The text of Professor Donnchadh Ó Corráin’s 1997 O’Donnell Lecture The Vikings in Scotland and Ireland in the ninth century is available as an online article at the Irish e-journal Chronicon.
Professor Ó Corráin gives an excellent overview of the initial impact of the Vikings. He proposes that the mysterious Lochlainn – a region named in Irish sources – was a large chunk of northern Scotland brought under Scandinavian control before 850. A few topics previously mentioned here at Senchus turn up along the way. The great battle of 839, in which the Picts and Scots were crushed by a Viking army, gets a mention, as does the Pictish marriage of Rhun of Alt Clut. As regular visitors to this blog will know, I don’t share the view (expressed in the article) that the Clyde Britons lost their independence after 870, but that’s only a minor quibble.
Here’s the abstract:
‘This study attempts to provide a new framework for ninth-century Irish and Scottish history. Viking Scotland, known as Lothlend, Laithlinn, Lochlainn and comprising the Northern and Western Isles and parts of the mainland, especially Caithness, Sutherland and Inverness, was settled by Norwegian Vikings in the early ninth century. By the mid-century it was ruled by an effective royal dynasty that was not connected to Norwegian Vestfold. In the second half of the century it made Dublin its headquarters, engaged in warfare with Irish kings, controlled most Viking activity in Ireland, and imposed its overlordship and its tribute on Pictland and Strathclyde. When expelled from Dublin in 902 it returned to Scotland and from there it conquered York and re-founded the kingdom of Dublin in 917.’
And here’s a link to the full-text at Chronicon.