heavily on Smyth without reading Woolf, Pictland to Alba, and Fraser, Caledonia to Pictland. Broun's book previously mentioned, and his unspeakably dense The Irish Identity of the Kingdom of the Scots in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, are worth a look if you can get them out of a library as his paper on succession in The St Andrews Sarcophagus. On that subject, there's an interesting paper by Nicholas Evans here on Pictish succession from the Innes Review which can be downloaded (but probably not for long) for free. I found it quite compelling but what does that prove? Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
It is getting more and more Picto-nationalist. Modern clans now claim to be Pictish and no longer want Kenneth to be a Scot or the Dál Riata to be anybody, but I'm not terribly sympathetic when scholars are unfamiliar with the Irish sources and appear to lack basic background in Gaelic culture.
Woolf maybe we (you) can include. I haven't read him but know he is a scholar. Fraser is too new and talks of both a great revolution and Monty Python, so looks like ????(?) despite a little praise from Downham. Her review is here but I'm tens of miles away from access to the following pages, and have seen nothing notable of hers on the subject anyway so it doesn't really matter. Some of the book can be previewed at Google. Fraser appears to be unfamiliar with the early Irish sources to judge from a review at the UK Amazon. I have downloaded Evans and will look at it. DinDraithou (talk) 23:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Pictish nationalism? Colin Kidd wrote a paper on it ("The Ideological Uses of the Picts" in Scottish History: The Power of the Past). The universe is indeed stranger than we can imagine. Anyway, Fraser's book is merely background material here. It pretty much stops in 761 so far as Pictland is concerned and it doesn't say all that much on the reign of Onuist that hadn't been said before by Woolf or Charles-Edwards. Downham's book on the Uí Ímair is rather good if you like that kind of thing. You can get an idea of her style here. Same sort of view of things as Ó Corráin in many respects. But you can rest easy. The link with Dál Riata is one of the few things in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba account of Kenneth's reign that can be believed according to Woolf. He follows Broun on the late Dál Riata king list. So Kenneth is king in Dál Riata some time after the death of Áed mac Boanta in 839. One thing that does get rejected is the traditional genealogy. The purported pedigree of Causantín mac Cuiléin attached to the Cethri Primchenela dail Riata has been dismissed as fakery by Broun (Irish Origins and elsewhere) and also by Woolf here. The suggestion is that Áed Find mac Echach was originally regarded as Clann Cináeda's key ancestor figure, and that he in turn was associated with Cenél nGabráin in some unspecified and soon forgotten fashion. Very much later someone decided that Áed's father should be identified with Eochaid mac Domangairt so as to link Clann Cináeda to Áedan mac Gabráin and from there back to Deda mac Sin and all the rest providing them with a respectable Irish ancestry. So, yes, the article should say that Kenneth came from Dál Riata. No argument there. Angus McLellan (Talk) 02:18, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Well I've just previewed as much of Woolf as Google will let me and may buy a copy sometime in the next few months. His article "Scotland" (pp. 251-67) in Pauline Stafford (2009), A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland, c.500-1100, is interesting in that he cites Broun's 2004 or 2005 "Alba: Pictish homeland or Irish offshoot?" (pp. 234-75) from P. O'Neill (ed.), Exile and Homecoming: Papers from the Fifth Australian Conference of Celtic Studies, in such a way as to tell the reader Cinaed was a Pict.
Woolf (2009), citing Broun, and giving no explanation:
