Taran of the Picts
Taran son of Ainftech was a King of the Picts (692-96) [The four year reign and the accession in 692 are chosen by Marjorie O. Anderson,, "Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland", (Edinburgh, 1973), p. 175.] according to the Pictish king-lists. His name is the same as that of the Gaulish thunder-god,
Taranis. ["op. cit., p. 90."]
His father is just a name, which occurs in various forms, e.g. "Entifidich" in the "
Poppleton manuscript," ["op. cit.", p. 248.] "Enfidaig", ["op. cit.", p. 263.] , "Amfredech", ["op. cit.", pp. 266, 272. ] "Anfudeg", ["op. cit.", p. 280.] and as "Amfodech" in the French king-list embedded in the " Scalacronica." ["op. cit.", p. 297.] The list in National Library of ScotlandMS, Advocates' 34.7.3, [M.O. Anderson, List D; Skene, no, XXIII.] , seems to say that Taran was the brother of King Nechtan m. Der-Ilei, [It writes "frater eius" after Taran's listing; see M.O. Anderson, "op. cit." p. 266.] which could mean that Taran's mother was the Pictish princess Der-Ilei. However, the latter list is problematic and places the reign of King Bridei m. Der-Ilei, Nechtan's brother, after Nechtan; on the other hand, the list is one of those which is aware that Bridei was the son of Dargart, indicating access to material not available to some of the other lists. [see Thomas Owen Clancy, "Philosopher-King: Nechtan mac Der-Ilei", in the "Scottish Historical Review", 83, 2004, pp. 125–149.]
Some of the king-lists say he reigned for fourteen years; however, the "Poppleton" and "
Lebor Bretnach" lists, [Marjorie Anderson believes these lists to derive from a list kept at Abernethy; she and others believe these lists, marked by "un-gaelicized" name forms, to be more reliable; see M.O. Anderson, "op. cit." pp. 77-102.] along with the "Scalacronica" list, give four years only, ['op. cit.", pp. 248, 263, 297.] so the "x" may be a mistake. He was almost certainly succeeded by Bruide, the son of Dargart and Der-Ilei, although in what circumstances, it is hard to say.
Entries from the
Irish annalswhich Alan Orr Andersonsuggested may be related to this Taran are a report in the " Annals of Ulster" reporting "the killing of Ainfthech and Nia Néill and the sons of Boendo", [Annals of Ulster, s.a. 693.] where Ainfthech may be Taran's father, ["Early Sources", p. 201, note 1.] , and then Taran's deposition in 696, ["Annals of Ulster", s.a. 697; " Annals of Tigernach", s.a. 697; "Early Sources", p. 202, note 7.] and finally the report in the "Annals of Ulster" that "Tarachin went to Ireland" in 698. ["Annals of Ulster", s.a. 699; "Early Sources", p. 206, note 5; the "Annals of Tigernach" used the "Tarachin" form in reporting Taran's deposition.]
* Anderson, Alan O., "Early Sources of Scottish History A.D. 500 to 1286", volume 1, (Reprinted with corrections, Stamford, 1990)
* Anderson, Marjorie O., "Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland", (Edinburgh, 1973)
* Clancy, Thomas Owen, "Philosopher-King: Nechtan mac Der-Ilei", in the "Scottish Historical Review", 83, 2004, pp. 125–149
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