King Constantine II, King of Scotland
- Born: 877
- Marriage: Unknown
Noted events in his life were:
• Royal. After King Donald II's death in 900 AD, the throne of Alba was inherited by Constantine II, eldest son of the murdered Aedh. He was to become the most powerful king of the House of MacAlpin and his reign helped to define Scotland as we know it today.
After his father's violent death, Aedh was forced to flee to Ireland where he spent his boyhood in a monastery, surrounded by Gaelic culture. In 889AD he returned to Alba with his cousin Domnall. His reign was a successful one, by the standards of that time. As well as fighting off the Danes and the Norse, Constantine extended the borders of his kingdom south past the river Clyde. This meant more fighting with the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of that district.
The Norse were finally defeated in 904 AD, after they had laid waste to Dunkeld, where St Columba's relics were kept, and much of Alba. They were forced to withdraw from Scotland. In 908 AD Constantine's brother, Donald, secured the kingdom of Strathclyde which Constantine I had tried to incorporate into Alba, assassinating King Run in 872 AD.
From 1912 to 1927 there was increased fighting between the Scandinavians in the South and Constantine's men, until a border between Scotland and England was recognised. This uneasy peace lasted until 934 AD when King Athelstan of England invaded Scotland and took King Constantine's son as a hostage. Leading to a major battle at Brunanaburgh three years later. Here the Scots were defeated although the King survived.
In the midst of all this warring, King Constantine found time to restructure the early Christian church in Scotland, modelling it on the Gaelic church of Ireland, where he had spent his childhood. He also instituted a system of earls, called 'mormaers' to help with the defence of his kingdom.
The remainder of King Constantine's reign was spent defending his territory against the Danes, who were once more trying to invade. In 943 AD he abdicated, having been the longest reigning monarch of the house of MacAlpin. He spent the rest of his life in a monastery.