So we obviously need this "Alba: Pictish homeland or Irish offshoot?" Woolf cites this in Pictland to Alba but not that way from what I've previewed. DinDraithou (talk) 23:03, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I've been completely unable to figure out from where and how to order the proceedings which contain "Alba: Pictish homeland or Irish offshoot?" I live in hope of it appearing on the Glasgow Uni eprints server (here, interesting stuff by Broun, Clancy, Driscoll, Forsyth and others). Please let me know if you do! I would guess that it's based on the same sort of reasoning he deploys elsewhere. The dating will probably be down to Constantín mac Cuiléin's pedigree and the presumption that the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba dates in its earliest form from the reign of Ildulb mac Constantín. Broun suggests in Scottish Independence (55ff.) that this was not the only vision of the past even as late as the time of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada. He contrasts the Duan Albanach, where Máel Coluim is the successor to a line of Dál Riata and "Scottish" kings, with the Lebor Bretnach "Do bunadaib na Cruithnech" kinglist, this starting with Cruithne mac Cinge and proceeding through Pictish kings to "Scottish" ones and on to Máel Coluim himself. But it certainly would be nice to see all this laid out in print somewhere. Angus McLellan (Talk) 00:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm weak where you are right now. My background in these kinglists is limited. But, I have found where some copies of what we're looking for can be found, although you probably already know about them: WorldCat. Copac. So they have one at St Andrews and UCC, and NLA has an entry. It might be easier to contact Dauvit Broun. DinDraithou (talk) 05:55, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Changing the subject a little, it looks from the events of the 8th century that Kenneth could have come from the Cenél Loairn. But they are of course unpopular and unsatisfying, undeservedly. DinDraithou (talk) 06:32, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
The contention here is wrong. The last historian to argue that Cinaed was the bringer of a Dalriadic conquest of the Picts was John Bannerman. Making use of up-to-date research isn't WP:OR, but good practice. Some historians do think a Gaelic conquest took place [some maybe that Cinaed was involved], but they do not believe the evidence upon which the traditional story is based (A. Woolf being an example). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
So you are responsible for the text? I have replaced the tags, which should remain until a rewrite with citations. Please do not remove them until then. DinDraithou (talk) 17:26, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I think I'd have written the original version of that in 2006. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:36, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
No, I didn't write it. And no, just being an account is not enough to put ugly tags in the article. They need to be justified, and yours aren't. You're not up to speed about what anyone has written on this topic in the last few decades. No worries, that's fine. But that doesn't make text "OR". You're a smart guy. Go through Angus' reading. I agree the article might need some more balance to it, and mibbee needs more direct source attribution, but that's not OR. That's just because it was written a few years ago. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:03, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The way it cites is very like OR or SYNTH. Angus, an admin, did not challenge the tags, and now we know that he was the author. You removed them with a WP:OWN attitude, whether you authored the section or not. And it DOES contain weasel words. DinDraithou (talk) 23:46, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Hey Din, we're all here to build content. Now it's fair enough for you to ask that more references be given for specific points, but please remember that it does involve work from the main author. Your concerns can be addressed, but let's cut the bad tagging and the OWN crap. Editors in general do things because they believe they are right for the content, not out of an irrational sense of possession. FYI, regarding cites, on wikipedia these days citing every sentence is common. When this article was written, it was rare, and it was thought enough just to have references; and it was great to have some inline citations. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:00, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I've changed a little of the language. Before going further, we need a source for the translation of the passage from the Duan Albanach. The external link takes us to this, which I don't get. Maybe CELT moved things around. DinDraithou (talk) 22:15, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/G100028/text033.html gets to the right page [change G to T for the translated text] but not the start of the poem as I recall being the case once upon a time. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:45, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Obsolete[edit]

