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Áedán of the Gaels (Hardback)

King of the Scots

Ancient History Scotland Military

By Keith Coleman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781526794901
Published: 28th February 2022

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This is the first full-length work devoted to Áedán mac Gabráin, 6th century king of Dál Riata in Scotland. An associate of the famous St. Columba, he was the first recorded king to be ordained in the British Isles and was the most powerful ruler in his generation.

His astonishing military reach took him from Orkney, Pictland, Ireland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man. This book details his dominant career, which came to a shattering end after decades of warfare at the Battle of Degsaston in AD 603. Beyond the record of warfare, there is a unique and tantalising accumulation of legend concerning Áedán, from stories about his birth, to tales of him in battle with Irish heroes. English sources mention him and he is one of the few Gaelic kings to feature prominently in Welsh tradition, where he is remembered as a uniquely powerful player in the north of Britain.

Modern writers highlight Áedán as the father of a prince named Arthur, which has led to his place in Arthurian studies. Áedán’s prominence in his era qualifies him as a fascinating figure, whose life and legend are accessibly explored in this exciting account of this unique ruler.

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About Keith Coleman

Keith Coleman has a degree in History and an MA in Celto-Roman Studies from the University of Wales, Newport. He has been researching the history of Aedán over the past five years, a continuation of his long-term study of the legend and history of the Scottish kings. He is the author of The Afterlife of Kings James IV, Otherworld Legends of A Scottish King (Chronos Books, 2019) and maintain several blogs about the legends and history of Scotland and its kings. He is currently working on a biography of King James I to be published by Pen & Sword.

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