Eugenius I-VIII (DNB00)

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EUGENIUS I–VIII, kings of Scotland according to the chronology ‘whereof Fordoun laid the plan which Boece finished and Buchanan ornamented’ (Innes, Critical Essay, p. 699), have now been placed in at least a more consistent system by reference to the older authorities and the more authentic though still largely conjectural history which Innes founded, Pinkerton, notwithstanding some errors, helped to rectify, and Mr. Skene has reconstructed with great ingenuity. The date of the crossing of the Dalriad Scots from Ireland to Scotland is now fixed, chiefly by the criticism of Innes, at the true epoch of Fergus Mor Mac Earc (c. 503), and the list of forty kings between a supposititious Fergus Mac Ferchard, alleged to have reigned as far back as three centuries before the Incarnation, falls to the ground, Eugenius I, Buchanan's thirty-ninth king, among the rest.

Eugenius II, Buchanan's forty-first king, a supposed son and successor of Fergus Mac Earc, is not mentioned in the earlier authorities according to which Fergus was succeeded by Dongard.

Eugenius III, Buchanan's forty-sixth king, said by him to have reigned 525–58 A.D., to have been the son of Congallius (Conal) and the successor of Goranus (Gabhran), is equally unknown to these authorities. Conal and Gabhran appear to have been real kings, but Gabhran was succeeded by a Conal II, son of Conal I.

Eugenius IV, Buchanan's fifty-first king, who reigned, according to that writer, 605–21, was a son of Aidan, the king ‘ordained by St. Columba,’ and can be identified with Eochoid Buidhe (The Yellow), the youngest son of Aidan, who, according to a prophecy of Columba, succeeded his father through the deaths of his elder brothers and was brought up by that saint (Adamnan, Life of St. Columba, ch. xxxvi.) The true date of his reign appears to have been 606–29. It was during it that Adamnan was born and that Oswald and Oswy, the sons of the Northumbrian king Ethelfrith, took refuge in Iona during the supremacy of Edwin of Deira.

Eugenius V, Buchanan's fifty-sixth king, the son of Dongart, may perhaps be identified with Eochoid Rinnenhail (With the Long Nose), who reigned three years, and was a contemporary of Egfrith of Northumbria.

Eugenius VI, Buchanan's fifty-seventh king, the son of Ferchar Fada (The Long), called Eogan in one and Ewen in another early Scottish chronicle, reigned thirteen years, and was a contemporary of Aldfrith, the Northumbrian king, in whose reign Adamnan and Cuthbert flourished.

Eugenius VII, Buchanan's fifty-ninth king, according to that writer the son of Findan and brother of Amberkelethus (Armchallach), the fifty-eighth king, but according to two old Scottish chronicles the son of Mordacus (Murdoch). The date of his reign according to Buchanan's computation was 680–97.

Eugenius VIII, Buchanan's sixty-second king, was by his account the son of Mordacus (Murdoch), the sixtieth king, and reigned from 761–4, but according to the older Scottish chronicles, Buchanan has here made two kings out of one, and this monarch was the same as the preceding. The period to which these kings (if there were two) is assigned by Buchanan, following Boece, is a confused part of the history of Scottish Dalriada. The defeat and death of Donald Breck (The Speckled), son of Eochoid Buidhe, by Owen or Ewen, a king of the Cumbrian Britons, in 642, is supposed by Mr. Skene to have subjected the Dalriad Scots to the Britons. A contest followed between two branches of the Dalriads, the Cinel (tribe or clan) Lorn and the Cinel Gabhran, which further weakened the Dalriad power and exposed it to an attack from the great Pictish king Angus Mac Fergus (731–61). This led to the subjection of the Dalriad Scots to the Picts, until Kenneth Macalpine (c 844) united the Picts and the Scots and founded the monarchy of Scone. It may be doubted if it is possible to recover the true history, but the brilliant attempt of Mr. Skene (Celtic Scotland, i. 272–309) deserves consideration. One source of difficulty arises from the variable spelling of the Celtic names, of which the subject of the present article affords an illustration. The kings all styled Eugenius by Buchanan and the later Latin chronicles are in the vernacular called Eochoid, Eochod, Heoghed, Eoghed, Echach, Ocha, Eochol, Eogan, Ewen, and Ewan (see list in Innes, Appendix, p. 765). Some of these are misspellings of an age and a people among whom there was no settled practice. The Gaelic form appears to have been Eogan or Heogan, and the British, Owen. In modern times it has been converted into Hugh and Evan, but it is possible that more names are concealed under these varieties. Eugenius was the nearest Latin equivalent.

[The original sources will be found in the appendices to Innes's Critical Essay and the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots. Fordoun, Wyntoun, Boece, and Buchanan give the mediæval theories; Innes, Pinkerton, and above all Skene's Celtic Scotland, the views of the modern critical school.]

Æ. M.