"Kenneth I" obsolete? "Until very recently it was still the norm to number Scottish kings from Cinaed mac Ailpín, who thus became ‘Kenneth I’" (Broun, "Alba: Pictish homeland or Irish offshoot", p. 239). No "Kenneth I" at all in Woolf's Pictland to Alba or Driscoll's Alba or Clarkson's The Picts. Until very recently → not now → obsolete. While it's traditionally difficult to demonstrate these things, in this case there's an actual reference to the change. Angus McLellan (Talk) 14:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

How obsolete can a genealogical / regnal name be if it is still the official usage in places like the official homepage of the British monarchy? Now, no offense intended at all -- except maybe for leaving out that preposition, damn you...! --: I am totally with you as far as recent scholarship on his reign and the questioning of his earlier, nationalist fame as "first king of Scotland" are concerned. It is simply that the adjective "obsolete" in this context would imply it is no longer common usage, which certainly is not the case. "Kenneth I" is still the lemma you will most commonly find him under -- clearly not due to historical accuracy or political stringency, but simply as a modern naming convention. Hence the preference for the term "modern" in the intro. Trigaranus (talk) 15:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
No offence taken. I just leave these little notes to suggest to myself (or someone else if they get here first) things that need to be considered in a rewrite. Same as the over-long discussion above this one. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:24, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep, there's quite a bit of rewriting waiting to be done. As far as Scottish history is concerned, I'm still delving into "From Caledonia to Pictland" or so, so I guess you'll get there first. ;-) Trigaranus (talk) 18:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I am very much looking forward to watching this article transform into the very center of Pictish nationalism in Wikipedia, if not the entire Web. In fact I think the absurdity of some of the new arguments is delightful and so transparently nationalist that they should be given at length. The Scots now feel the need for independence from the Irish and think Kenneth is the way to go, so let's do it! I expect vast treatises on Pictish mythology will soon appear. Next thing you know the BRF won't have any Irish ancestors either and they will be totally dependent on the Picts for their future in Scotland (Pictland)! DinDraithou (talk) 20:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Can't quite follow you there (could you expand on the BRF?), but that does sound very delightful and silly indeed. If you really want to see WP nationalism gone bananas, check out the John Hunyadi article's edit history. Don't worry too much -- I do actually trust that modern-day academic scholarship in the British Isles (which, for us on the continent, tends to include Ireland - just to add some offence to the Irish here!) is sober enough not to fall prey to nationalist ideas too much. What new theories / which authors were you thinking about? Trigaranus (talk) 21:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

BRF: British Royal Family. I wrote out this long and griping reply the other day only to have my browser freeze when I was almost finished. I don't have the energy to write it all again but I was referring to the new tendency to interpret Kenneth as a Pictish kings of the Picts, not an Irish one. It seems fine in current Scottish scholarship to admit that previous kings of the Picts appear to have had Gaelic ancestry: Bridei IV of the Picts and his brother Nechtan mac Der-Ilei, and later Óengus I of the Picts and his possible dynasty. But when they come the Alpins they encounter to the traditional account of them conquering the Gaels and so apparently feel the need for a substitute explanation intended to make the native Pictish monarchy look as if it never fell. Once reaching that conclusion it is easy, especially for nationalist scholars, to find all sorts of evidence to support their belief. Any that might contradict it is "not what they're looking for" and so is silently dismissed. This would appear to be the approach of Dauvit Broun with the infuencial Alex Woolf following him increasingly.
They have produced so much in a short time that I think most Irish and British scholars haven't enjoyed the chance to review their work. It will be easier when a volume on the Alpin dynasty appears with Kenneth's ancestors in Fortriu. Then things will get exciting. DinDraithou (talk) 01:44, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not like they aren't entitled to go this route. Plus it appears to be quite productive, being sustained with some impressive and ingenious scholarship, if not properly supporting (personal opinion). I'm very thankful to Angus for sharing their recent papers and think they have a lot to contribute to this and related articles. We just shouldn't throw out Bannerman and the rest until a multitude of Celtic/British scholars accept these new arguments. There may be some skepticism and Gaelic snobbery in Irish circles which will never be overcome. I expect the Welsh will be largely neutral, but who the Anglo-Saxons support will be interesting (and possibly various) and may help determine the success of the new approach in the wider world. DinDraithou (talk) 14:38, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


A minor question...[edit]

The final sentence in the article reads "As the wife and mother of kings, when Máel Muire died in 913, her death was reported by the Annals of Ulster, an unusual thing for the misogynistic chronicles of the age."

Were the chronicles of the age actually misogynistic? (i.e., woman hating) Being misogynistic is (sometimes subtly) different from being patriarchal, or ignorant of women's contributions to society, which I suspect would be the case here. 70.27.3.13 (talk) 02:17, 5 October 2010 (UTC)