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Kenneth I, MacAlpin (d. 858)
Kenneth MacAlpin earns his place in Scottish history as the first king of the united Scots of Dalriada and the Picts, making him virtual king of Scotland north of a line between the Forth and the Clyde. By the year 843, he had created a semblance of unity among the warring societies of the Picts, Scots, Britons and Anglos after he had defeated the Picts in battle. MacAlpin created his capital at Forteviot, in Pictish territory; he then moved his religious center to Dunkeld, on the River Tay, in present-day Perthshire, to where he transferred the remains of St. Columba from Iona.

At roughly the same time that the people of Wales were separated from the invading Saxons by the artificial boundary of Offa's Dyke, MacAlpin was creating a kingdom of Scotland. MacAlpin's successes in part were due to the threat coming from the raids of the Vikings, many of whom became settlers. The seizure of control over all Norway in 872 by Harald Fairhair caused many of the previously independent Jarls to look for new lands to establish themselves.

One result of the coming of the Norsemen and Danes with their command of the sea, was that the kingdom of Scotland became surrounded and isolated; the old link with Ireland was broken; the country was now cut off from southern England and the Continent; thus the kingdom of Alba established by MacAlpin was thrown in upon itself and united against a common foe. According to the Huntingdon Chronicle, he "was the first of the Scots to obtain the monarchy of the whole of Albania, which is now called Scotia."

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