King of Alba
Reign 967–971
Predecessor Dub
Successor Kenneth II
Constantine III, King of Alba
House Alpin
Father Indulf, King of Alba
Died 971
Burial Iona

Cuilén mac Ildulb (Modern Gaelic: Cailean),[1] sometimes anglicised as Culen or Colin, and nicknamed An Fionn, "the White"[2] (died 971) was king of Scotland (Alba) from 967 to 971.[3] He was one of three known sons of King Indulf (Ildulb mac Causantín), the others being Amlaíb and Eochaid.

It is supposed that Cuilén was implicated in the death of his predecessor Dub (Dub mac Maíl Coluim), who had defeated Cuilén in battle in 965.[4]

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports several events in the reign of Cuilén. It says that Marcan son of Breodalach was killed in Lothian, that Cellach, Bishop of Cennrígmonaid and Máel Brigte, also a Bishop, died. Other reported deaths include Domnall mac Cairill and Máel Brigte mac Dubacain, the identities of whom are unknown, but they must evidently have been important men.[5] Máel Brigte might be a son of the Dubacan mac Indrechtaig, Mormaer of Angus, who was killed at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. Finally, we are told that Leot and Sluagadach went to Rome, presumably on church business.

In 971 Cuilén, along with his brother Eochaid, was killed in a hall-burning in Lothian by Amdarch, a prince of Strathclyde.[6] The killing was said to be revenge for Cuilén's rape of Amdarch's daughter.[7] The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba does not say that he was buried on Iona, but the report of Dub's death makes it clear that this was likely the case.

Cuilén was succeeded by Dub's brother Kenneth II (Cináed mac Maíl Coluim), who was driven from the throne for a short time in the later 970s by Cuilén's brother Amlaíb. Cuilén's son Constantine III (Causantín mac Cuilén) was later king.


  1. ^ Cuilén mac Ildulb is the Mediaeval Gaelic form. The modern form has no patronymic; this is because the name Ildulb ("Indulf") has died out in Gaelic, and there is no modern rendering of it.
  2. ^ Skene, Chronicles, p. 95.
  3. ^ Cuilén is referred to by the Latin calque Caniculus, in some sources; both Cuilén and Caniculus can be taken to mean "little dog". The epithet hringr (as in Sigurd Ring) sometimes associated with Cuilén is thought to be a misreading: compare Smyth, p. 210 and Duncan, pp. 20–21.
  4. ^ ESSH, pp. 471–473; Annals of Ulster, s.a. 965; Duncan, p. 21.
  5. ^ ESSH, p. 475.
  6. ^ Dated by the Annals of Ulster and the Chronicon Scotorum, s.a. 971. The Prophecy of Berchán and one version of the Chronicle are read as placing Cuilén's death in Strathclyde, perhaps near Abington in Upper Clydesdale; ESSH, pp. 476–477 and notes.
  7. ^ ESSH, pp.475–476; one variant of the Chronicle appears to say that Cuilén's daughter, rather than Amdarch's, was raped, another suggests Amdarch's daughter was killed.


For primary sources see also External links below.

  • Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A.D. 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8
  • Duncan, A.A.M., The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000. Reprinted, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7

External links

Died: 971
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Alba
Succeeded by
Kenneth II

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cuilén of Scotland — Infobox Monarch | name =Cuilén title = King of Alba reign = 967 ndash;971 coronation = predecessor = Dub ( Dub mac Maíl Coluim ) successor = Kenneth II ( Cináed mac Maíl Coluim ) heir = consort = issue = Constantine III ( Causantín mac Cuilén )… …   Wikipedia

  • Amdarch — was a military leader of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, the probable son of King Dyfnwal III of Strathclyde, and noted in the historical records only as the slayer of King Cuilén of Scotland in 971.His name occurs in various forms only in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kenneth II of Scotland — Kenneth II King of Alba Reign 971–995 Predecessor Cuilén Successor Constantine III …   Wikipedia

  • Constantine III of Scotland — Constantine III 17th C. portrait of Constantine, when he was reckoned as Constantine IV King of Alba Reign 995–997 Predecessor …   Wikipedia

  • Dub, King of Scotland — Dub King of Alba Reign 962–967 Predecessor Indulf Successor Cuilén Issue Kenneth III, King of Alba Hou …   Wikipedia

  • Dub of Scotland — Infobox Monarch | name =Dub title = King of Scots caption = reign = 962 ndash;967 coronation = predecessor = Indulf ( Ildulb mac Causantín ) successor = Cuilén ( Cuilén mac Ildulb ) heir = consort = issue = Kenneth III ( Cináed mac Dub ) royal… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Scottish monarchs — The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, as used before 1603 The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), who founded the state in… …   Wikipedia

  • Кулен — гэльск. Cuilén mac Iduilb, англ. Cuilén король Альбы (Шотландии) …   Википедия

  • Indulf of Scotland — Infobox Monarch | name =Indulf (Ildulb mac Causantín) title = King of Scots caption = 18th century depiction of king. The depiction is highly anachronistic and bears no relation to the king s actual appearance. reign = 954 ndash;962 coronation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Amlaíb of Scotland — Amlaíb King of Alba Reign 973x977 Predecessor Kenneth II Successor Kenneth II House Alpin Father Indu …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”